1. TheDarkWriter
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    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    Does this sound like a good main character?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by TheDarkWriter, Jul 4, 2016.

    My main character is very flawed. His flaws are often pointed out and are never glossed over. He's obsessed with power, status, women and on a good day he's entitled, vain and a mysogynist. To summarize why he is this way his mother was an evil abusive witch, his brother who was favored by everyone and grew up to be a revered hero. Where as he for specific reasons that were not his fault was constantly looked down on. The first love of his life turned out to be manipulating him and tried to kill him this was the final straw that lead him to snap and decide to just be the villain that world had seen fit to label him.

    Needless to say he's got lots of issues and does not respect boundaries or personal space. One of his powers is to control people and he does this with women a lot he typically finds some way to rationalize it by saying to this one woman "Please I asked if you wanted to leave your family and you said yes and not once have you said you wanted to go back."

    Essentially he views everyone in the world as selfish and inconsiderate and that he's at least just being honest and not putting up an act. This is because while his brother was always good with people he was automatically disliked and became socially withdrawn. He constantly tries to figure out why he's so disliked and what he lacks that others have because even his mother as evil as he was was very good with people.

    A key point in the story is his relationship to his mother who proves to be even more of a monster than him. Essentially she'll just kill whatever woman who catches his eye to "punish" him and her version of his childhood is that he was a spoiled brat whose every childish need she met. While he claims she was an abusive monster.

    The story inistelf is more about abuse and the affects it can have on a person. My main character is like Christian Grey combine with Hive from Agents of SHIELD and Kilgrave from Jessica Jones and The Ogre from Gotham.

    He meets another character like himself who is more into labotamies instead of brain washing. This is to him is disgusting as he hates the idea of reducing a woman to a shell. The irony is more than pointed out but it's used as a way of showing just how broken and damaged he is because he genuinely beleieves he can make a woman love him. He'll actually be surprised when a woman tries running from him because genuinely this at time it's more than his own control.

    Just to give you an idea of how messed up his relationship with his mother is before she's reveale to be his mother she'll show up as a cougar type woman whose overly flirtatious (at first she's implied to be an exgirlfriend) but she'll always be berating and talking down to him even slapping him and at first nobody can figure out why he lets her get away with it and then he finally snaps and says "Stop it! Stop it mother!" Its supposed to be a real WTF moment.

    Pretty much his relationship with his mother is a perfect mirror image of how he is with women. However while he has a reputation among other supernatural beings as a rapist he actually isn't. He just makes them be his girlfriend's and go on dates with him because of this other supernatural beings assume he's a rapist. However he's terrified of intimacy in the normal sense.

    This is the best way to describe how he views a woman he finds he looks at them like a prized possession to be taken care of and well maintained while his other would just break it and just by a new one.
     
  2. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    He sounds like he could be an interesting character, but if you're looking to make people sympathize with him or like him, you're going to have a tough time. Being abused/damaged doesn't excuse the way he treats other people, it only offers an explanation. He might be compelling but I doubt readers would have much compassion for him, and plenty would put the book down because people largely prefer a relatable mc (none of the comparable characters you mention are mcs, you'll notice). If that's what you're looking to write, though, go for it.
     
  3. Shannon Rowe
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    Shannon Rowe New Member

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    I agree with izzy here, this character sounds pretty unpalatable for a main. Even if your story is showing an arc of self-realisation and eventual change of heart, a lot of readers will be put off pretty quickly.

    What might work though is if you have another char (perhaps the woman who eventually tames this beast) serving as the protagonist MC; someone more relatable for the reader, through whose eyes you can explore this other nasty guy's issues by way of how they interact over the course of the story. As long as the reader has a "good" character to root for, you'll have more leeway for detailing the more villainous ones.
     
  4. Wexeldorf
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    Wexeldorf Member

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    Have to agree with Izzy and Shannon. A reader needs to be able to empathise with a protagonist on some level and initially this character shows very few admirable qualities. Maybe, building on what Shannon said, is having an event early on in the story happen to the protagonist, which sends him on a journey of redemption. The death of a loved one, a fatal mistake, or a revelation of his actions upon the innocent, for example? The journey can be filled with his good and evil self warring against each other, but as long as the character grows and learns in a way that the reader can empathise with, it will be a lot more successful as a protagonist.
     
  5. hawls
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    hawls Active Member

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    Children are very sensitive to injustice. Even if they have no vocabulary to explain the abuse, they usually recognize that it is wrong and that they don't deserve it.

    Typically, children who develop antisocial, misogynistic behaviour do so because they have been groomed that way.

    I appreciate that isn't in every case.

    The thing that sticks out to me is that if your MC's brother turned out to be such a hero and, presumably, an all-round decent guy, why did he not try to protect his brother from the abuse of his shitty mother? Why did he not try and show his brother a good life? Why did they not stick together to overcome their family situation?

    Also the fact that people just arbitrarily hated this poor guy, treated him poorly, even though most people (gods let's hope) are good people and would never just decide "That guy. That guy there is the worst and even though I've never met him before in my life I have decided he is objectively horrible so I'm going to treat him as such."

    Unless your MC generates an actual and literal aura of evil.
     
  6. TheDarkWriter
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    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    It has more to do with that my main character is half demon. That's why he was so heavily persecuted.
     
  7. FireWater
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    FireWater Active Member

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    If he is a half-demon, his sociopathic ways could tie in to his lack of humanity. I think it could potentially be a great way to make a statement about sociopaths, abuse, and how those things affect the world at large.

    The determining factor, for me, is whether or not the story is written in a way that makes readers think YOU agree with the character. There's another thread on this site that addresses that subject. I would stop reading a book where the protag men had sexist views and all the female characters were bimbos who reinforced that view. But Game of Thrones has a lot of sexist characters, but also strong and empowered and varied female heroes, so I can tell that the sexist GoT characters' views are not the same as the authors.
     
  8. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Where's the character's father? If the character thinks everyone is selfish and inconsiderate, why is he only an asshole toward women, not toward everybody?

    I'm fine with unsympathetic characters, but if you're trying to justify his behaviour, you're going to have to try harder, at least for me.
     
    ChickenFreak, Oscar Leigh and izzybot like this.
  9. TheDarkWriter
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    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    Honestly I haven't decided on who his father should be. The idea is that his dad is a no show. Also he's not just a jerk with women he's pretty much anti social and a jerk towards everyone. He just happens to be more controlling towards women. Full disclosure the story is linked to classic fairy tales and there is some humor played with this. The idea is that even though my MC is a classic fairy tale villain that maybe the classic heroes were the villains in his story.
    That's what I'm going for a common theme I have with the story is demons and humans are two sides of the same coin. This is essentially the relationship the main character has with his female character(who is no spring chicken) she's even worse than he is believe it or not. Essentially she is vain and every thing he believes women to be and he's everything she believes men are.

    The irony is that he's slightly more morally grounded than her as he doesn't actively go looking for trouble. Like he'll get mad if she double crosses someone without his approval(because she knows he'd never break his word or double cross someone) the thing about his type of mind control is that it doesn't make a person mindless it just makes him the center of that person's world. Though there are strong women in the story trust me on that in the story he actually gets knocked on his ass by a female character.

    These clips pretty much sum up his relationship with his love interest.

     
  10. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    This sounds like a very dark main character. You are going to have a hard time garnering sympathy. The whole book sounds pretty darn dark. I'm not sure I'd be up for reading it unless there were something glimmering within.
     
  11. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Based on the two clips, it kind of feels like adolescent male power fantasies. (Or PUA fantasies - kind of the same thing)

    But if you believe in the characters and believe in the story, go for it. Author enthusiasm will take you a hell of a long way.
     
  12. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    Does he have any likeable traits at all? Any redeemable qualities?
     
  13. hawls
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    hawls Active Member

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    The brother is not half demon? They have different fathers then?

    I'm still not seeing how he can have such a wonderful well loved heroic brother without that influencing him in any way. If your MC is not inherently evil and is only persecuted for being genetically half demon, wouldn't the "good" brother see it as his responsibility to protect his brother from that kind of persecution? or is the "good" brother a bit more like Charming from Shrek? Only a hero for the celebrity status.
     
  14. TheDarkWriter
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    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    The brothers barely know each other. Also the "good" brother has trained all his life to slay demons. They are both two sides of the same coin. Their mother only ever loved the good one. One brother hates humans and the other hates demons.
     
  15. hawls
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    hawls Active Member

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    Isn't the mother an evil abusive witch? In the literal sense?

    I'm sorry about my relentless pursuit for logical consistency. It wasn't the point of your initial post. If the question was does my main character seem plausible given all these arbitrary factors, I would say no. But then I'm very anal about that sort of thing. Possibly my own character flaw.

    Is your MC compelling and interesting? Yes. Even to me. Because even if you haven't considered the logic behind your character, I will do all the required mental gymnastic to explain every inconsistency. You should hear my theories on Battlestar Galactica.
     

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