1. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    Emotional Plot Device

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Scarecrow28, Aug 17, 2008.

    In my "current" novel, I need a reason for my character to continue on with the adventure after a violent encounter with the enemy forces. If my character is an "adventurer" of sorts, does curiosity and determination work as a plot device to propel him onwards after a violent event that would deter most people? Another aspect is that several people he has worked with in the past and considers friends, although not close friends, are killed during the event. Would a desire for vengeance work? What about a desire to carry out vigilante justice and make those responsible, who would otherwise escape, pay for their crimes? Thanks for the input!
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    All of those ideas sound good. Just remember that his actions help define who he is. If he wants justice, then he's a noble character. If he wants to slaughter the enemy mercilessly, then he's perhaps a little emotional and violent, etc.
     
  3. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    Alright, thanks. I would consider him more of a "noble" character than a violent physcopath. My main concern was that these ideas wouldn't be strong enough for him to continue on with this "adventure" and place his life on the line.
     
  4. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    These ideas could be strong enough, but I feel you might need something else in there.
     
  5. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    I may use the idea that those responsible for the planning of this initial violent encounter are willing to kill him in order to keep him silent so he must find who's pulling the strings in order to ensure his personal safety.
     
  6. TheFedoraPirate
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    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

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    Weird, I had nearly this same problem in my story and that's (almost) the same conclusion I came to.

    So, I say it works. :D
    Nobility usually isn't enough to form a realistic motivation but saving your own skin is; so I say it's entirely believable (although, of course I would or I wouldn't be using it myself).
     
  7. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    Thanks. I'm going to look at my plot and begin toying with it in order to work this in.

    PS: Love the Coheed quote. :cool:
     
  8. Palimpsest
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    Palimpsest Senior Member

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    First, I think, you need a reason for the story to continue: obviously, because the main character has not resolved the main conflict. I think that once you define what the main conflict is, and step it up, the appropriate emotional drive can follow.

    Does so much destruction seem senseless, and he must at least know why-- give reason to so much suffering?
    Or does he know why, and is opposed to it (Sauron will conquer all of Middle Earth!) in principle-- or maybe be feels responsible because it was directed at him?
    It could be survival, or it could be a wounding of personal pride that extends to include any slights against his family, family legacy, country or countrymen.

    Does he want to contain the destruction?
    Undo it?
    Repay in kind?

    I think things like courage and determination are more revealed when he decides every moment to continue... but they don't tell him what to do, if that's what you need to get the plot rolling along.
     
  9. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    All of your options are sound.

    People do many great and heinous things in the name of personal ideals and justice.
     
  10. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    Right now, I'm considering that HE feels responsible for their deaths because he was the only one to survive this conflict. At the same time, he needs to figure out why this attack happened and unravel the historical mystery behind it in order to ensure his survival.
     
  11. Palimpsest
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    Palimpsest Senior Member

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    Sounds fair to me :cool:
    Although reading over your original post, I might suggest he could be a little more attached, too? Maybe not on a Best Friends Forever level with the dead, but more "Gosh, I knew those people..." digesting how strange as well as terrible the incidence was.
     
  12. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    This is the angle I'd most likely take, atleast out of the ones listed. I've came up with an alternative story that has the same basis as this one but a much different beginning. Not sure which one I'm going to use, but I'm going to work on it today. :confused:
     
  13. TheFedoraPirate
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    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

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    Great band aren't they? I just got to see them in concert a couple of weeks ago; they're excellent in concert.
     
  14. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    Lucky! I was going to go to Neverend in NY, but the price of gas and everything was going to be too much and train was going to be about the same. I'm just going to have to wait until they come a bit closer. :mad:
     

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