1. Archnenna
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    Archnenna Active Member

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    Help! my protagonist is starting to fall for the villain.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Archnenna, Jul 29, 2015.

    First: sorry if my English slips sometimes.

    This is a long story so please bear with me. :)

    I will call her M and him B. The story is told in first person POV and M is the narrator.

    So M decided to befriend B, a two thousand + year old vampire who has, just a few months before, tried to kill her and her friends. He (obviously) lost and was gone for about a month before coming back and asking to be friends. M refused at first, but she eventually agreed to the friendship because she wanted to find out why he was targeting her and her friends, what he wanted with or from them, and why he had a sudden change o heart and wanted her friendship.

    She was always portrayed as more of an anti hero protagonist. However, after her best friend's cruel death before her very eyes, she's finally had enough and becomes a full blown villain. She calls her new friend, B, and asks him to mentor her to become a serial killer (she wants to kill the people she deems worthy of death because her friend died innocent and she believes that by doing this she's protecting other innocents), and he happily obliges.

    Now she's leading a double life: a serial killer by night, an agent supposed to deal with supernatural threats (yes, including serial killers just like herself) by day. She has a boyfriend who knows nothing of it. In fact, the only two people that know about that "friendship" thing are M and B.

    While M wants to get close to him in hopes of getting all those answers, B needs her because he is targeted by a woman he wronged back when he was still human (a very old vampire) and believes that M and her powers could provide him protection against that woman.

    It's pretty obvious to the both of them that they are using each other. However, M is starting to develop feelings for B. That wouldn't be a problem if not for the fact that he's basically the reason for everything bad that's happened to her (tried to kill her and her friends, kidnapped her boyfriend and tortured him, raped and murdered her ancestor who then possessed her to get revenge, attempted to kill said ancestor who was occupying M's body and thus almost killing her, attempting to rape her, etc.), and some of the things she doesn't even know about.

    None of those feelings weren't supposed to happen. As I was planning, and eventually starting to write it, it was supposed to be just a fake friendship with constant bickering and lots of pretend feelings. But since I'm writing through M's POV, I'm starting to realize that she's falling for him and now I don't know what to do. She suddenly trusts him and feels comfortable being around him, when just a couple months ago she would be more than happy to drive a stake through his heart. And yes, she knows that it's wrong to have those feelings and constantly reminds herself of everything he's done, but there is this part of her that favors all the good (despite being all fake) over the bad in the past. She still hates him, only now she's starting to like him as well.

    B doesn't help matters either. He likes to flirt with M, calls her pet names (such as sugar, baby, sweetheart, dear, darling), and just loves to engage in friendly banter. He is a very manipulative individual and everything he does, all those kind words and hugs, basically everything is fake from his side. He knows how to get what he wants (he's obviously had 2000+ years to perfect his art of manipulation).

    But M is starting to fall and a part of her thinks that at least some of the nice things about him could be real.

    The problem with this is that, as I said, it wasn't supposed to be that way. It's like the characters took over my writing.

    M already has a boyfriend whom she loves more than anything, and there's also a girl she likes as more than just a friend (but that's another story). Plus all the bad B's done doesn't make him any better a person in M's eyes, only somehow she's starting to see past it, a part of her thinking that maybe him being around her could change him, just like his company changed her.

    My question is: what do I do about this? I'm an amateur writer. This is only my third book. The first two books in the series had nothing like that so this is a whole new territory for me. M and B's "friendship" isn't meant to last for long, but it will have impact on her as well as on those she loves. How do I make sure it's done right?

    Any questions? Feel free to ask.
     
  2. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    It's not really my genre, but it sounds "kind-of" like Stockholm Syndrome. In your initial plan, why were M and B suppose to have that fake relationship (where they bicker), what was the end result you wanted before the new real relationship sparked?
     
  3. Archnenna
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    Archnenna Active Member

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    It was supposed to be a display from both of their sides that they aren't really aboard the "friendship" ship despite agreeing to it. The thing is, B understands M's darkness and encourages her to embrace it (helping her to kill people, praising her, teaching her how to use weapons etc.), and she likes that because she knows that those closest to her, especially her boyfriend and stepfather, would try to discourage her from acting out on her rage (understandably so, but she's kind of twisted). She likes to be supported for who she is and he gives her that.

    The end is supposed to be that he betrays her and kills her (he doesn't know it's temporary, it's a really long story). Only now I think that when I'm going to be writing the betrayal scene, it will be all the more painful for her because I believe that with time she will genuinely learn to trust this person.

    Before the betrayal there will be a one night stand. Basically everyone will find out what she's been doing and her boyfriend will leave her. B will find her in a bar and offer her distraction (by that he means sex) and she takes it even though she knows he's only using her, That's because at that time she will be using him, too, as she will genuinely believe that sleeping with someone, even him, will help take at least some of the pain away. She will regret it, but that will only make her loved ones distrust her more.

    Basically she's digging herself deeper until he finally kills her and she decides she's had enough of it so they go back to being full blown enemies.
     
  4. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    Hmmm. I suspect that if you continue with your initial premise but let the two fall into some serious deep feelings -- then when you write the betrayal scene, it's going to be all that much better. To betray someone indicates they once trusted each other, none more trusting than a lover...and...none where the betrayal worse.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
  5. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    Your characters really run the show, not you. If it fits them, and you can write it, go for it girl! One problem I do have is that he is a rapist, and that will cancel out any amount of likability he may have had. (before he kills the protagonist) So, I think you would be better off putting that maybe he just killed the protagonist's ancestor, tried to kill her and her friends, etc.
     
  6. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    Yeah, that's why I thought of Stockholm Syndrome. It's an impossible character to like or root for.
     
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  7. tanstaafl74
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    tanstaafl74 Member

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    Disagree to a point. Sure, you can't go outside what a character would normally do, but you are the author, you dictate everything. The whole theory that a story can "get away" from the author is not something I have ever subscribed to.
     
  8. Archnenna
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    Archnenna Active Member

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    Now that you say it like that, it does sound appealing.

    The rape thing is a big part of his character so I can't take that away. He wants something, he gets it no matter what or who stands in his way and consent, in his mind, just gets in the way of his goals so he doesn't bother with it. The protagonist especially hates him for it, as well as for everything he's done, and yet she still lets her guard down around him because shes still vulnerable and this small part of her tells her that maybe, just maybe this time things will be different, that history won't repeat itself. She knows that he's an irredeemable monster, but in this state of mind, she feels like he could be her irredeemable monster.

    Now that I look at it, it does sound like Stockholm Syndrome. He is, after all, using her vulnerable state to manipulate her, make her feel safe with him when she's not, encouraging her to embrace her dark side not because of her, but because if she gets more powerful like that and learns to trust him in the process, he's safe when that woman he wronged comes after him for vengeance. He's incapable of love and remorse and everything he does he does it for himself, but by feeding her lies he's planting a seed of doubt in her mind that maybe even the worst of monsters can change, even just a bit.

    I'm just conflicted as to how to write it right. At first I noticed that I have a "problem" when I realized just how much sexual tension they have in their scenes together (the bickering, the banter, standing really close, looking one another in the eye, noses and foreheads almost touching). Now she's developing feelings and I'm afraid that I will mess everything up, though I can see that it has potential.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
  9. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sounds like a match made in hell. Two serial killers developing feelings for each other. I can see that happen, so I think you can just roll with it, see where it takes you.

    You have control over your characters, that's true, but it's possible that characters "reveal" things about their fates you didn't initially think of. If you enjoy developing their relationship further, it's likely that what they experience in your book will ring true to your reader as well.


    Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer seemed to have little to no problem with Angel and Spike being rapist vampires. Maybe that reference is too old for you, but back in the '90s and early '00s Buffy was huge, and female fans adored both vampires. ;)

    But maybe times have changed...
     
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  10. Archnenna
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    Archnenna Active Member

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    Well, it's kinda one sided. He can't feel love, at least not that kind of love. They have a lot in common (their murderous tendencies aside): for example, B is B's number one, and M is M's number one. They're selfish and dark, and it's his darkness that she's growing to like because she kind of feels like home with him. She's not judged by him for being dark and she likes it. One thing leads to another and, well, you get the picture.

    That's the thing, B is not supposed to be likeable to the reader. I do like Spike, though. And Eric. And Damon.

    Thanks, everyone, I'm feeling a bit more confident now. I think it will be done right. :)
     
  11. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah - please just roll with this. It's perfect. It's messed-up in all the right ways. It could be a huge obstacle for your protag in that she's now fighting her own mind. Work out the implications of what she's thinking and go forward from there.
     
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  12. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see anything wrong with that. My feeling is that you should just trust where it's going and let it all happen. In fact, with her being open to a real relationship, it makes it all that more dramatic when he turns on her.
     
  13. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see much that is atypical here.
    You have a modern day girl, a heroine with all the modern day expectations- a normal likable boyfriend, a high profile profession, and an obligation for righteousness. Thats in the day.

    At night, her deep seated desires for nasty sex and breaking rules takes over. Now she's with B, the elderly (probably rich and devastatingly handsome) superior gentlemen who is above laws, both man made and biological. He is a vampire, and possesses a repoirtoire of qualities no real life male could ever hope to attain. Of course, we're not going to blame her. B is a master manipulator and the actual villain of the story, and she is actually trying to change him and make him good, right?

    Basically, you're golden. My only suggestion is to add a third guy into the mix, a desperately loyal and jealous werewolf, for example.
     
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  14. tanstaafl74
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    tanstaafl74 Member

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    If I were drinking anything when I read that I would have snorted it through my nose.
     
  15. Archnenna
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    Archnenna Active Member

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    Um, she doesn't have an obligation for righteousness. He is not rich and not anymore handsome than some of the other men. He's not superior. He doesn't have likeable qualities. We are supposed to blame her because she is obviously out of her mind. She's not trying to change him - she wants him dead. No one is jealous. There are no love triangles.

    I don't see where you're going with this. Actually, I kinda do, but I'm going to ignore it. Why even bother to comment if you're going to make Twilight comparisons?
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015

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