1. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    How Much is Much

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by J.P.Clyde, Jul 3, 2011.

    How much is to much when it comes to a character?

    I understand the concept that the audience must like the character or they won't continue reading. But what happens when a character is written on the purpose of people hating him?

    The character in question is kind of roguish, indifferent attitude several times in the story he pretends to not hear other characters speaking. He doesn't take much care of his own appearance "you could be more handsome if you straightened up that tie and tucked in your shirt".

    He's kind of crude and rude "make a decision already fat Betty cause the ****ing line is waiting on you"

    The character starts off very much flawed. Parts of his past begin to creep up and situations begin to change him "to a point" not that he's coming out from being a Scrooge to Mr. Roger from the neighborhood show. But as his history is unbound and things about his life are beginning to creep up. People begin to see why he's so closed off, rude, unavailable and indifferent to it all.

    But at the same time. He's a very very very hard character to get to like and know. In the very beginning he's seen as cold, rude, indifferent, and closed off. And I fear he may be to closed off for audience to continue reading because they can't just seem to get to know to like him.

    Also, is there a problem with a character having a specific saying? Like the character in question several times when people tell him what to do or try to tell him what needs to be done or just about a woman who just gave birth he responds with, "ah so".
     
  2. Jonathan22
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    Jonathan22 Contributing Member

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    Well, an idea could possibly be to write this story from the viewpoint of all those he interacts with. For instance, from the point of view of 'fat Betty' or other characters he converses with. If you did that you could show the point of view of others towards your character initially.
    Then, at the 'change' in the character's attitude, make him the focus. This would mean the only thoughts we have of him are those after his change, which could evoke a bit more sympathy.
    This would mean writing everything in first person though to work, so I don't know what your take on that is.
    It's a tricky one to get right certainly!

    If you don't over emphasise it, a 'saying' would be acceptable. Just don't use it too much!
     
  3. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    The story is written in first person. Through his view to begin. I am not a very good with writing in third person nor do I like third person much.

    Also since the story itself is a kind of psychological horror thing, I wrote it in first person because it felt natural.
     
  4. Jonathan22
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    Jonathan22 Contributing Member

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    okay, well when this character is interacting, i would try writing it in the 1st person narrative of the person he talks with, it could add something interesting to your story whilst (though perhaps marginally) attaching less blame to your character's actions?
     
  5. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    Not sure I understand. Please explain?
     
  6. Jonathan22
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    Jonathan22 Contributing Member

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    What I mean is, when the character is alone, let him (i assume a man) be the 1st person, and let us see into his thoughts.
    However, when the main character is interacting with an other(s), let the 1st person be from the point of view of one of these people he interacts with.
    Do you get my meaning?

    This is just an idea of course I've seen before, there are other ways I'm sure!
     
  7. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    Oh okay. I understand now. Thanks.
     
  8. Domino
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    Domino Active Member

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    If you write it right, the reader will be curious about why he's shut off and want to find out. You say there's a pay-off, you explain why he is the way he is, so I don't think it'd be a problem.

    Look at House. That character is the definition of rude most of the time. He can be hurtful and selfish and mean, even with his best friend. People love the show and love the character regardless of that.

    There's no problem that I can see with a character having a saying. Quirks like that can help bring characters to life.
     
  9. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    I was kind of hoping that people didn't just judge him as a rude guy. But instead wanted to figure out why he was the way he was.
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You mentioned your own best example, Scrooge. Dickens let Scrooge be as evil as he wanted to be, as selfish and thoughtless as any man who ever lived, but he still trusted the reader to come along with him. I think you, as the writer, have to have confidence that the reader will come along with you even if your main character is despicable.
     
  11. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    Well he isn't exactly evil. Just alone and angry and frustrated.
     
  12. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Give your reader just a brief glimpse of another side of him -- show that there is something he does hold close to his heart, to let the reader know that he has one.
     
  13. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    Is abuse and neglect a cheap way out of making a character rude?
     
  14. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    I think the movie;
    "As good as it gets"
    he's grumpy and annoying, and rude to many people.

    The MC is abrasive, but within minutes of seeing him the veiwer is wondering why he is like this.
     

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