1. TheDarkWriter
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    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    How should these characters react and how do I make it convincing?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by TheDarkWriter, Aug 20, 2016.

    So an idea I'm considering using with my main character is to have him in a world of super heroes and villains where he's secretly a super villain. Nobody knows he's a super villain in fact he's like the leader of the Legion of Doom. By day he's considered a close personal friend to his world's heroes he's even married to one of the iconic members.

    He is motivated by the fact that he doesn't like the way things are going in the world and feels that the heroes are not really helping at all. For example a lot of the so called heroes are very flawed and one is even a serial rapist(this comes out much later and when he finds out who one of the victims is it sends the main character over the edge and he goes on a rampage) as far as they know he's just the head of security/operations at their base and also works as their PR manager.

    However privately he runs a massive super villain organization. As a super villain he's ruthless and scary like a mob boss. However he's good at hiding it from the people in his personal life and because of that they see him as a optimistic and idealist which is a complete contrast to his real personality which is very nihilistic.

    One of the things that affects him is abuse he suffered as a child something he never talks about mostly because nobody has really asked him about his upbringing he'll have ptsd flash backs that to the casual observer will look like he's just starring off into space.

    However I don't know what the best reaction from them would be because some people your close to can tell if your putting on a front and some cant so I'm wondering if they should be surprised at his true nature or surprised that they didnt see it before.

    He is like Lelouch from Code Geass. This is a good example of how he is.
     
  2. IcyEthics
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    IcyEthics Member

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    With a facade like that, people should definitely be fooled. If multiple characters react like they should've known, you make the reader ask themselves: "why didn't the characters know." He is of course still hiding something, so characters may suspect that he is, but it's a big jump to go to 'leader of a supervillain organization'. Characters that are close to him might suspect things, see little oddities. But because they like him, they might be willing to look past it. 'He's such a great guy, he could never be the world's biggest criminal mastermind.'

    You're already putting in plot points that the character could use to explain away his odd behavior. Not wanting to talk about his past, because of a bad youth, that's a justification for odd behavior. Having his bad youth be known to those close to him might actually help his facade. It works as a justification for heroics, but also for odd behavior.

    i would definitely play a bit with character's suspecting something is up, although I would advise keeping the amount of characters that think something is wrong low, especially at the start. Maybe his wife thinks it's an affair, maybe his friend thinks he's being blackmailed. That could lead into uncovering more about him towards the climax of the story.
     
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  3. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    He's married to a professional superhero and deals with professional superheroes for a living. If they're not surprised after he's revealed to be an organized crime kingpin, then they would've investigated him more proactively before hand. Unless you want to explicitly portray the heroes as not knowing what they're doing in general, but even then you'll want to have other areas where they're just as incompetent as they are in dealing with him.

    Though now that I think about it, that could actually play into his frustration "how are these people stupid enough not to have caught me yet?" but if you want to portray your heroes as trained professionals who know what they're doing, then you'll want to go with @IcyEthics 's version: everybody noticing that something's wrong with his life, but liking him so much that it never occurs to them what's wrong specifically (much like how one of your other villains gets away with serial rape because he does enough hero-work to convince everybody that he's a hero).

    Have you worked out how much of the day he spends in each of his lives so that he can make sure he has time for both?
     
  4. theamorset
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    theamorset Contributing Member

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    I just can't buy it. Sorry. It's very thin motivation for putting so much effort into creating such an elaborate façade and it's hard to believe a bunch of superheroes wouldn't see through the façade, or have no awareness of it, with all their super powers. I was almost okay, until you had him marry one of them. At that point I was...just no.

    It also bothers me that so often, 'having been abused as a child' is the motivation for almost every evil person to 'turn evil'. I volunteered to help an awful lot of abused people, not one of them was angry, hateful, vengeful, criminal. It's sickening that 'having been abused as a child' is the easy go-to motivation in so many stories.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
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  5. theamorset
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    theamorset Contributing Member

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    I don't think your characters should be modeled on tv characters.
     

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