1. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    how to describe a character when they have reached their emotional breaking point.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by mg357, Dec 27, 2012.

    Hello, i am working on a story and i need a little help with my leading man. at the start of the middle of the story. The leading man reaches his emotional breaking point. How do i describe that?

    Does he start crying and screaming? Does suddenly let a loud scream and then start screaming profanity at the top of his lungs. Does he starting throwing a fit like a child?

    Any and all help with this would be greatly appreciated
     
  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    This all depends on what your character is like, what has happened to him in the past, why this is the moment he's breaking down, who he's with at the moment, what he's doing at the moment, and many other things. It's possible that he might do any of those things, or he might do none of them. Or more than one of them. You have to get into his head and see what he does. If you don't know, that probably means you need to get to know him better.
     
  3. twohappymonkeys
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    twohappymonkeys Member

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    Everyone deals with extreme stress differently - for some it is all inward, others it's expressed very vocally or violently. What kind of man is this? The beauty of writing is you can create an entire scene, quietly maddening or loudly violent, all within the confines of his head. What are his motivations? How has he dealt with stress up to this point in his life? Has he always swallowed it down and quietly moved along, stuffing those feelings into a dark, needy corner? Or does he punch walls and kick furniture? You may want to just do a free write on his emotional stamina, where it comes from, what drives it, and how he expresses himself - maybe even a little back story, that doesn't have to be included in your story, but may help you figure out who this man really is. You need to know him inside and out, or no one else will, and if your readers don't know him, they won't care about him.
     
  4. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    If your character has reached his emotional breaking point he could do a lot of different things depending on what kind of man he is. He could be erratic- do and say things out of character. And as you said cry, he could break down and cry at the most inappropriate times. He also might loose interest in his self, stop washing, going to work - become depressed.

    Really it would be best to know what sort of person he is and then for you to turn this upside down. Show us his emotional turmoil, show us his downward plummet toward this meltdown, the striping of his dignity, his life and his desires. What has he lost and how does he react? Many people have emotional breakdowns, some behave like children, taking tantrums or cry while others become reckless and become a danger to themselves, it all depends.
     
  5. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    Exactly.
     
  6. Griplan
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    Griplan Member

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    Do what my friend does: take a Hollywood version of the situation and then do the complete opposite.
     
  7. hippocampus
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    hippocampus Active Member

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    I always loved Ayn Rand's end to James Taggart:

    But as the others said - everyone (or every character) will handle this differently.
     

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