1. themistoclea
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    themistoclea Member

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    How to fall in love with a character?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by themistoclea, Mar 16, 2010.

    I have proceeded quite a way in my current writing venture, and have come into a problem that has made it difficult to keep writing/trudging on...

    The issue is that the love interest of the protagonist is going to be revealed as an antagonist as the story progresses. As I have some idea of the horrible things he has done, I am finding it hard to portray the initial/unblemished persona of the character.

    I don't want to set up a blatant hero/villain conflict, the story greatly involves the idea of how to love someone who has done terrible things, but is still human after all.

    So my question is this:
    How can I recapture the good stuff about the character without letting my knowledge about the past colour the way I write him now?
     
  2. boesjwoelie
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    boesjwoelie Member

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    maybe it would help to focus why he did this bad stuff?
    he must have had his reasons to do those terrible things, like stealing money to send his kids to school or some such thing.
    if you understand why he did it, it will be easyer to see the good side of a character.
     
  3. whiskeyjameson
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    whiskeyjameson Senior Member

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    I agree with the above post. An antagonist doesn't have to be "bad", but merely whose actions or views oppose the protagonists.
     
  4. callmeSteve
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    callmeSteve New Member

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    I would propose a different solution entirely. Simply write the "truth" (the truth being what actually happened and the persons mental and emotional reasoning, perhaps) and let the reader draw their own conclusions about the character. When you discuss a novel or story with someone whom also has read it, is it not true that your perspective of different characters is unique? Worry less about how the character is percieved and more about who the character is, that way the reader is forced to think about the story.

    All humans make mistakes. We are fallible. Most people understand that and will empathize with the character. Others who don't understand will hate the character.
     
  5. Matthew Bionic
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    Matthew Bionic Member

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    Everyone is capable of 'joining the dark side' if pushed hard enough. Everyone. The gentlest people I know would probably kill to protect their children given extreme circumstances. It sounds like you haven't found the darkest depths of your character yet.

    Write a separate short story. Work out his deepest, darkest fears. Push him into a position where he faces his greatest fear, where he has no coping mechanism and all he knows is desperation. How does he react when pushed to his absolute limit?

    Anyone can become the villain - as long as it's believable and they have an awful lot to lose.
     
  6. themistoclea
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    themistoclea Member

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    Thanks! You've given me a bit to think about, and I suppose now it's down to the actual hard work :) as well as still thinking it out...

    My character did what he did out of self-preservation, the fear of his own demise, at the expense of someone else. I think if I pull this off, hopefully the reader would understand how they themselves could have done the same. But I think it'll be a tough road...

    I really liked this comment, and I hope that ultimately I can convey this without being 'preachy'. And I do also hope that the character inspires different emotions in different readers, maybe they won't be as judgemental as I am about him.

    And this piece of advice I will DEFINATELY try out, I'm trying not to fall back into the trap of too much planning, but I think in terms of character development, I'll figure something out :D

    I'm excited now
     
  7. boesjwoelie
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    boesjwoelie Member

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    that really is a great idea :p I think I'm also going to try giving characters a test run in a separate short story ^^
     
  8. Matthew Bionic
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    Matthew Bionic Member

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    Yeah, give it a try. There's no reason for a character to be confined to one story - let them spill onto a separate blank page once in a while!
     
  9. Centurion
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    Centurion Member

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    All you need is a reason that will explain why he did it. Eg, he murdered to protect a friend or something. Give him a sense of honor, and that was why he did it. Make him kill to save someone etc.
     
  10. themistoclea
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    themistoclea Member

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    What if the reason was to save himself? What if our natural instinct for survival overtook everything else? Would you still be able to relate to a character like that? (keeping in mind that he is my antagonist)
     
  11. boesjwoelie
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    boesjwoelie Member

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    I really think you've got a good motivation here. We can't all be heroes after all... A fear of death is quitte understandible to me.
    One important thing though: does he regret his actions? Does he sleep at night or does he lie awake, being tormented by memories?
     
  12. boesjwoelie
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    boesjwoelie Member

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    quick off topic question: how do I delete this post that I made by mistake? :D
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You don't. You ask a moderator to do so for you, and if you have a good enough reason, the post will be deleted.
     
  14. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    It takes tremendous effort for a person to kill themselves, even when they have lost the will to live. So of course, a person who has no desire to die will do everything in their power to stay alive. It's the deepest of all core instincts. You can't really blame a person for wanting to live.
     

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