1. McDonaldsMaster
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    McDonaldsMaster New Member

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    How to make your characters mad at each other?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by McDonaldsMaster, Sep 19, 2012.

    Hi. I have 3 main characters who are on the same quest.
    Character X, Y and Z

    At some point, I'd like X to face some dangerous trial alone,
    because Y and Z couldn't be there.

    After a few minutes, X is on the verge of death! You will
    worry, "X is going to die!" Then Y and Z jump in and rescue
    X and they complete the trial together.

    Were Y and Z knocked out? Hypnotized? Frozen?
    If so, then they had every intention to be there for X.

    I think it could be more emotional if Y and Z left X, by choice,
    then returned to help X by choice.


    Does anyone have any tips on making friendly characters mad
    at each other?! Or create enough tension to have them separate
    even after they had a big journey together? They need a credible
    reason to leave X, because they know X can't do it without them!

    Here are keywords I can think of:

    -Values
    -Beliefs
    -Intentions
    -Histories
    -Misunderstandings
    -Assumptions


    These 3 characters are cool together! This is hard!
    Thanks everyone!!!!!!
     
  2. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    All you listed can make someone mad at each other. Just plain getting annoyed with them happen too. Sometimes there's something they do at the time that ticks them off. I know in DaD, Kate's moping and having a pity party while working on her issues ticks Jennifer off at her big time. It doesn't necessarily have to something big. Think back to the things, even minor, that annoy you with a friend or another person.
     
  3. dreamkeeper
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    dreamkeeper New Member

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    What is X's character flaw? Use it to make his friends leave him. Perhaps, he has this tendency of reacting before thinking, or he is stubborn and won't listen to others. And his friends knowing this flaw or annoying character trait of his, decides to check on him. Or knowing how dangerous the place is, they go back and find him. After all, they are still friends. Hehe.
     
  4. CyanideBreakfast
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    CyanideBreakfast Member

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    You say they are on a quest? Is it a long journey? Is this trial after a long time on the road? What is the quest and trial about? It is possible even for the best of friends to annoy each other if they are stuck together for a long time with no one else to speak to and little else to do. They could be affected by the quest or trial itself.

    Character flaws are always a good path to go down, as dreamkeeper suggested.
     
  5. SRCroft
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    SRCroft Member

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    If the characters are friendly then the core beliefs will most certainly be aligned enough that this won't be the issue. Usually, it is the top layer of the onion which is opinion--[ Typic Onion (1) core beliefs; (2) values; (3) dominant attitudes; and (4) opinions ]--using each characters natural flaw they should automatically have ways of conflicting with each other--just like normal people. You could also use the layer of Dominant Attitude, which is one layer deeper than opinion. It could be like two friends who have similar goals, but one chooses to execute with positivity and the other through any means even negative.

    I have to say you didn't give much to go on--really its up to you to make these characters 3-D and not flat. They seem to all be main characters. Y & Z need to be emotionally developed, and even if never stated you need to know their background, flaws, and how they embody the theme of your story. This gets me to the next point. All main characters protagonist and antagonists need to embody the theme. Some flat characters can be used as symbols or catalysts to move the story, but essentially any character with substance should be adding to tension and embody the theme or antithesis thereof.

    Lastly, remember-- if a conflict starts you may get into a [LOCK], which is essentially unbreakable. In this case you need an outside catalyst to snap them out of it and create a resolution.

    e.g.

    X is dying
    Y & Z come to the rescue, but refuse to go about it the same way--causing a fight.
    X passes out grabbing their attention and snapping them out of it, making them focus on whats important.
    Y & Z put their differences aside for now.

    This only works when the core beliefs and values of the two are shared enough or the goal is equally important despite hatred for each other. If the goal is more important to one or the other you may have Y only snap out of it while Z still tries to drag on the fight. Again this is not the case because you said they are friends.

    Hopefully it helped--I feel like I was talking about anthropomorphic algebra.

    OH P.S.
    This is a great opportunity to create a pressure change. A pressure change is a quick progression in character value change, sometimes instant, because of the severity of a lesson. Should be very rare and a pinnacle plot point, but it helps create a plot doorway. Especially doing a Quest format story there are two doors. One leading into the quest--door of no return--has to move forward. The last door is the climax, in which once started it can't be stopped until resolved. Typically in plays ActI has an ROP lead that acts as door one and ACT IV has one that changes the atmosphere and creates a non-stop inevitable climax.
     
  6. marktx
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    marktx Contributing Member

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    One of my favorite techniques for making the sparks fly between two characters who know each other well is this: Since they do know each other well, Character 1 sees some aspect of Character 2 which Character 2 is in denial about. Character 1 makes a point of highlighting this aspect to Character 2, but since Character 2 wants to stay in denial about it, it invariably pisses Character 2 off.
     
  7. Anthrax
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    Anthrax Member

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    Sex. Sex does it every time. If one is a female and the others are male it should write itself.
     
  8. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Have the Character A do the same irritating thing he always does - but today is the day Character B
    has had enough. Flip out time.

    Think of it in terms of real arguements - usually they stem gripes that have already been hashed out.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Just look around you. You must know best friends or lovers who have gotten in a tiff. In fact, do you know anyone who hasn't?

    It's your story. And conflict is central to any plot. It's your job to come up with these things.

    If you give up and ask for help the first time you run into a snag, you'll never succeed as a writer. Obesrve the people around you. Read, read, read - you'll find many examples to help you through your problem.
     
  10. Kat Hawthorne
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    Kat Hawthorne Member

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    It sounds to me, Mr. McDOnaldsMaster, like what you are actually asking is for someone to help you develop your conflict. A conflict is a very important part of any work of literary fiction, because without something for the readers to hope for - without something that evokes empathy or sympathy in your readers.... well that would make for one hell of a boring story. Your protagonist needs something to overcome, or no one will really care what else he does.

    And the problem with you asking for opinions is ... the conflict should be obvious to you as the author. Look at your plot - what is your story about? You, (and only you) need to come up with your own unique ideas, or it will not be a manuscript you can really credit yourself with. If you've had an idea for a story, figure out what makes it interesting. How does your character change from beginning to end? How can your secondary characters help you tell your story? Frankly, if they have no real role in the plot, they ought to be hacked. Simple as that.

    I'm sorry if this was vague and unhelpful, but in all honesty, so was your question. No one can write your story but you, and if it is a plot you are having trouble coming up with... well that ought to tell you something. Use your secondary characters to help your protagonist overcome something. Conflict does not immediately = anger. If there is to be a major blow-out between your characters, it ought to actively progress your plot. Don't just make one mad at the other for something to do - a litle excitement, as that will only cut up and disjoint your story. So, if the conflict is that integral to your plot, it should be very clear in your mind.

    Good luck with it.
     
  11. McDonaldsMaster
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    McDonaldsMaster New Member

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    Amazing feedback, everyone!

    Thank you. Okay, so there was no black and white formula or anything.
    This is a puzzle I must solve on my own.

    Thank
     
  12. Wolfwig
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    Wolfwig Member

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    Kurt Vonnegut said that every character in a story should want something, even if it's just a glass of water. I would add the reminder that wants can sometimes be in the form of avoidance. Friction is created when "wants" are in opposition to each other. One lover wants children, the other doesn't. One person wants quiet, the other wants to party. Let your imagination explore the possibilities.
     

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