1. ThadOcho
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    ThadOcho Member

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    How would people from "hell" act?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by ThadOcho, Oct 28, 2008.

    I am having trouble on deciding how my characters should act for a novel-novella called The Runaways. It is about a group of five men who have come back to Earth after escaping hell when hell's defenses went down. They go into hiding, but Hell is on their trails and hellish creatures and machinery take them back down one by one, except for one man who wants to confront God and tell him that he's actually innocent.
    One problem: I have no idea how people from hell would act, behave to others and each other, or how they would say to people in public. Would they be cruel? Quiet to hide their identity?
    I could really use some help, I have no idea how somebody like this could act.
     
  2. Scarlett_156
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    Scarlett_156 Active Member

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    Try to keep in mind that the scenario you propose is basically one of fugitives. It's not so important how people "from hell" would act as it is how a group of FUGITIVES would act.

    I mean, how did they get there in the first place? Are they really bad guys or did they all just get a bum rap? Are some of them bad guys and a couple of them decent guys that got sent to hell on a technicality? Obviously none of them LIKED being in hell or they wouldn't have escaped.

    Each person is going to act according to his nature. Whatever type of person he was, the only thing being in hell is going to have done to him is the same thing being in prison does to a prisoner; that is to say, whatever type of person he is, he was already like that before he died and went to hell.

    I hope this was HELLful. (Sorry; I totally could not resist.) yours in Chaos, Scarlett
     
  3. ThadOcho
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    ThadOcho Member

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    It was very HELLpful, thank you XD.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    You have to look at what caused them to go to hell. If one of your characters went to hell for murder, there's a good chance he or she is going to act like a murderer when he or she escapes (i.e. not thinking before acting, etc.). Think of stuff like this when creating your other characters, too.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    How long were your people in Hell? What did they do to end up there? Are you working with Dante's vision of Hell, or some other variant? Dante's Hell contains different circles with different conditions for different kinds of sinners.

    The answers to these questions will have a major impact on how your characters behave.
     
  6. Iris Reola
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    Iris Reola Member

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    I think that they'd also have skittish and insane traits as well. Hell is a place that nobody really wants to go to. Most people would want to escape it. I'm sure it would drive anyone to insanity... unless they were already very sick, sick people.
     
  7. Emerald
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    Emerald Contributing Member

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    Isn't there anyone here who could help with first-hand experience of what it's like to escape from hell? Anyone? No?


    If hell's as bad as they say it is, I imagine those five would be pretty badly deranged...
     
  8. Iris Reola
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    Iris Reola Member

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    I've been there once. I can't drink because I'm too young, but I heard that they make great Pomegranate Sangria!

    ... no, drinking age doesn't apply in hell, but I don't care! I don't even know why I was there...

    ... or how I got there. :(

    xD |end lame joking around|
     
  9. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Some of what I'm going to suggest has been stated, so in those parts I will only be echoing those thougths.

    In this fictional piece, you first need to:

    1. Define what Heaven is and what Hell is. Are there even different 'levels'? Who inhabits it, what happens there, pecking order, etc.
    2. Determine the parameters of what results in a ticket to Hell or Heaven, or even to Purgatory.

    Terry
     
  10. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    Consider this for a moment, hell (regardless of the exact incarnation one chooses) would be a place where everything that is good and enjoyable has been ripped away. Your fugitives would be extremely damaged souls, shattered personalities that, once back on Earth, might face severe psychological struggles. For example, didthe really escape Hell, or is this just another torment. Is that man across the street staring at them? Is he an agent from Hell? Part of their minds will definitely want to accept they have escaped, while another part will be screaming that it is a grand illusion that'll be yanked away from them the second they being to enjoy it.

    Just my 2 cents,

    ~R
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You might want to read Inferno by Larry Niven. The point made by that book is that
    Hell is God's last chance wake-up call for sinners. Endless torment is purposeless, the purpose of Hell is to shock people into making the difficult journey to salvation.
     
  12. ThadOcho
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    ThadOcho Member

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    I'd like to thank you all. Yes, I am envisioning Dante's "Divine Comedy" hell. Wow, Rumpole. That's very close to what I am trying to write. You put the finger on it, and that's why my heart leapt when I heard it.
    I will explain in detail, because I found my notes on it:

    One is a murderer who killed two college students named Whoopsaw.
    One is a pyromaniac who burned down a church for glee named Vince.
    One is a comedic rapist named Don.
    One insulted God everyday because his daughter died, his name is Corey.
    The last is the guy who went to hell on accident. God wasn't looking when he killed somebody, who was actually commiting adultery and rape. God only saw murder, and sent Roger to hell and the rapist to heaven.

    ______________________________________________________________

    I am not sure if I should make Roger an innocent-acting man like I have so far. I know Whoopsaw is still a dangerous man, and Corey is scarred by the whole thing, paranoid as anything.
    Anybody got any other ideas on how I could express these characters?
     
  13. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I'm not sure where you got the idea a murderer doesn't think before acting. A lot of killers are highly intellent and do a lot of thinking before acting, and it is why they are so damn hard to catch.

    Perhaps you meant someone who only killed one time out of anger or something and got caught. That person however is not a person who acts with out thinking because he is a killer, though. He killed someone in anger because he acted with out thinking.
     
  14. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    If there were a god wouldn't it be smarter than that? It just seems really odd that God would make such a simple mistake. I think you would have to justify his/her/its actions. For example in order to make this mistake, God would have to he limited in his knowledge. He could not read minds. His angels are lazy and happened to not be watching this event, and so forth.

    Then you have to ask yourself, why is it called God then?
     
  15. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    The idea of "Hell" is so subjective, nobody could really answer with any certainty. It's your story, so, whatever fits your plot.

    I don't believe in a literal Hell anymore, but if I did, it would consist of whatever frightens or upsets us the most. Meaning, it would likely not be a place of fire and brimstone and little red demons. It would be a lot more psychological. I think a lot of emotional and mental disorders of the more severe sort can be characterized as their own forms of Hell. (Anybody who's been terribly depressed or chronically anxious can attest to that.)

    I think Hell would be whatever is worst for each particular person (one person is terrified of thunderstorms, one person is afraid his partner will cheat on him, another person is afraid of dying slowly and painfully or of seeing someone close to him die, etc. etc.), so of course it would differ widely depending on who's experiencing it.

    But that's just me. Just goes to show how many answers you could get. If you want something more horrorlike, go with fire and brimstone and demons. If you want a more psychological story, go with something like my idea. Then tailor your people from Hell to fit whatever your Hell is like. Whatever works for your particular plot.
     
  16. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    A lot of murders are crimes of passion. The murderer has no intent of killing before he/she meets the other person. A murderer who plans out the murder beforehand is charged with 1st degree murder, which is less common than 2nd or 3rd degree murder.
     
  17. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    I agree with the below posters on how there isn't a universal definition. There are many different versions by denomination (Dante's inferno is not a valid example in a Christian sense though). In general there are three ways of looking at it. Hell is the typical hellfire and brimstone where you burn forever is the most common one you'll see in depictions. There's also an opposite, supporting the idea Hell is icy cold as it's as far from God's warmth as you can get. The third is the idea that Hell is nothing more than floating in limbo for all eternity. You should consider the representation of hell in the story. Are you going to us one of the christian concepts or make up your own? Depending on how you go about it you may want to change the way the characters are presented.

    I think it's generally a good idea to base their behavior as a reaction to why they ended up in hell in the first place. I'd expect them to be quite crazy, maybe mad and angry, or extremely masochistic after what could be centuries of "eternal damnation." I'd expect these to be some pretty jacked up characters with some extreme issues.
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The Norse equivalent of Hell was a frozen waste.
     
  19. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I think the most promising trend in the responses to your thread is that there are many different interpretations of what Hell is, why one goes there, and exactly who does the punishing once one is there.

    Many more modern versions of Hell have it that the person in Hell is the one who does his/her own punishing, because after all, who is more cruel than we ourselves when we look in the mirror.

    You need to decide what your take on Hell is. There is enough room in that question alone for a whole series of novels, aye?
     
  20. ThadOcho
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    ThadOcho Member

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    Okay, Wreybies. Good point. Actually, all of you, thank you very much. I've got my basic ideas down, and you no longer need to post on here.

    Thanks for the help!!!

    ThadOcho
     
  21. TheAdlerian
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    TheAdlerian Senior Member

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    It depends on your conception of hell.

    Are the Demons (whatever):

    1. Doing their duty, like military people. I like that idea.
    2. Are they twisted perverts, like they can't wait to torture you.
    3. Are they removed emotionally like we might tack down a mouse or even vegetables and chop them up.
    4. Are they reluctant versions of 1 through 3.
    5. Are they having a blast, like they really love their job.

    Answering some of that ought to put you on the path. Plus, some of those are fairly original.

    Demons, and really any character will be a reflection of real people, so what do you find "demonic" about people?
     
  22. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    Hmmm .... or you could have the demons be unique and you could have some from each category. Either way, I really like the premise of the story.
     
  23. ThadOcho
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    ThadOcho Member

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    Thanks, Rumpole.
     
  24. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    No probs. I hope you're planning to post some parts of the story.
     
  25. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it depends what your vision of hell is.
    I think you'll need to establish that before you can determine how the characters will be reacting.
    You never know - Maybe they dont fit in on earth anymore?
    Perhaps Hell is all they know? Hell could be a place of torture and torment or it could be totally different - it's up to you!
    Take that and apply it to your characters, baring in mind their attitudes and values.
    The words that came to mind when I thought of your concept are:

    Guilty,Vengeful,Self-loathing,Dispairing, Desperate, Furious

    If you could incorporate those kinds of feelings In with the attitudes of each character than In my mind you'd be on the right track.
    Just my thoughts.
     

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