1. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    I want opinions on this

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by R-e-n-n-a-t, Dec 6, 2010.

    I'm aiming for a longish book. A couple characters (the two most important characters) have to go from trying to kill each other to being affectionate for each other somewhere in the span of one book.

    The question is this; should they hate each other for a large portion of the book, or should they cooperate for a longer time? The book will be decidedly fantasy/medieval in setting, and the basis of conflict is misinformation and the Church.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Conflict is how you maintain tension, and tension is what keeps a story alive.
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Conflict throughout, but keep switching up the reason.
     
  4. TokyoVigilante
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    TokyoVigilante Member

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    As others have said, conflict through out, but give your audience some relief from the tension with some moments of calm, then crank the tension back up; just to give them a contrast between tension/peace.
     
  5. darthjim
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    darthjim Member

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    Conflict maintains tension, sure; but so does the threat of a good relationship being torn asunder by external forces. Go with what feels natural for the characters.
     
  6. Screams of Silence
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    Screams of Silence Member

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    Excellent advice. Truly great stories are guided by the characters. Whatever you think the characters would do in a certain context at a certain time, based on their personalities and experiences, is what they should do.
     
  7. Donal
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    Donal Contributing Member

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    I recently re-read Kane and Abel in which the two main characters go from despising each other to developing a respect and affection. Worth looking at how they do it.
     
  8. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah! true love 'you kanny whack it'
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would let your characters tell you - I had two I wanted to leave sexual tension between. I have serious trouble keeping their minds out of their trouser area. They are not going to remain apart for a whole novel however much I try lol


    Turns out they were right there is a plot development that works out better as a result of them having one explosive night. My experience is my characters usually know what is best.
     
  10. Donal
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    Donal Contributing Member

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    Rennat, another thing that allows you options to play about with is that their hatred is based on miscommunication. Its great to tease the reader by showing their reasons for hating each other are based on nothing concrete. And yet everytime a reconciliation looks on the cards, sweep it away from under them. One Day from David Nicholls is another books you could read to help you with conflicting characters who deep down are in love.
     
  11. CrescentSon
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    CrescentSon New Member

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    In my limited experience, love and hate are quite akin. Start with hate, but flow into affection. The change should be subliminal at points, but also show the characters acknowledging and fighting the urge. After all, the most realistic tears are those the actor tries to supress.

    If you are a structure freak, have subtle transitions between pre set levels. Build the structure for hate, then find common ground, then an undercurrent of passion that each character denies, then gradually accepts, then openly admidts. This gives you the opportunity to lace in some betrayal to hieghten conflict. Think of it like riding a bike, first with training wheels and Dads forearm, then Dad lets go, wheels dissapear, speed increases, then the crash. Makes the first solo around the block much sweeter.
     
  12. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Personally I haven't seen a plausible case of hate turning into love during a story. It seems contrived and unrealistic to me, and reminds me of bad soap operas and 1980's action flicks.
     
  13. CrescentSon
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    CrescentSon New Member

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    If you build on Donal's idea dealing with miscommunication, it can become a really solid foundation. There was a good deal of angst between me and my wife early in our relationship, and we have a very solid relationship now. Every relationship has an element of power struggle. If the passion is an undercurrent throughout the scenario can really drive the plot. Hell, I think it is downright Shakespearean.
     
  14. rainy
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    rainy Senior Member

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    Tension is great conflict, but it sounds like there will be other conflict besides just their relationship. Therefore, you should have some room to play with the scenario. They could have longer periods of either, or try switching them back and forth. Many people are on again, off again in real life--perhaps it would suit your chars.

    In my opinion, the most important part is that you keep it believable. Meaning, not only should the sources of their conflict be realistic, but so should their love. Don't spend the book hating each other, only to have them fall into deep, unrelenting devotion in the last 5 pages. Build up to it. Little scenes here and there where they find a common ground, where they do something the other one respects, then tie it all together into a satisfying ending.

    //R
     
  15. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    I'm seeing a lot of lasting tension suggestions, so that seems very likely. As for the post by Rainy, the "momentary common ground" suggestion was (and is) going to be a large part of it. And yes, there is a lot of conflict besides between the two of them. More specifically, Faction One is a vast organization. They are by no means evil, but they have conflicting goals with an MC and some others, so of course they're very hostile.
     

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