1. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    I'm having conflicting Thoughts on how to introduce a character...

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Cave Troll, Jan 11, 2016.

    So I have been told that a character of mine is not very 'friendly', despite the fact that he is a lovable ass of a soldier. So here is the conundrum:

    Originally he is introduced being woken up from cryo-stasis, and attacks a medic. Then gets threatened if he doesn't let them go with being killed.

    Alternately changed to having him woken up from cryo-stasis, and be confused about where he is while going through a physical examination. Then after getting a bare bones set of answers, he leaves only to be held at gunpoint and lead away by an old familiar adversary.

    With that bit out of the way, which would make more since as far as the character is concerned. The first displays a captured soldier in enemy hands, doing what he knows. The second really only adds the only prudent information of what year it is, and is much more cloak an dagger until he meets the old adversary. Also I was told the second makes him appear too compliant.

    So which makes more since, given the situation and the character?
    Thanks for the input. :D
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    What makes more sense depends on the character. Is he quick to fight or more cautious?

    Neither of those sounds particularly like a "lovable ass of a soldier". So that will have to come out later (maybe sooner rather than later?).
     
  3. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is this from his perspective? If so, little hints like intentionally being non-lethal due to a lack of briefing might help.

    Does he need to be a lovable guy from the get-to?
     
  4. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    The lovable ass part happens a bit later with his character evolution. It is his perspective, and reactionary to perceived threats. After 150 years in the freezer, I am pretty sure it would be instinctual to react violently in an alien environment. I will upload a sample to denote the difference in simply going into reaction mode vs. playing the ambiguity of being confused.
     

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  5. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, I can certainly imagine someone waking up on the wrong side of the cryotube. There's a difference between violence and lethal violence, though, which is what I was getting at. If he's a well-trained soldier he might choose to disable instead of kill his adversaries until he has more intel on the situation. That way he's still being a nice guy and a competent guy at the same time.

    If all fails, the story can also begin pre-freeze to give him an introduction where he's in his element. It sort of makes me think of Demolition Man, where old news footage shows off the protag's recklessness.
     
  6. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Also ...why is he frozen in the first place? If he died in battle and was frozen 'dead', it makes sense to have him wake up in a bit of a state. If he's just frozen while alive and cooperative—for transport or something like that—he might be in a calmer frame of mind. I also expect, when/if this kind of technology becomes available, there will be some provision to wake a person up slowly, probably with some sort of sedation, so this kind of shock awakening doesn't happen.

    I would think along @Okon's lines, and beware of starting too quickly with something that is going to cast your character in a bad light. Don't forget, this is the first your readers will see of him. If we see him trying to kill a (presumably innocent) medic, that's going to be our first impression. You might think this makes for a more exciting opener than just having him wake up, but always keep in mind with 'exciting' openers, that we don't know these people yet. And first impressions are hard to erase.
     
  7. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Alrighty, ambiguity intro it is.

    He is frozen alive, when he is not needed, or on long transport. For the sake of an argument, he is taken from a cryo-storage facility. Nothing like being shelved to tell a guy he is worth a damn. :p
     

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