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  1. greatestescaper
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    greatestescaper New Member

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    Internal Conflict

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by greatestescaper, Jan 4, 2009.

    I'm not sure if this should be posted here or not. If I made a mistake I apologize. I'm finally beginning to write this new idea I've been toying around with for a little over a month now and I've hit a snag. My opening scene is a dream. Well, it is explained to be at the end. It depicts a great hero and his 'no fear of death' attitude. When my MC wakes up, he is pondering the character from his dream (we could call him AV). AV is the sort of alter-ego my MC has created in his mind and AV is going to play a big role in pushing my character through the challenges of my novel. However, I am not sure on how to explain the significance or actually develop the character for the reader. I was planning a sort of monologue but I'm not sure if this is the best route. I've also thought of trying to have conversations between my MC and his alter-ego AV. I've read this expression Infodump many times here and I really want to avoid making that mistake. Has anyone else had this problem of explaining such a character and if so how did you get over it?

    PS- I apologize if this post was on the long side but it seems whenever I explain anything about this story if I do not go into extreme detail people people have a tendency to get confused and worse. So again I apologize and I appreciate any advice.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    This situation is a bit ambiguous as to whether it is internal or external conflict. Yes, has no body of his own, but he can be treated as a separate character with his own voice, viewpoint, and values. Obviously your conflict won't be physical, but other than that I would treat him as a separate character, perhaps like a convcerned brother. What your characters have in common will reflect the main character's most deeply held values and beliefs.

    I would probably keep conversations between them to a minimum. But any such conversations, I would write as external dialogue (
    He said, she said - Mechanics of Dialogue). If you're using dreams as the primary means of interaction, AV's actions in those dreams can communicate very strongly to the MC. The MC's reactions to the dreams can carry most of his end of the communication.

    I think it will be a challenge to write thgis interaction in a way that doesn't come across as trite, but what is writing without a good challenge?
     
  3. greatestescaper
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    greatestescaper New Member

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    Thank you very much. I never would have thought about the use of dreams as a means of interaction. It is a largely internal conflict. The AV is everything the MC wishes to be, the brave stereotypical adventure hero. The MC does not believe he has any such qualities personally. My plan was to use this invented character of AV to help my MC finally transition to that hero. To realize that the bravery was there all the time, and that you don't have to be a gunslinging hunter/explorer to be brave or to be a hero.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sometimes the greatest bravery is shown in walking away from a fight.
     
  5. Hetroclite
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    Hetroclite Member

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    I see the same mistake in many others on this forum. Many people think that stories are written from beginning to end just as you see them printed in books. This is not the case. Authors start with notes -- characters notes, settings, narratives, dialogues, in no particular order; just "gushing" what the author wants the story to do. When this "gushing" runs dry, the author goes back over all his/her notes & starts putting together the story as a jigsaw puzzle. The ending is written first, then the story is written backward, leading to that ending. The beginning is written last. So go back, write down everything you want your story to do, then start writing the story.
     
  6. greatestescaper
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    greatestescaper New Member

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    Thanks. I do realize that stories are written disjointedly. Well, now I realize that I am not the only person who writes that way. All the notes I have for this story (which is really multiple random ideas I've tried to develop over the past five or so years) are extremely disjointed. Now I am beginning to realize that it would be better as a series. One novel would not allow enough space for all the ideas I have (which I also know are subject to change). My question was really about this specific scene I was trying to write. I did not just want to flat out say to the reader "AV is the MC's imaginary alter-ego. He is the everything that the MC wishes to be." The concept of using dreams to communicate this and to allow for communication between the characters is great because it will also allow me to continue the dreams through out the story.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Not every writer writes this way. Your point is still valid, but please don't assume that everyone follows the same process.
     

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