1. Mardy_Bum
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    Mardy_Bum New Member

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    Is it feasible for a character to kill his childhood best friend?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Mardy_Bum, Mar 22, 2012.

    They are both fifteen year old boys, and it is a racial attack. Is it feasible firstly for it to happen, and then secondly for the killer to feel remorseful for it even before the other boy has died?
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure about the racial attack, given that they are supposedly best friends. If that weren't on the table, I can certainly buy it (both the killing and the remorse).
     
  3. MeganHeld
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    MeganHeld Senior Member

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    I agree with shdowwalker. If you want to keep the racial attack make it more from a severe amount of peer pressure or wanting to fit in/feel accepted by a group/influence from an important person, otherwise it would not make sense.
     
  4. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    If there's something I learned from real life is that anything can be done by anyone, believe me. Nobody can now tell you if this is possible/believable/plausible. It all depends on your characters, how they are created, what they are like, how they think and act. Them being best-friends doesn't imply much here. I've seen best friends turn against each other, family members do that too. If you can write it well that it the reader believes it and if your characters can fall into the category of people-who-are-realistically-able-to-betray then yes, it's possible.

    If the death of the other boy happens few minutes afterwards then I don't think that the other regretting will be believable. Maybe you can have him severely wounded, something that might last him a day but doesn't prevent him dying.
     
  5. Henning
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    Henning Member

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    I agree with Phoenix. However if I was to read that story I would need a seriously good explanation and a lot of inner details, simply because best friends don't look at each other in terms of race. I don't think peer pressure is enough. Something important would have to happen.

    If they are not currently best friends and only were as little kids, this would have a lot of interesting potential in my opinion.
     
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is a world in which mothers kill their children because God told them to. It's a world in which there was a genocide in Rwanda in which neighbors who'd known each other all their lives were suddenly hacking each other to death with machetes for tribal reasons. This is an ugly world in which ugly things happen. It is feasible. Whether you can make your reader believe that it's feasible depends on how well you can write it.

    But don't shy away from it.
     
  7. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    Like Minstrel says, anything is possible.

    But I'm curious how you're going to sell it as a racial attack when they were best friends.
     
  8. cs2212
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    cs2212 Member

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    I think in the end pretty much anything is possible, but if you really want it to be racially motivated you are going to have to provide a fair bit of clarification on that to make the reader understand how this has come about.

    Generally racist behaviours are deeply engrained through your social development, they dont just pop up one day. It seems unlikely that he could have sustained a strong friendship in an environment that fostered inherently racist attitudes in the first place before a sudden turnaround. For that to happen Id maybe suggest something like peer pressure or some kind of 'watershed' moment or events that had led him to develop this new resentment against someone on grounds of race.
     
  9. CheddarCheese
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    CheddarCheese Contributing Member

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    I'm agreeing with the majority on the "racial attack" thing.

    If your characters were best friends, they should have already gotten past the racial conflicts between one another (otherwise they wouldn't have ended up friends). I suggest thinking of another reason for the murder, and there are plenty out there.
     
  10. CheddarCheese
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    CheddarCheese Contributing Member

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    Double Post.
     
  11. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    You can do it.

    You want to set this up as a slow change. You also want the reader to feel the tension early on. If it's an easy-going friendship, it will be harder to pull off. However, they CAN be friends AND have biases. Racial biases run deep, and just because someone is friends with an X person doesn't mean they aren't racist toward X people. Maybe they think, "Wow, this guy isn't like other X people," or, "Even though he's X I can look past this most of the time because we get along." It will also be a good idea to give them a good reason for being racist (if there is such a thing). I mean, X people murdered their little sister or something traumatic like that.

    I agree with others; anything is possible, and anyone can change. Foreshadowing is key. WHATEVER it is, if you can foreshadow it well, it will seem realistic.

    Also, the "racist one" your main character?
     
  12. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    I think the age of the boys are also significant. Most 15 year old boys normally don't have deep rooted friendships. They may seem like the best of friends today, tomorrow they may fight physically for some trivial reasons, and on the third day they will just forgive and forget and hang out together again. Believe me, I am telling you this from experience :) So, yeah, I think it is plausible for a boy to kill his friend, who seemed like his best friend (because obviously they can't be called best friends). Another observation about 15 year old boys is that just like they don't have deep friendship they also don't have deep rooted hatred, like racist thoughts. But they can be easily incited and evil ideas could be easily planted in their minds.
     
  13. MrTillinghast
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    MrTillinghast New Member

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  14. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    Agree with this ^^

    You can be friends with someone from a different ethnicity and still have suppressed racist views due to an inherently racist upbringing. Say someone was brought up in a sheltered environment where they never came into contact with other races, but was taught to hate or fear those races. Then upon coming into contact with them they might have their eyes opened and consciously reject the racist views they were inculcated with growing up. But they are still there, not even in the subconscious, but much closer to the surface than that, and it wouldn't necessarily take much to revive them.

    On the other hand, you could have a racist person become best friends withsomeone despite their ethnicity, the kind of attitude that says 'ya know, I hate x people, but you're alright coz you're not like them' - then it only takes a very little adjustment in perception for that person to revise their opinion and suddenly start to identify their friend with x after all.

    So yeah, as has been said ad infinitum before, it's how you write it.
     
  15. AlphaOmega
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    AlphaOmega New Member

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    As someone who has survived such an attack - I still have the scar on the right side of my ribs and back from a botched blade attack - by my so called best friend in what could be considered a racial attack I can say that this happens far more than the average individual believes and is VERY easy to research the modivation behind in real life as a means of fashioning your story.

    At 15 years of age you have boys whom are naturally trying to fit in with the "upper" groups - peer pressure - and/or they are trying to attract the attention of girls [depending on where they grew up]. There is also - depending on where they grew up - such things as role model, parental, etc influence. Then there is the glorified gangs in bands and music videos.

    This particular subject is, in my mind, relatively easy.

    Particularly when children are so easily manipulated.

    If it was two friends whom have been friends through childhood on through to adulthood I would say this would be harder as adults should possess the ability to reason better than children / kids.
     
  16. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    But is such an attack then truly a 'racial' attack - or simply two boys being pitted against each other by outside influences (older boys, peer groups, family, etc)? If it's the latter, I'd have no problem with that at all. But for it to be racial, I still don't see the 'best friends' bit fitting in.
     
  17. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    Can outside influences not turn a person into a racist, or reignite supressed racist views? Of course they can. Peer pressure can turn a person's attitides and opinions on almost any subject: just look at religious sects. People who have been brought up white middle class British have suddenly converted to Islam and become terrorists in support of the jihad on the west.

    I can also easily believe that a person could get involved with a racist gang and turn on someone who was previously their best friend, either through fear or the desire to earn respect and belong to their new peer group. It's not far fetched at all, in my opinion.
     
  18. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Sadly people kill each other all the time, even children. That one boy could kill his best friend is not unthinkable. But that he did it for deeply held racist motivations, that is more difficult to believe. Racist attitudes tend to develop over a lifetime, and they aren't easy to switch on and off. In essence that requires a significant shift in world view. So if these two boys were best friends he would have had a very hard time reconciling that with his racist world view. The fact that he obviously did for so many years, suggests that his racist views were pushed very far away. But its not impossible that given a single act or event, they could return in a flash.

    By this I mean not so much that the killing was done for racist reasons. But rather, that racism was bound up in it. For example, say the two boys are really close. Then one day his friend betrays him, rejects him, you come up with the story element. It would be completely believable that he could snap out of anger, hurt or fear and turn on his friend violently. This wouldn't be for racist reasons. But now throw in to the mix the idea that he comes from a racist background. That he was raised all his life to believe that people of this race were violent, primitive, dishonest, untrustworthy etc etc. He put all those things aside for a time, probably forgot that they were there. But then along comes the betrayal (?). As well as the obvious pain inspired violence, there could also be this overwhelming belief that all of those things he had pushed aside, that he had thought were false, that he had forgotten, were true after all.

    Think of it as being like the classic movie double jeopardy. No my hubby's good and innocent. I believe him completely. And then wham, like a bolt out of the blue, it turns out he is the bad guy after all and you have to kill him. That could make sense for your child killer. But as the others have said, its all in how you write it.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  19. Henning
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    Henning Member

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    Oh please.......
     
  20. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    What, specifically, are you objecting to?
     
  21. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    I think the forums and any community rules make that very obvious. No racial or religious disrespect or belittling, a website open to the whole world is bound to have someone who finds such comments offensive. Even though intentions were otherwise innocent.

    Sorry for stirring off topic!
     
  22. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    They can, but not "suddenly". It takes time and persuasion for a true 'conversion'.

    But again, this would not be a 'racial' attack but rather an attack "through fear or the desire to earn respect and belong to their new peer group".

    People do not become racists unless they have been raised that way or because of a series of negative interactions with members of a particular group (and even then, they may not become racist).
     
  23. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    It would be a racial attack if the gang or peer group targeted his friend specifically because of his race, and turned the friend against him for that reason too... I agree though it would probably take some suppressed racist tendencies fostered from childhood and brought to the surface by some external influence or event.
     
  24. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    I think where the story is set is also to be considered. Is the story set in a town where there is suppressed racist feelings? In Mumbai, Hindus and Muslims seem to co-exist peacefully in a perfectly secular world. Then communal riots broke out about 15 years ago, and they kill each others like flies. Thousands died, was there a person being killed by his so called best friend? Very likely.
     
  25. LeMasterTJ
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    LeMasterTJ New Member

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    I think this is very reasonable, leave the racial thing. Perhaps, as other have suggested, make it peer pressure, rejection from others, etc. that forced him to developed a racism and made him not trusting of those of other races. Or, make it so other, more "popular" groups won't except him in it giving his non-racist attitude, so he kills his friend to be accepted. Remember, he's 15.

    The remorse afterward is much more believable. I mean, who wouldn't regret murdering their best friend just for race? That's right, psychopaths. (that gave me a story idea... But that's unrelated)

    So, the former needs some work, the ladder's believable. Follow my or another's advice, and this could be a top-notch twist (or perhaps this is the premise of the whole plot? Well, whatever. You know what I mean).
     

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