1. TheDarkWriter
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    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    Is it plausible for a family and person to behave like this in modern times?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by TheDarkWriter, Jul 8, 2016.

    So the main character is very old fashioned like Downton Abbey old fashioned. Like in how he interacts with the hired help and he doesn't approve of things like his love interest befreinding or socializing with the help. While he treats them with respect as an imployer he would likely say something like "While appreciate your council I must remind you of your station."

    The reason he acts like this is that he's very old and finds the modern world insufferable also he spent centuries struggling to get to where he is and because of how he perceives time for him things like the rights of women, and other such things have happened rather quickly he's not racist but he holds on to some old fashioned values because as he perceives it the moment he finally has gotten to where he is the world has changed very quickly (even though its happened in a matter of decades) from his perspective at least.

    The humans he's related to are similar but more lenient than he is. However a key issue I am having is making the family sympathetic since they are a family of sorcerors who have ranking systems and if a member disgraces the family or betrays them in some way that member suffers a severe punishment. My mc's love interest is a prime example she is pretty much reduced to servant status. That's how the family works you either get killed or bumped down to servant status for dissapointing the family.

    I'm having trouble though finding ways to make the situation more sympathetic because from the perspectives of the family member imposing the punishments the rules are in place for a reason and it's the fault of those who break them if they are punished accordingly. Even though it takes place in modern times the family is very old fashioned. This is the best way to describe the family. Fair warning the image is rather graphic.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    So, Writingforums has never had a culture of trigger warnings, but I'm thinking that this post might call for one. Or wrapping the image in a spoiler wrap. Or something.
     
  3. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    I think this is going to be another instance where sympathy is potentially an unsolvable issue for you. The 'they're from a different time' thing may be a reasonable enough - er, reason, but doesn't actually excuse any behavior. A family that kills its own members for being 'disappointments' is pretty barbaric. If they were at least loyal to each other and only aggressive to outsiders, it'd be easier to relate. We all have families and some of them aren't so great, but how am I supposed to relate to or feel compassion to a character who would order or carry out the death / extreme punishment of a sibling or child or parent? Those rules would have to be incredibly well-justified for me.
     
  4. TheDarkWriter
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    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    They only kill members if those members have either attempted to kill or have killed other members already in other words you kill family member you get killed.
     
  5. SweetOrbMace
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    SweetOrbMace Member

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    Maybe work in some background information on why those rules have come into place? So, a historical event within the family where NOT following those rules/implementing punishments had results that were bad for everyone (in and outside the family). On the question of sympathy, it's always going to be a hard sell as IzzyBot points out. However, you might manage to make them understandable if you make the context and motivations of their behaviour clear, rather than it just being wanton violence.

    I think also a lot depends on what kind of tone you're going for in your wider work. Is it that kind of thing where a character can seem incredibly sympathetic on first meeting but then have these brutal beliefs that you've outlined? Personally I've always enjoyed the dichotomy (in literature!) between characters who can be charming, caring, loving etc. at some times then utter monsters at others.
     
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  6. TheDarkWriter
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    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    Its kind of the reverse with my main character ironically my mc is a living example of what happens if the rules aren't followed. It is a family of magic users an so a lot of them have to follow rules regarding their use of magic and life style. He was created by his mother as a weapon but turned on her. Despite the fact he turned on her he was not accpeted by the family for centuries and consequently became famous as many frightening urban legends over the centuries. However all he wants is to be part of the family(even though it's incredibly messed up and arguably pure evil) which is why he enforces the rules so heavily.

    I love dichotomy to.
     
  7. SweetOrbMace
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    SweetOrbMace Member

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    So he's enforcing the family's rules despite having been forced outside of the family? Have I got that right? Or he was like that but at the point of your telling the story he's back in the family?

    Does he acknowledge that his creation was a problem? Is he driven by guilt as a result? That might make him more sympathetic (although I still think sympathy is going to be a hard sell). Is there any kind of redemption as part of the plot?

    Sorry, lot's of questions!
     

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