1. Masli
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    Masli Member

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    leave or stay? :confused:

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Masli, Nov 15, 2010.

    Things have gone really smoothly so far, but now I'm stuck. :(

    the situation:

    My MC has done something terrible to another character (he feels terribly guilty about that though), and the other just found out it was him. Instead of getting angry at the MC he simply forgives him right away. ( he has his reasons)

    Something snaps in my MC, afterall he strongly feels he deserves all his anger and scorn (eventhough he started caring for the other one and really don't want to loose him.)

    Now what does he do?

    My initial feeling was that he would just get up and leave (I probably would have done so if it was me). My MC though, is not the type to run away. He has always faced the many hardships in his life head on, so why would he leave now? But if he stays, I can't seem to think of anything to keep the scene going...

    Does anyone has any and I do mean ANY ideas as to how to continue this?

    I'm sorry for this strange, messy question, but I'm really stuck, and I can't seem to get over this.. this mess. :(

    If you need any more info or if things are unclear, please let me know!
     
  2. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Go back through and read what you've written. If the answer isn't in the previous character development, then take a bit to refine the character by revising previous chapters and scenes, trying to figure out each step of the way not WHAT the character does, but WHY.

    9/10 when a writer gets stuck on a character action or reaction, it's because the character's motivations and feelings and all the things that make them unique aren't quite as developed or clear as they should be. Figuring why the character has acted in the past will usually dictate their actions in the future.

    As you say, the character isn't the sort to run away. Look back over your manuscript and figure out why (and if it isn't clear, make it clear). Then you'll have your answer why the character will or won't do something this time.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Choose whichever course makes the situation more tense, and which gives the character more inner turmoil.
     
  4. Indivisible
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    Indivisible Member

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    I'd recommend writing a detailed analysis of your characters traits, how he/she reacts to situations, for ex.

    -Is he/she proactive or reactive
    -Is he/she missing something in life(that he's working for in the story) or is he/she trying to right himself/herself (working to change a negative trait/life style in the story)
    -What are his/her negative and postive traits
    -Does your character operate on logic or instinctive intuition.
    -etc
    Just keep asking yourself question about their qualites and traits.

    Get to know your character as well as you know yourself. Hell even write histories about your characters that no one but you will ever know about. Once you know them inside out, than you can gauge their reaction to different situations and circumstances.

    I don't know if this is the case, but maybe the reason you're stuck is due to not grasping your other characters as much as you do your MC. So lets say your MC stays, how do the other characters react, how do they feel, what do they do? And then how does the MC react to them? And so forth.

    Also, maybe this might help, but it's nice to know where you're working up to, just to give yourself a general direction. For example maybe you decided earlier that your MC and his friend were going to become mortal enemies and were going to have a big fight scene at the end, now if you have that general direction outlined, now you know where to go, and the character can, unknowingly or knowingly, work towards that. So given that criteria, in this scenario you may say that, yea he stays and they have a fight and the friendship becomes scroned, so now their working up to become enemies.


    Also, I think it's best to not contridict your character. Your characters actions should have precedent, that doesn't mean they are to be preditable to a fault, but that their actions are not "out of the blue". By that I mean your audience, given some time, should understand your character and know who he/she is. If you have a character that's a brooding hot head for 4 scenes straight, and then the scene after that he's Mother Teresa reincarnated, without precedent or a reason, then the readers/audience are confused. So what I'm trying to say is IF YOU think that it's in his/her character to stay and fight, then thats what he/she should do, esspecially if it's the worst possible thing he/she could do, that's not "out of the blue" of course. But like I said, If you grasp your MC well, then maybe the reason you're having problems on where to go next is due to your support characters and not your MC, so maybe try to assess, or reassess, them aswell.

    Also I agree with Cogito, try to do the worst people things to your character, MC esspecially. Be a schadenfreude god to your characters, put them in the worst possible situation emotionally, physically and mentally, and then try to get them out.

    Hope that helped a little. :)
     
  5. Masli
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    Masli Member

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    hmm thnx for all the help. Not sure if these tips will help me solve the problem, but at least they are worth the try.
     

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