1. shakespear57
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    shakespear57 Member

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    Main character help?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by shakespear57, Jan 31, 2012.

    I'm writing a story with two main characters, a girl (Sasha) and a boy (Karlyle). It's from both of their views, both in third person, and doesn't alternate between chapters, just between scenes if that makes sense.
    Sasha is a fighter, a warrior or something i'm still not sure exactly what she'll be but I know she can fight and spends more time hanging around with men than with ladies.
    Karlyle is her enemy. He is the ultimate evil guy who tells all his minions what to do.
    Then he saves her life and reluctantly they somehow become friends. Its only when Sasha thinks Karlyle is dead that she realises how much she cares for him.

    But anyway, thats just a really brief summary of their relationship. I'm trying to figure out how to make Karlyle evil, especially to other people, and yet still have a chemistry with Sasha from the first time they meet. I'm also wondering how to make the reader like him even though they know they should hate him? And how will I make Sasha oblivious to her feelings for him?

    Any help (and any other suggestions for my story :) ) are appreciated :)
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Maybe Karlyle's evil actions stem from a motivation that Sasha can relate to. Even though she doesn't approve of what he does, she can understand him on a deeper level.
     
  3. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or maybe he's doing something that it's other people that don't approve of him, yet isn't too morally wrong from the general perspective. And he just does it in a really arsehole kind of way. Think political activists who do really stupid things you don't approve of, and think of if it was something that was a standpoint you didn't agree with. Those two combined make someone's public face look like Satan to people who disagree with the views. Yet aside from turning into a rabid fanatic when confronted about that issue, he could be surprisingly nice the rest of the time. As long as she agrees with him but they're in an area with a minority of people on their side then he'll definitely come across as evil. If she's only heard about him by reputation until they meet she could very well have the wrong impression of him, whether she already agrees with him or not in principle.
     
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  4. shakespear57
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    shakespear57 Member

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    Liking these ideas :)
    Especially:

    and

     
  5. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    I agree with both of the above statements. Especially Mallory's comment about understand him on a deeper level:

    It really helps to provide a connection between them and develop the characters. Finding that one tiny factor that unites them could really move the story along.
     
  6. MegTheLedge
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    MegTheLedge Member

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    Some stories I've read make the evil guy irresistibly evil. They've got a certain bad boy appeal to them. Maybe you can make Karlyle clever and spiteful, with a quick tongue and kind of make Sasha his sparring partner in various battles of wit.

    Just my suggestion.
     
  7. shakespear57
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    shakespear57 Member

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    Hey thats really what i wanted :)
    only i dont know how to make him witty and clever ... ??
     
  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    If I'm reading this correctly, Karlyle is evil and Sasha is good (as an allegory). If they are to ultimately be compatible as friends (lovers? Just asking) then one has to change. So, will Karlyle corrupt Sasha or will Sasha reform Karlyle? I think you need to answer that question, then everything else will be obvious to you.
     
  9. shakespear57
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    shakespear57 Member

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    Karlyle will reform. Sasha will make sure of it before she will be anything more to him. And yes they will be lovers.
     
  10. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Then Karlyle should probably be evil through a single flaw in an otherwise good character. In order for there to be even a possibility of a relationship with Sasha, she must be able to see genuine goodness in him. It can't just be that she sees the challenge in reforming him; she has to have a driving need to do so, a need to save his goodness from corruption by the flaw in his character. The flaw can be overreaching ambition, inherent insecurity or an insatiable appetite for gain, to name a few.

    Good luck with it.
     
  11. Joey Batz
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    Joey Batz Member

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    I would say have Karlyle be a well intentioned extremist. His motivations are good, but he acts in a way that we would find morally reprehensible because he feels it is the only way to achieve positive results. If you've ever played Assassin's Creed (not the two that take place in Italy, though), the villains, the Knights Templar, are genuinely trying to eliminate warfare, poverty, famine, etc., but they feel the only way to do so is to strip mankind of its free will. You can apply that sort of thing to Karlyle; what he aims to do is genuinely noble and good, but he can see no way to achieve his ends other than sacrifice and destruction. Or perhaps he had been honest and good when he received his power, but has been corrupted by it and still does not realize that he is not the good guy, so to speak.

    He must not cross what TV Tropes calls the Moral Event Horizon (where a character does something so evil that you cannot redeem them in the eyes of the fans without compromising the moral integrity of your work), and must be internally remorseful of the evil actions he has taken even if he feels they are necessary and defends them publicly. He must not be a cackling super-villain, enjoying the suffering of puppies and orphans. Perhaps a large part of his character's growth will be to repent and atone for the evil deeds he has committed, especially if he has committed atrocities that in other works would be considered crossing the Moral Event Horizon (the Moral Event Horizon is subjective and differs from work to work).

    There are a lot of things you could do with him. Just make sure to avoid making him a villainous archetype (doing evil because it's EVIIIILLLLLL). Otherwise, it will negate the sympathy we're supposed to have for Sasha as the morally good character.
     

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