1. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    MC personality

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Daydream, May 11, 2011.

    Hey so i'm just sorting out my main character personality but possibly need some pointers.

    This may be a stupid question, but I need my main character (female) to be able to lead. Theresfore she needs to be charismatic, assertive and calm...but at the same time also calculating and not show mercy when it comes to beating up the bad guys.

    Do you think it's possible for my MC to have all these traits or do they contradict eachother in some way?

    Or have I missed some important traits for a leader?

    Thanks!
     
  2. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Sounds like an interesting character to me. I think those are a unique blend that will work well together.

    I think I also worry that my character has "too much going on" personality wise, but why not? Real people are incredibly complex.

    For you, I think it's important that you know under which circumstances does your character NOT show these traits. When is she NOT calm, in what kind of situation does she lose her assertiveness, and what bad guy does she always show mercy. Find the "exceptions that prove the rule."

    EDIT: of course, don't go too heavy on the contradictions. Maybe one for an entire book.
     
  3. Sundae
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    Sundae Contributing Member

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    One of my favorite quotes by Walt Whitman is this:

    "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes."

    Everyone contradicts themselves on different levels of their personality. Just so long as our overall core beliefs are defined and for the most part set... everything else can be amenable.

    Not that your MC can't have a crisis which makes them question their core beliefs, but if you notice, when something like that usually happens... it's because there is a very good conflict/reason going on that allows these contrary traits to take more of a center stage while the normal ones recede a little.

    Small traits can be worked with overall.

    Anyways... only you know what kind of personality your MC should have. Leadership qualities come in many forms.... what matters is presentation really. So long as it seems natural, you should be fine.
     
  4. Froggy
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    Froggy Member

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    Some people only show leadership qualities when under pressure, or in emergencies. Some don't want to be leaders. Etc. There's no cookie-cutter for leadership roles...
    The traits you mentioned work, but most people are not _______ 100% of the time (fill blank with character trait).
    It also shows stronger if you bring it up less often...
     
  5. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah thats what I like to hear :) I agree 100%...I've always liked characters with alot of traits. These traits are exactly how I imagined my MC, but I had to be sure they didnt contradict eachother. As you said it means I can now use each one in a certain situation...like showing mercy to the supreme bad guy or something.

    Nothing to do with books but its one of the reasons I loved the TV series Angel because throughout the entire series he had multiple personality changes.
     
  6. Kio
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    Kio Contributing Member

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    I'd be concerned if your MC didn't contradict herself. All women do it.

    I'm joking, by the way. On a serious note, everyone is a hypocrite at some point in his or her life. It doesn't matter where you're from, how you're raised, or when you were raised, you are bound to contradict yourself. That's because time is linear and when it's linear (which is, you know, always), things change. I'm going to go Buddhist on you and say that everything changes and there is no such thing as permanence. So your MC could be lopping off the heads of enemies, burning them at stakes, and eat them for lunch, but there could be a change that completely disrupts her emotions, her thoughts, and/or her feelings and by time she reaches that final enemy, she'll grant him mercy.

    I'm rambling. What I'm getting at is, even if your MC did contradict herself (which she isn't, by the way), then it would still be alright, as long as her contradiction is explained, whether visually or verbally. She can be calm yet blow up if someone she cares for is threatened. She can be assertive yet withdrawn when in the presence of authority. It's all a matter of what situation she is put in.
     
  7. Leatherworth Featherfist
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    Leatherworth Featherfist Member

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    I don't think that the characteristics that you explained contradict with each other at all. What it takes to be a good leader is a controversial issue in and of itself. No matter what you add to your character's arsenal of leadership will work, as long as you know where you are going with the plot.
     
  8. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for the help Kio :) thats what im going to try aim at!
     
  9. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    Have her rescue a group of people from a building being overrun by terrorists, storm troopers, or whatever manner of bad guys exist in your story. She'll convey all of those traits in the first chapter if you write it well enough.

    The kicker is maintaining those traits.
     
  10. mootz
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    There isnt really much contradiction in these traits if you think about it. There are plenty of charismatic figures who are slow and calculating, charisma has to do with delivery, likability and sincerity. One she has made up her mind up about something she sticks to it, thats assertive enough in my book.

    As for the no mercy thing it could also lead to her charisma value. If her men believe she will do nothing to put them in harms way and everything to ensure their victory then they should have no problem following her.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Real people are a melange of contradictions.

    In fact, if you can sum up your character in a handful of adjectives, you probably have a lot of work to do on her.
     

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