Tags:
  1. Steve89
    Offline

    Steve89 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham, England

    Misguided Character Redeeming Himself

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Steve89, Aug 19, 2011.

    How would you react, as a reader, to a character who makes a lot of mistakes and wrong choices, but then changes and fights to redeem himself?

    Do you think you could grow to forgive him, or even like him?
     
  2. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,683
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Taylor Caldwell's "Never Victorious, Never Defeated" is the best example off the top of my head. The trick to making it work is to make sure that, with all his mistakes, there is still something about his character that makes the reader continue to care about him.
     
  3. Steve89
    Offline

    Steve89 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    Yes, so do you think it could work if I make him vulnerable, or maybe have a reason as to why he makes the mistakes he does? Maybe this can help to create an understanding of his motivations.

    Also, thanks, I'll check that novel out.
     
  4. Pea
    Offline

    Pea super pea!

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    in the garden
    Depends what the mistakes are.
     
  5. Steve89
    Offline

    Steve89 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    The mistakes are money motivated. The character would get involved with the wrong people, making events escalate out of his control and he is somewhat backed into a corner from the start of the novel.

    They are not malicious acts, but rather wrong choices throughout.
     
  6. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Guilt and redemption is a venerable theme.
     
  7. nchahine
    Offline

    nchahine Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Jordan
    I find that some of the best books I read deal with the subject of guilt and redemption. I'm still of the archaic belief that all good characters should deal with some major transformation during the course of the story and having a bad or moral-less character finally redeem him/herself in the end is one of the most effective ways.

    The current story I'm writing deals with a similar character. I find that much more interesting than reading about a perfect hero, or a near perfect hero with a couple of flaws.

    If you read SF, I'd also recommend the Jump 225 trilogy by David Louis Edelman.
     
  8. Steve89
    Offline

    Steve89 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    Yes that is exactly what I want to convey; a kind of tarnished hero, someone who doesn't adhere to the idea of good and bad, but more human.

    Thanks for the advice guys, it is a real help to hear your ideas adn I think I can give the character much more depth now.

    I'll give that a try Nchahine, thanks. I'm reading Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger at the moment, and I'm sure the MC in that is not a clear cut "hero", so I'm pretty sure it can be done well if done properly.
     
  9. godsandgenerals4ever
    Offline

    godsandgenerals4ever Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    If it's someone who is bullied and bullied and then he/she finally stands up to them, that is the kind of misguided character who wins my respect. Think George McFly from Back To The Future for example.
     
  10. cruciFICTION
    Offline

    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Oooooh. You're in for a treat. Roland is so good, and he fits the bill for a character in the running for redemption so well. I love the Dark Tower with a passion. :p

    In reply to the OP, I have to say that redemption usually brings forward the best reaction in people. Then again, some characters just suck and you'll never like them. There's that side of things too.
     
  11. Rassidan
    Offline

    Rassidan Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Erlanger, KY , United States
    I see no reason why you could not do this. I wrote a story where one of the four horsemen redeemed himself. So long as it is does not come out of thin air I don't see why you couldn't
     
  12. Steve89
    Offline

    Steve89 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    Yes, so as long as there is somewhat of a build up to the change. Like my character is backed into a corner and has to make hard choices which create bad reactions for other characters in the novel. This increases his feeling of guilt enough to make him change.

    Also, that story sounds awesome Rassidan, I would read that :D.
     

Share This Page