1. MissPomegranate
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    MissPomegranate Member

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    My Character Won't Speak To Me...

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by MissPomegranate, Sep 7, 2011.

    ...or anyone, for that matter. I'm pretty sure he's mute, but I have no idea why. He's one of three MCs (another boy and a girl) set in a "soft-fantasy" world. The other boy can pretty much just "understand" how the mute character is feeling, but I don't really have an explication for that other than the fact that they're basically like brothers, just not by blood.

    My trouble is I don't know if this is just...weird. Would the reader be annoyed by a lack of explanation, as I don't know why he's not talking he just isn't. I tried writing dialogue for him, but to me it just doesn't feel right. Should I try to think of a back story, or leave it up in the air? On a similar note, what exactly causes muteness? He's not deaf or anything, just silent.

    So...your thoughts?
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    There are people who can hear just fine, but not able to talk and were born that way. That part's believable, and if you mention in passing (read: in passing, NOT infodump) that he was born that way readers will accept it as such. So you've got no problem there. :)

    As for the brother/friend just naturally understanding him, that's going to be trickier. Stay away from the "I could feel the nervousness growing in his heart; I had no sign, but we were brothers and I just KNEW" stuff. It's annoying. ;)

    Have you ever heard of METT? It stands for Micro Expression Training Tool and is often used by detectives, reporters, and any other job that involves reading into people's emotions. Basically, each emotion (fear, surprise, happiness, sadness, anger, disgust) has a very small facial twitch that goes along with it. No matter how good a person is at keeping a poker face and not making obvious expressions, they still give an involuntary little twitch around their eyebrows that lasts about a tenth of a second, that you won't even notice unless you're trained how to.

    Not to say you have to get into all the details of that, but the point is that it's possible to be an expert people-reader without it being based off of touchy feely soulmate instincts.

    Hope I helped! :) :)
     
  3. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    That character is plausible. People who grow up together, like twins or close siblings/friends tend to be able to predict their companion's reactions. Not in an uncanny way like finishing each others sentences or being able to read each other's minds, but to have an educated and fairly accurate guess.

    Muteness is supposed to be hereditary and it has been categorized as an anxiety disorder. These two ideas would prove to be an interesting mix.
    Source -Second Paragraph
     
  4. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    He could not talk by choice, too, like an oath of silence.
     
  5. MissPomegranate
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    MissPomegranate Member

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    That's good to hear, I originally just have his friend explaining to the girl that he's never known him to make a sound and leave it at that. I was worried that was just skirting around the issue, but now I'm beginning to think otherwise.

    And the METT concept is very like how I imagine the character's friend to be able to understand him; they're around each other so much that they've become accustom to any change in behavior or expression. Glad to know it's a real, plausible thing, not just something I made up!

    That's very interesting! It makes me wonder if maybe my MC is fully capable of speech but chooses not to...hmm...
     

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