1. Terri
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    Terri Senior Member

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    My MC needs help overcoming despair

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Terri, Apr 18, 2011.

    Just that, folks.

    My MC goes through a traumatic experience that leaves him in the pit of despair. What are some practical means of overcoming?

    NOT looking for faith based / God ideas. This is a fantasy story which doesn't include a diety in the world.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    OK does he have family, lover, dog, some sort of repetitive hobby ?
     
  3. Terri
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    Terri Senior Member

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    Guess I should have put in some back story:

    Volcanic erruptions / earthquakes have destroyed ----- (world's name). The king has been killed, his spoiled son is crowned & forced to take to the seas w/ only 4 other ships of refugees. There is no inhabitable land left, supplies on board for a few weeks at most, no idea of other land - only rumors.
    I'd think he'd be beyond despair - especially since everything has always been handed to him / came easy & now everyone is looking to him for answers and leadership.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Does he have any wise men >? Anyone who knows legends etc ?
     
  5. Terri
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    Terri Senior Member

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    His uncle is aboard as well as a few other 'lords' / higher merchant class folk.
    Their 'after life' belief is that the spirits of loved ones look down upon them (ie their idea of what stars are) & they ask those spirits to guide / help them. So as to the 'wise men' or 'church-like' folk I hadn't really figured on any such beings.
    As for legends, do you mean of other lands? There are rumors, but nothing concrete. These people aren't super-sea-savy & haven't gone much beyond the horizon. Think 'the world is flat' & falling off the edge of the world like the humans here before Columbus.
     
  6. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    He would probably need to cope in some way, such as: acting out, denial, forgetting/repression, becoming overly controlling over minute things, becoming a work-a-holic, running away (emotionally and/or physically), blaming, fantasizing, becoming addicted to something (drugs or something mundane). These are all bad ways to cope, but I'm guessing that's what you're looking for.
     
  7. Terri
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    Terri Senior Member

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    @ Funky - Great things for me to think over. Thanks!
     
  8. Jonp
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    Jonp Senior Member

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    Maybe one of the other ships vanishes, and everyone else is quite prepared to abandon them and move on, but he insists they look around for it. They find it a couple of days later and suddenly he has the respect and admiration of his crew for daring to go after them and save them.
     
  9. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ok, he's overwhelmed by the problems he's being asked to solve.

    But perhaps he solves a problem that's completely unrelated to the stuff he's /supposed/ to be doing. Maybe he rescues a child that goes overboard, maybe he sorts out somebody's love entanglements or something, and what he does has far-reaching positive consequences. From this he learns that even if he can't solve the big issues, he can make a difference for the better in the small things. From that he starts to rebuild his confidence.
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    maybe give him a boyfriend/girlfriend or a child he didn't know about/little brother - something to fight for.

    And he finds something which gives them something to aim for - a previously undiscovered land - doing the equivelent of discovering the world is round. Maybe he has a geeky friend who has seen something whilst studying the stars ?
     
  11. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Time is usually the best healer, and if you can be busy while time passes, so much the better. If he's rushed off his feet for while, unable to dwell on the past, then when you do get a chance to sit down, maybe the pain is a little less.

    Also, its hard to suffer from despair, or grief etc, if you're feeling stronger emotions like fear or anger. That's why a lot of people get angry when a loved one dies, looking for someone to blame. Its easier then dealing with the pain.

    Cheers.
     

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