1. Nitro
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    Nitro New Member

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    Need a habit/pattern/routine

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Nitro, Feb 22, 2013.

    I'm developing a character in my story who is basically the main antagonist. He's the leader of a small group in a small town and he's very idealistic about how he believes things should be. I'm trying to make this character similar to your typical crime boss but on a much smaller scale. I like to imagine him as someone who admires those type of characters that he sees in gangster movies and such. I think I almost have him figured out but there's an important flaw in his behaviour that's important for the story and I'm having trouble figuring it out. The flaw is that he has some sort of habit/pattern or routine that he usually follows which ends up being his weakness as it ultimately makes him predictable.

    I've tried to hint that he's a very habitual type of person through little things like him smoking but I need his main flaw to be a habit that's more substantial than that and at the moment I can't think of anything. Maybe it's because I haven't fully fleshed out the town yet but at the moment I'm focusing purely on characters and don't want to get sidetracked.

    Can anyone here offer tips or ideas? I'm not very experienced when it comes to developing characters.

    Thanks
     
  2. haribol
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    haribol Member

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    Characterization poses a lot of challenge in point of fact since fiction without a characterization concept cannot be flawless
     
  3. Gareth Smith
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    Gareth Smith New Member

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    Really depends on the town I guess, he could have a gambling habit or a vice for ladies of the night, maybe he visits the same call girl at the same time each week
     
  4. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    What about a favorite handgun? Everyday he puts on a holster rig that carries his favorite handgun? and through out the day he reaches for that gun to make sure it is still in the holster or he will pull it out of the holster at certain times during the day and he looks at it, because it is his favorite handgun and he is attached to it in some strange way so he has to constantly touch it because he loves it so much.
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe it's more than a habit; it's a medical necessity. You could make him diabetic, for instance, so that he'd need insulin regularly. There are other conditions that would cause him to need regular drugs or other treatment.
     
  6. creative_nothings
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    creative_nothings Member

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    MC could visit a coffee shop, diner, or whatever fits the setting/time period at specific times because he fancies one of the employees. Love could ultimately be his weakness and the employee could also be used against him at some point.
     
  7. Mot
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    Mot Member

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    Why don't you have him eat all of his meals at restaurants? He's some kind of crime boss, so I imagine he'd have enough money to do so.

    By the way, I know someone who has exactly the same set meal each day (Tuesdays: spaghetti, Wednesdays: Cottage pie, Thursdays: a pastry-based pie, etc.) and has done so for the past twenty years (don't ask me why..). However, I'm not sure whether you'd want to go so far with the MC's habits.
     
  8. Nitro
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    Nitro New Member

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    I appreciate the feedback guys. It's given me a lot to think about.
     
  9. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Maybe he likes to drink a specific concoction at a specific time of the day, so he ends up visiting the only shop that makes it for him at the same time every day.
     
  10. paper55
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    paper55 New Member

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    So the Antagonist:
    1) Sees himself as a crime boss, admires gangsters in movies.
    2) And you need him to have a habit or routine.

    I would link the two together: because of (1) he does (2) OR Doing (2) highlights (1)
    That way every time the habit crops up in the book its a handy way to reinforce the Antagonist's deluded(?) visions of grandeur, embed the habit with the reader, and make it more believable for the character. So you kinda get more "value for money" from the habit rather than it just being "he gets coffee every day at 9am."

    Here's a very rough example:
    Antagonist admires "Scarface Capone", who he read about in books and who was never caught by police.
    And so Antagonist likes to go to the movies every Friday night. He buys out the whole cinema to himself and his goons, and watches gangster movies. And during the movies he always makes comments like "Ah see now Scarface Capone would never make that mistake"... and his goons, all yes men, just nod and say "yes boss".... except that one goon who is really the Protagonist undercover cop, who researches Scarface Capone and learns how Antagonist thinks (hmm, I think that just turned 1 into the weakness, not 2, heheh)
     
  11. Screams of Silence
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    Screams of Silence Member

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    It could be something small, like he could have a really annoying habit of picking at his teeth with his fingernail, or he could have a really annoying way of clearing his throat constantly. Or, if he idolizes gangster type characters in movies, perhaps he treats everyone with suspicion even when it isn't warranted. A delusion of grandeur kind of thing
     

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