1. Katria
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    Katria Member

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    Need brainstorm for a background to a male lead

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Katria, Apr 21, 2012.

    Hello, I dunno if this is the correct place where I should be posting this, so move it if necessary.

    So the thing is, I need a background for the male lead of my novel, and I want a background that actually makes sense.

    This male lead is a young math teacher, and what I want from him as a character is:
    -He's a person who can't trust people and doesn't want to get attached to anyone, for -some- reason.
    -He's working as a teacher just because, but would rather do something else yet he's not allowed to, for -some- reason.

    So following this kind of 'rules', I came up with this:
    -He was pretty attached to his mother when young, yet she dissappeared one day and was left to the care of his father who could care less about him. So his mother's dissappearance is what makes him not being able to trust anyone.
    -He works as a teacher, yet he'd like to play the piano, something he is reluctant to admit. The reason is that his mother was a pianist, and thinking about wanting to do the same thing as her is what annoys him the most.

    Whaddaya guys think? Does it makes sense? I'm specially worried about the second part, because he says he doesn't want to follow her mother's footsteps, yet he is seen playing the piano at the school he teaches in. It's a contradiction.

    Other thing. The female lead in here is supposed to make him admit he likes playing the piano, but that is something he wants to do for himself and not because of his mother. So maybe this is why the 'contradiction' works, yet it gives me a weird feeling for some reason.

    If you guys can come up with something better, I'm all ears (or, well, eyes in this case, lol). Me likes brainstorm!
     
  2. thecoopertempleclause
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    thecoopertempleclause Contributing Member

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    Personally I wouldn't go into either within the novel itself. All sorts of people have trust issues, they don't really need a page of exposition to explain why, additionally lots of people are in jobs they don't really care for through laziness or social/educational restrictions.

    Try to remember, as an author, you need to know everything about your characters, your novel needs to contain only a small fraction of that information.

    I think the piano thing makes sense though. Maybe he doesn't want to play, but a childhood of lessons and a natural aptitude for it can still manifest through great ability in later life.
     
  3. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is the only bit that doesn't make sense (to me at least). If mother disappeared it's not certain whether she left him or was she abducted, killed, or what have you, so he would most likely want to do it because of his mother, to honour her memory, to feel closer to her. Unnecessary rebellion here is what doesn't ring true, I think.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You don't need background information. Let it build through the growth of your story, to no more than the extent necessary to support the story.

    Focus on the story at hand. All you need for each character is a feel for how he or she will react for each situation he or she is exposed to. Your character will take shape as a result.
     
  5. Katria
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    Katria Member

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    @thecoopertempleclause: I'm actually in for this trust and job issues mainly because of how the relationship with the female lead will be, so this is why I'm giving this much thought. Of course, all this will probably be explained subtly (and more like inner thoughts of the female lead, so nothing will totally be confirmed).

    Glad you think the piano thing makes sense though XD

    @Jazzabel: I'm sorry I didn't explain it better, but by her dissappearance I meant she left home. He actually saw her leaving, regardless of the many times he called out for her, so that's what it's most, um, painful for him.

    @Cogito: I'll take this into consideration. I actually gave this much thought because I imagined far ahead in the story about certain situations that would only make sense if I did this or that.

    Anyway, thank you all for your help. I'll be taking your advice into consideration ;)
     

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