1. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Nog, He of Three Faces

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Darkkin, Jun 27, 2012.

    Nog, He of Three faces. A Lore as old as the world itself. Introduced in my most recent project, his history with my Darkkin is coloured by blood. He was the cause of a fire that killed the family of my MC. Nog is the last of his kind, a Chimaera, felled by Bellephron. He has never forgiven mortal men for stripping him of his power, power which his has spent aeons trying to regain. Like the Darkkin he is a shapeshifter, and over the course of the centuries, the paths of Nog and the Tribe have collided time and again. The last conflict resulted in the fire.

    My MC doesn't trust Nog as far as I can throw him, but most of my secondaries do. Because Nog, when he is in his mortal guise, is entirely too suave and eerily likable. He inspires trust where there are no grounds for it, his past actions against the Tribe suddenly become trifling. It is the effortless trust that is almost frightening. It must be said that Nog, for all his rage and desire for power, is very careful about inflicting death, most of the time. The few exceptions are the clashes with the Darkkin, most notably the death of my MC's family. Tristan, would not hesitate to end Nog, but circumstances prevent it at the moment, as does his Lady.

    My problem is that I have not been able to determine if Nog is more an anti-hero or an especially talented sociopath. He is a recurring character in two other story arcs, but his ultimate fate has yet to be determined. And that I cannot do until I figure out what he is. An anti-hero or a sociopath or is it possible to have both in the same character? Thoughts?

    - Darkkin
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Hmmm. Tough one. I had a bad guy in one of my stories shift to a kindof anti-hero. The trouble was, who is the reader to root for - the mc or the anti-hero? I ended up creating a villain for them both to sabotage. Which is kind of like a Hans Solo / Luke Skywalker thing - to use as a example. Not to say your characters should become become best buds or anything - but if you want to keep your anti-hero around he better do something, at least inadvertantly good or you'll undermine the impact of your mc.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Why? What difference does the label make?
     
  4. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    The label is pedantic. I am trying to determine whether or not I can redeem this creature or if I will have to dispatch him permanently. He is a compelling character, but there are aspects of his personality I have not had to work with before. He has a dark history, but he isn't without his moments. He isn't straightforward like many of my characters, which is probably why I am struggling with him, the influence he seems to exert over my other characters. Maybe I shouldn't have even bothered to ask.

    Well, I spent a few hours researching anti-heroes, looking through the Writer's Guide to Character Traits, and the DSM IV. Checking definitions and examples, and rereading my own work.

    Conclusion: Nog is indeed an anti-hero, not a sociopath, or a psychopath. The difference in the categorization: Anti-heroes, for the most part, given there are exceptions to every rule, while flawed, do have a few redeeming traits that make them relatable. In short they have a conscience, even if it is ignored more often then not or a sense of duty, however misguided, influencing their actions. Most don't go out of their way to inflict harm with malicious intent.

    With sociopaths and psychopaths, in both fiction and non-fiction examples, there is no emotion, no conscience to speak of. It is the total lack of empathy that is terrifying. It is unadulterated darkness often masked by a glib tongue and smiling mask.

    Nog falls into the grey scale, neither black nor lily white. His history is so ancient, it explains many of his actions. Most of my other characters by comparison, while capable, are still wet behind the ears. So with a conclusion reached the question then becomes: How do I counter Nog's actions, stabilize his influences among my characters, or at least keep him from causing harm without destroying him? In other words: How will I tame Nog? Like altering the course of a river, the results should prove to be interesting.

    Sorry for rambling, but occasionally I need to take my thoughts out of my head and put them into actual words to flesh them out.

    Thanks.

    - Darkkin

    I may have found a way:

    Isabella settled in a chair before the fireplace, while Tristan hovered at her back and Talon dropped his ancient bulk at her feet, his huge head resting on his paws. All the while, her eyes never left Nog. A sudden thought leapt into her head and made her smile. Her next words flabbergasted the gathered males. “Nog. Have they ever called you anything except, Nog?”

    The Chimaera, completely blindsided by the unexpected question, just stared at the little darkkin for a moment, his jaws working like those of a beached fish. “No…” he was finally able to reply. “Nog, is what I have always been.”

    A puckish light glittered in the depths of her silver eyes. “A very good answer. What you have always been, not who. That is something you need to change.”
     

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