1. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    Non retributional hate and psychotic relationships.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Acglaphotis, Apr 16, 2009.

    So, I'm stuck at a point where I need one of my characters to develop an antagonistic relationship with another character. I don't want him, let's call him Bob, to hate Joe for personal reasons. Ideological reasons might work, but I'm not too keen on that for fear of appearing too heavy handed with any particular idea. The particular relationship with the characters is of teacher (Joe) and student (Bob). There is also a bit of a conversion process for Bob because he and his classmates were expecting to continue with a militarist education rather than be taught by a civilian in a civilian manner. I was wondering if any of you might have some idea as to how to start this? Also, I don't really want to have the relationship be reciprocated until a bit further in the future, but I'd consider it there was a good reason for it.

    Now, the other issue is about Joe. He is not a very stable person. He has a devotion for this recently deceased woman, that often borders on obsession, but it does not show itself often. Instead, the few times we actually see it I want it to make it an impact beyond him hallucinating (and acknowledging it was a hallucination). There are other symptoms, more recurrent but not obviously related, and there isn't much else I can think of to showcase the man's underlying insanity.
     
  2. Dr. Doctor
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    Dr. Doctor Contributing Member

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    I think you got your character mixed up there in the first paragraph - do you mean Bob has a conversion process, or...?

    Anyway, this is a pretty broad question, but how would I do it? I would probably just sort of increase the tension between them subtly based off of what you said, the stuff about militarism versus civilian manner. Have some worldly conflict going on in the news and whatnot, thus giving fuel to the fire between these two. Bob and his classmates are kids, they are very opinionated and ready to take on the world. Exploit that, I say; make it the catalyst for their anger and mistrust. Teenagers that age (like myself for instance) often feel more extreme and radical about such issues, and thus it's easy to show this in dialogue and inner thoughts.

    For the other thing, just sort of give subtle hints. Have him looking at her picture under his desk before they come into class, or have him get distracted in every-day life because he sees someone who looks like her. Have him thinking horrible thoughts about whatever it is that happened to kill this woman; this works especially when it was by the hand of another human being. There are many routes you can go with this. Human insanity is fun to write actually.
     
  3. rory
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    rory Contributing Member

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    No offense intended to the wonderful educators of the world, but I don't think students have ever really needed a reason to hate a teacher. In my high school days, we strongly disliked teachers because they pronounced words different from us, or occasionally spat when they talked. Instructors are often disliked simply because they have the task of teaching an unpopular subject.
    All that aside, when you mentioned military vs. civilian I immediately thought that perhaps Joe unintentionally embarrassed Bob. Not sure if that's too personal for what you're aiming for. But maybe there are different ways of doing things that Joe doesn't understand, or realize exist. Joe just doesn't get how the students are used to things being done (becasue of his preoccupation with the woman?) and so he continues to rub them all the wrong way. The situation could easily progress to hate. I dunno, just some thoughts.

    As for signs of insanity, my thoughts paralleled those of Dr. Doctor. A lock of her hair he keeps with him, maybe even randomly acting out the last conversation he had with her... Or maybe not. Those are not subtle at all and really creepy to boot.
     
  4. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    Hmmm, thanks guys that gave me something to think about.

    PS: Yes, I did mean Bob, sorry. I'm bad with name :/.
     
  5. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    You could have the teacher, driven by insanity and obsession with his dead wife, to become obsessed with the student by proxy (I mean he is insane, right?). Then you'd also have a reason for the student to form an antagonistic relationship with the teacher.
     
  6. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    My idea was to make him more apathetic to the "class", so they could see no redeeming qualities in him and not feel empathy if something happens to him. I'm not really keen on him becoming obsessed with that particular person, mainly because there's not enough similarities between him and the girl (who, by the way, wasn't his wife, lol), and secondarily because I already think he's obsessing about someone else.
     
  7. c.n.nevets
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    c.n.nevets New Member

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    I guess I have to ask why you need (STUDENT) to hate (TEACHER). I couldn't quite make that out. The reason you need it to happen might clarify how it might come about.
     
  8. bumboclaatjones
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    bumboclaatjones Member

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    dude, did you go to a public highschool? We had a couple of teachers die on campus, and all most of could say is "so what?" seems bad now, but at sixteen, what the hell do you care?
     
  9. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Agreed. Conflict with authority is a well established rite of passage for most young people. It would not be a stretch of the imagination if your character simply took that normal process to an extreme.
     
  10. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    I guess I should have made myself clearer. The situation is not a standard teen rebelling against his teacher. The students sought out and asked the teacher to, well, teach them, but they didn't get what they were expecting. Imagine it akin to going for an elective class in med school, and finding out you're along with your friends the only people in the super-hard class, and that Dr. House is the teacher.
     
  11. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    How to start this? Well, like stuff like this always starts. Teacher comes in with his first new rule for the class, or first odd mannerisms or behavior or teaching style. It can start slow and build up - every day Joe's getting more and more perturbed. The teacher starts making more and more changes to the way things used to be done in the class. It's starting to really make Bob mad. Maybe Bob starts speaking up against it in class. Bob & teacher start having little arguments in class about it.

    The teacher's underlying insanity. Hm... Maybe he starts posting pictures of the woman in the classroom. Or he has a tiny bottle of her blood that he keeps on his desk. Or he keeps calling one of the students by the woman's name (or her last name).
     
  12. bumboclaatjones
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    bumboclaatjones Member

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    Well, you have it right there with Dr. House. There is you're motivation for hatred right there: a self centered, sarcastic, self-aggrandizing dickhead for a teacher. With a fake American accent that he manages to pull off surprisingly well.
     
  13. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    *bangs head on wall*

    Thanks bumb! I didn't dwell too much on my analogy but now I see that it really could work like that.
     
  14. Mystery Meat
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    Mystery Meat Member

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    You often find, in Student / Teacher relationships that there is a weight of expectations on both parties. Inexperienced teachers often expect that the students should see and appreciate the subject on the merits of the subject itself. Students expect that a person set in authority over them should display a leadership quality that many teachers lack.

    The easiest road to disliking someone is to have them fail to fulfil your expectations. Perhaps you could plot this into your story.
     

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