1. McNelty
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    McNelty New Member

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    Oops. I made my male love interest boring

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by McNelty, Dec 12, 2010.

    Yeah, that just happened to me.

    Out of the cast of small characters, the one whom the main character (we'll call her Jane) falls for is the most boring. That's my fault. I only created him (Jack) for that purpose.

    It's a dramedy and the theme of the story is about selfishness vs selflessness, altruism, helping others, helping yourself, blah, blah, blah.

    The thing about Jane is she takes it upon herself (rather unwittingly, at first) to "help" these other people (and in the process helps herself, who saw that one coming? Anyone? Anyone?)

    So each person has a little tic or issue that Jane helps them resolve...but this is really just the subtext of the story, the B plots. Like she helps one guy get over his pill-addiction. She helps one guy's marriage. She helps one girl control her temper. But what does she help Jack do?

    That's where I'm stuck. Jack is supposed to be the Jane-immediately-likes-him, wishes-to-start-wooing-him character. But he's got history with Jill (Jane's foil) and she gets caught up in a love triangle.

    I can't think of anything concrete that Jane could help Jack overcome.

    The only idea I had was maybe Jack has commitment issues and as his relationship with Jill develops, Jane (against her own feelings) helps him become more committed (perhaps proposing? and/or going through with the wedding? something along those lines).

    But I need something else. Jack is too Fred-from-Scooby-Doo right now. He needs depth. But not something too serious (see the 'medy' part of dramedy), I don't want him to be a secret-murderer or have been molested as a child or anything like that.

    What in the hell does he need help with?
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe he has Being Fred from Scooby Doo issues? :p
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Make it something silly and fun - for example my MC has a snot phobia - a previous had a real problem with people seeing him without his shirt etc
     
  4. Insomniac
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    Insomniac New Member

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    Does Jack have insecurity issues that need to be addressed? Maybe he needs to be with Jill because she's controlling? Maybe he has gone in to the friend-zone with Jane because she nurtures, like a mother? Or maybe Jack has been too sheltered and Jane can help him find passion in life, talk him in to skydiving or being a missionary in Africa.
     
  5. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Curse you for linking me to TVtropes!!!

    Second of all.

    He could be scared of the dark or maybe... maybe he is afraid of people who are afraid of clowns. Maybe he has a problem with a internet porn addiction. Maybe similar to what Melzaar suggested, maybe he thinks his, or a friends, dog can speak english or well a rough(must... resist... pun...) understanding of it. Sorta like what Scooby does.

    My point is there are plenty of problems people deal with and could get help with. Theres Alcoholics, Sex Addicts, some are deathly afraid of... well you name it and it theres a phobia of it.

    You just got to pick something that your MC can deal with.

    Who knows maybe he has cancer and is in denial because his Dad had it and died. So even though he has an easily treatable and high survival rate, he believes that because his dad died of cancer and now that he has it, he will die too. So he is in complete denial.

    I dunno hes your character.
     
  6. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Troubles don't equate with depth. Some folk are well-adjusted and deep.
    Jack is falling in love with Jane but involved with Jill. He recognises Jane's tendency to help others and invents problems for her to help with = comedy. This is somewhat manipulative so might indicate that he is troubled somehow etc etc = drama.
     
  7. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I always find the male lead in romcoms boring. They always seem to have one (or both) of two closely-related character defects:
    1. They're too full of themselves to bother with anybody around them, or
    2. They're too stupid to notice that the heroine is the girl for them.

    I admit that I'm not a fan of the genre, though, so maybe experts can come up with exceptions.
     
  8. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    "...I can't think of anything concrete that Jane could help Jack overcome...."

    Maybe Jane needs to overcome her need for an "exciting" lover. She can turn away from him, only to find that guys with issues, well, they have issues. ;)

    -Frank
     
  9. McNelty
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    McNelty New Member

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    Interesting, I never considered insecurity issues or why he'd fall for Jill in the first place. Excellent. I'll work with it.

    As for him being boring, after I made my initial post, I was considering making him a passionless workaholic. Maybe his problem with being boring is...being boring.

    Sorries for the TVtropes link :D

    That's a very intriguing complex, don't know if I'll be able to work it in, but I'll definitely add it to the idea-bank. Might work for another character. Hmmm. Thanks!

    Ooo. I can play with this. Might be Jack's way of flirting with Jane/getting closer to Jane, even though he's involved with Jill.

    Don't know if you were quite suggesting that she get over him (in the end) altogether, but now that the idea has struck me...maybe Jack and Jane were never meant to be.
    After her crusade to win him over, maybe she does need to get over herself. And then, enter Mr. Right from stage left. (Perhaps, perhaps?)






    A big thanks to everyone for the quick replies. You guys are great, the whole lot of ya! Really got my gears turning. :)
     
  10. write_star
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    write_star Member

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    The most boring people usually have the biggest problems. Maybe he's secretly living in his mother's basement, or he's raising his sister who's nine years old. Just because he's boring doesn't mean that he can't have some big, deep, dark secret.
     
  11. Doctor Tao
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    Doctor Tao Member

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    Maybe reverse it in this case. She tries to help him, but instead he helps her overcome her need to help others.
     
  12. xxkozxx
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    xxkozxx Active Member

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    I have the inate fear of that barbie head that came out years ago. the one that it was just a big head with hair for the little girls to brush and comb and style? That thing is freaky, especially when they push the button and the hair grows longer. *full body shivers*
     
  13. write_star
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    write_star Member

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    I was thinking about this some more. What if he has a hidden addiction to alcohol, or to a substance such as cocaine or meth? What if said man has a problem getting a date?

    The most boring characters can sometimes be the most interesting ones. I recommend reading Bottled Up by Jane Murray. The main character may seem boring from the surface, but comes from a really bad childhood and has a ton of secrets.
     
  14. McNelty
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    McNelty New Member

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    Ultimately, I think that's where their relationship will lead. There's got to be some final "something" that kicks her off her helping streak.

    I would've used the ol' 'he's addicted to [insert substance here]', but there's already a few others Jane helps kick the habit. Using it on him would be overkill, I think.

    I do like the idea of the troubled childhood, being as I was already planning on him having an unhappy home life when younger. I think I need to delve into that more, maybe he's REALLY messed up because of his childhood. For some reason I just got the idea that he's into drag. Too out of character, but I might be able to use it somewhere. I'll check out the book, thanks.
     
  15. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    Watch Fruits Basket and look at the triangle between the three main characters. Maybe that will help things?
     
  16. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    From what you've told about the basic story outline, I'm in love with this boring guy myself. It sounds fantastic! I just think that a woman whose second nature hitting her head against the wall when it comes to her love interest is not only incredibly funny, but also very revealing about her character as well. Is it part of a selfless complexity that she has, in that helping others is easy, but helping herself is incredibly difficult? What does she even like in the guy? Is she making it all up? Or is there something there that no one else can see, especially him? I'm loving it; though you're right, the whole helping others to help yourself is done and done and done ;).

    I'd personally say to keep him boring, giving his character only slight changes as the story progresses. But that's just me; while I'm a sap for true love, romances that span huge distances, etc., I'm also a fan of ridiculous conflicts in love, especially if they stem from boring people.
     
  17. blue-eyeddevil
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    blue-eyeddevil New Member

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    I hate to say this and it's probably obvious but your character is just too flat flat flaaaaat!
    Right that's the hard part over with.... Kill Jack (the original) and then replace Jack with another Jack, a more interesting Jack... but then maybe Jack isn't the only problem, what's Jane like? and what do you use to make your characters, do you use something like imaginator101 or do you just use a notepad??
     

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