1. Kacoshi Ajewl
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    Kacoshi Ajewl Member

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    Pushing to hard on a MC....

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Kacoshi Ajewl, Aug 13, 2009.

    I like to torment my MCs to death and back again but I have been told by quite a few people who I have briefly conversed with about my character's histories that I push to hard on them that it seems like I have way to much drama in my novels. It's not like I don't have comic relief in the actual writing but I would be the first to admit my MCs have it rough. I'm just wondering what is the line in your guys opinion as to how much damage there can be to much to a characters psyche before it becomes to muddled and overly dramatic.
     
  2. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    I understand, I'm putting my male MC through some tough torment too.

    Well, it really depends on what exactly you do to your character. Like....is his whole family killed in front of him and he loses his arms in some tragic accident and has to get robotic replacements and then hunts for his family's murderer while killing others along the way and then when he finds the murder finds out they're related? (that was the most horrible thing I could think of on the spot, sorry)

    Or is it something lighter like, your character just gets severely hurt and ends up staying in the hospital for X amount of time? Details or I can't accurately help you.

    Though, I do have to say that making the character come close to death might be slightly pushing it. Brushes with death is one thing, but actually standing at its door is another thing entirely.
     
  3. Kacoshi Ajewl
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    Kacoshi Ajewl Member

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    Well I have been known to do many things but I like to mentally torment them the most well here's an example:

    I have a Demi-god who's father basically forced him to go insane by first hiring some men to rape him then killing his mother in front of him. the character became so Enraged he started killing people in order to find out who had hired the men who killed his mother. he had never known his father so when he finally found out who his father knowing that the now teenager would kill him told him the truth that he was his father this sent him over the edge and he started killing for fun until the angels interfered and bound him into his body and pulling all the good the remained to create another personality who took his name Shen. The character after that day took the name of death but he could only come out when the angles called upon him.

    After that Shen who had no memory of his past started waking up with blood covering him soon he found out why that other inside of him...there is more but I am busy LOL
     
  4. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    Huh.....

    Wow, that does sound like a lot O___o.

    Hm, but it also sounds like you have almost two different stories. Are you intending it to be one novel or two? Because as far as I see it, you could use the first part as its own story and the torment wouldn't be too much (imo). Then the second part could be a sequel and also not be considered too much (imo again). But together as one story, THAT sounds like too much.

    Hope that made sense...
     
  5. Kacoshi Ajewl
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    Kacoshi Ajewl Member

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    Well the first part is actually only reviled through-out the story as small pieces of information that the readers need to fit together. the character in question is actually a minor minor character in the novel I am currently writing witch is about a kid who is possessed by a demon. however, I am slowly working on an Idea for him to be a main in a novel all his own...there are a few minor characters from that particular novel I want to do novels about. as for how much he is mentioned in the original story...about once when one of the mains mentions his father, who happens to be him. XD so yeah in that novel you actually don't get to know him at all...
     
  6. Operaghost
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    Operaghost Contributing Member

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    There is a similar thread on here already about hurting your mc and there are no set rules, but rememebr life isn't all sunshine and happy endings and often comes with hard knocks, (I am living proof believe me) And so thsi should be reflected in your works for a truly beleievable tale (Even fairytales with their happy endings put their chracters through a lot in the original versions, the little Mermaid for example *SPOILER ALERT* actually dies!)
     
  7. Kacoshi Ajewl
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    Kacoshi Ajewl Member

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    Well This thread is different IMHO because I don't mean Physical damage I am more talking emotional...
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Why would that make any difference?
     
  9. Kacoshi Ajewl
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    Kacoshi Ajewl Member

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    Well Personally to me Emotional Pain and Physical pain are two different things entirely. While someone may get hurt alot throughout a story and nothing really comes from it other then scars. If you take the same character and put them through emotional situations they may just fall apart on you...Emotional strain is more likely to be problematic to a story then physical pain. I'm just wondering if pushing a character emotionally to hard would cause the reader to become unattached to the character, or would it build a stronger bond?
     
  10. Evelyanin
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    Evelyanin Senior Member

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    Actually, physical pain and emotional pain are often related. For example, if I fell and broke my arm, I would probably have to get a cast and let it heal for a few weeks. After that, all that is left is a memory and some extra common sense. However, if someone purposfully broke my arm, it would create a whole pile of emotional pain as well. Even an accidently broken arm can cause emotional pain. When I was around ten years old I broke my arm. I cried at first because it hurt, but ran out of tears in a few hours. When I finally got in for an x-ray, I was hoping for just a sprained wrist, but when I learned that it was actually broken, I started crying again. I wasn't crying again because of the pain, but because the thought of having to have a cast for the next month worried me, and the fact that I would be unable to participate in a majority of activies worried me even more. That is purely emotional pain. True, I won't turn into a crazy murderer because of that, but in most things physical and emotional pain are related. If there is enough physical pain in your life, it will have a drastic effect on your emotions.
    Lets take a character out of a story. This person lived in a country where an earthquake destroyed almost everything. During the earthquake this person lost an arm, broke their leg in multiple places and became blind in one eye. While recovering, this person, because of the lost eye, misjudged distance and walked straight off a dock and almost drowned. While almost drowning a shark came and bit of the persons foot. No one is around because it is a rainy day, but the person manages to make it back to shore only to have a crab hanging from his ear. While trying to pull the crab of his ear the person accidently pokes himself in his one good eye.
    Now honestly, could you say this person isn't suffering from emotional pain? No one did him any harm, and the physical pain he endured was all because of either natural incidents or personal stupidity.
    Even in your story, emotional and physical pain is often related. Rape definitely has a mix of both.

    Now let's talk about the torment. Some people do go through a lot, but if you add too much then it may not have the same effect anymore. It may even become too much for the reader. Add too much torment, and the torment won't seem as bad anymore. It's like eating too much candy. At first it tastes so special, but after a while it just become normal. It's like moving from the big city to the country. At first it is so exciting, but after a while, deer on the lawn is sort of expected. Add too much torment and mom's murder might be predictable.
     
  11. Kacoshi Ajewl
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    Kacoshi Ajewl Member

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    I see what you are getting at and you make a very valid point. I think I will take that into consideration on the next story I write. I just happen to like to torment my characters and not all of them have it as bad as the one I describe earlier as he is one of my extreme cases but I will try to limit the amount of torment experienced by my characters.
     
  12. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that if you have enough comic relief, you can never give a character too many problems. Stan Lee said that he never thought Peter Parker had enough problems.
     
  13. Kacoshi Ajewl
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    Kacoshi Ajewl Member

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    Yeah I like Comedic relief I have at least one character per a story to provide it. I feel the same way really that there is no to much, but like I said I have been told that I reach that level...so I guess It's up to a persons style as to how much is to much...I will try to cut back a bit though because I probably have way to many sob stories.
     
  14. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I don't understand this thread or the other hurting characters one.....
    I mean, they're not real people, you own and control them, you can do whatever you feel necessary to do to them and they're not gonna go on strike or anything. I don't even understand how it can be a question. If you have a plot that requires your character's family to be killed, its ok. If you need to break a few bones, its ok. You're the writer, its what you do.

    I guess it reaches a point where it becomes like a trashy exploitation movie, or "torture porn" a la Hostel, but that doesn't sound like what people are talking about, and even then, I don't see what the problem is other than what you're writing probably won't appeal to a huge number of people. As long as the conflict/violence/stress is realistic (although in the case of some genres, that's less important than entertainment) then there's no limit to what you can do. Write however much pain and suffering you need to.
     
  15. Fox Favinger
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    Fox Favinger Contributing Member

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    I, like others, don't see the point in limiting yourself or injecting comic relief unless you have a target audience of some sort. Ignore your friends, they might be too soft for it or too casual. I have the same problem, my family and friends don't like the dark nature of my stories.

    Anyways I put my characters through hell. A lot of my stories are about war or criminals. Remember damage doesn't only come from things done to a person, but also from things the person has done. War is a great example. Sadly I take my inspiration for psychological damage from what has happened to veterans I know, but I am obsessed with realism and I haven't been through what they have, and hope I never have to.

    Most of my stories tend to be very brutal on the protagonist. Not just from has happened to them, but what they do. Like you I spread it out so it's not overwhelming the reader. I have a lot of characters that do bad things, I need the reader to be convinced that they are pissed off enough to do what they do, because most of my characters are extremely smart and have morals, they've just been pushed too hard.

    If your character takes just a ton of damage in short period of time to the point where the reader would assume realistically the character should go insane, but doesn't, make that a trade mark of your character. Have them bottle it up, or just make them a sociopath.

    Just some thoughts of mine.
     
  16. Kacoshi Ajewl
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    Kacoshi Ajewl Member

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    Thank you FoxZero that was very informational I will keep that in mind. Yeah I know that damage can also be taken when they do something they see as bad or wrong out of either necessity fear or anger. I actually like to play into that alot when writing. O also like so see how far i can push on a character before the do go insane...I have an unforntunat habit of breaking my characters.
     

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