1. jim79
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    jim79 Member

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    relationship problems

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by jim79, Aug 15, 2014.

    Hi,

    I'm having a problem with writing about two of my characters. a young girl (12 years old) has been kidnapped by a (nice) kidnapper who only took her so that he could escape from a bank robbery gone bad.

    I don't how to write about their relationship with each other, is she permently scared of him, defiant, angry?

    He's promised not to hurt her but she's obveriously not going to be doing everything he tells her to do so how does he get her to behave as threats will only go so far?

    Any ideas?

    Jim
     
  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, you're going to have to get to know your characters in order to figure out what they might do or feel. Write some scenes (you don't have to include these scenes in your final story -- they're only for practice and to enable you to spend some time with your characters). Write about what happened to your girl before she went to the bank -- why was she at the bank? Who was she with? Why were they at the bank that particular day? Write what happened at breakfast that day. Did she eat alone? If not, who else was there? Any siblings? Parents? Dog? What did she eat? Did someone cook breakfast for her? Nag her about eating a good breakfast? Or did she turn on the tv and pour herself some cereal?

    What happened after breakfast? Did she talk to anyone?

    Then write the same scene for your bank robber. Why did he rob the bank? What does he need the money for? How did he decide to rob the bank?

    All of these will give you an idea of how each of them will interact with the other.
     
  3. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    It's really hard to define their relationship dynamic without knowing exactly the kind of people they are, so like @chicagoliz said, you should probably first attempt to flesh out these characters, their personalities, before deciding how the hostage would react to this, and how their relationship would develop.

    In general, I guess a normal girl would be frightened of him, and spiteful, but if she's smart she would try to be nice and win his trust so that she had find an escape. Then again, it's just a 12-year-old, so that kind of behavior need not be an intricately planned strategy on her part--though she'd initially be scared, if the kidnapper tries to calm and soothe her, she might just comply with him. Threats are probably a no-go with young kids, he may threat her initially but if you really want her to develop a relationship of trust with him, he must show some concern and kindness toward her. It could also be the other way round--she could be an immensely lovable young girl, and her kindhearted nature would help her comfort the guy even though he's on the defensive, and this would eventually help him trust her and work with her as a team.

    It really comes down to the kind of people they are, from which you can see how they would react to one another. There's no single right path to how their interaction would play out.
     
  4. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    You have initial hostility evolve toward a tender relationship. Maybe read 'Of Mice and Men' by way of research.

    Your final scene is her aged 50 witnessing his execution by lethal injection,

    then you twist it up a notch by showing their two children at her side.

    CREDITS
     
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  5. outsider
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    outsider Contributing Member Contributor

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    Two words spring to mind, namely Stockholm and syndrome.
    That is to say, there is no such thing as a nice kidnapper. :)
     
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  6. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I was 20 my senior colleague turned out to be a kidnapper, armed robber...just out of gaol.

    They'd kidnapped the bank manager for ransom, etcetera...

    it didn't really register with me at the time, I just took it in my stride...

    that's what I mean...there's the obvious way to feel - but I thought more in terms of 'he's an older guy, streetwise and takes me to all the exciting, rough pubs...'

    ...egocentric, y'know
     
  7. Annalise_Azevedo
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    Annalise_Azevedo Member

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    Maybe start off their relationship rough. After all, the girl's gonna feel a bit scared and naturally she wouldn't listen to him then you can develop it into a strong bond.
     
  8. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why is the kidnapper robbing the bank? If this were a "save the world with the device in the bank vault" plot, I could accept this niceness. If it's just, "Well, I wanted the money, and I'm willing to risk the kid's life rather than get captured, but I'm kinda sorry that I 'have to' kidnap her," I can't accept the niceness.

    This may not seem relevant to your question, but I think it is--I feel the need to know just how much he'll stretch his moral standards when they come up against his own well-being.
     
  9. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is really just something that we have to actually see. There are plenty of criminals in stories -- on television, the movies, books, that we end up liking and for whom we have sympathy. Look at Dexter, The Sopranos, Goodfellas, etc. We see them do some terrible things, but often root for them nonetheless. In Breaking Bad, there is, of course, Walter White, for whom many folks lose sympathy (and some root for him all the way to the end), but also Jesse, who is a drug abusing, petty criminal who engages in this enterprise where a lot of people end up dead, but he ends up being the most moral character in the entire story, being genuinely anguished when people die.

    There are a lot of ways for us to see this bank robber/kidnapper as a real person who has made a choice that perhaps isn't the best, or not the choice we have made, but has made an understandable choice, and perhaps regrets it later. A lot of great stories feature two characters who end up with an affection for one another that you would have never expected.
     
  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just to clarify, I'm not saying that we can't have sympathy for them. But the word "nice" can mean many things, and it may often mean that the person has some very firm boundaries against negative behaviors. A bank robber and kidnapper clearly doesn't have a lot of the usual, expected boundaries. So I'd need more definition than "nice".
     
  11. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Maybe the OP means nice as in the bloke never envisaged kidnapping as part of his plan? Maybe his plan was to just rob a bank, take a few million and get the hell out of dodge. But, the plan starts to go wrong and in a moment of madness, he sees two ends to this, 1) the swat sniper across the road shoots him (and they never shoot to harm, they shoot to kill) when all he's done is pocketed some cash 2) he takes a hostage with the intention of dumping the hostage as soon as he's free.

    It's basic fight or flight kicking in. He takes a hostage, ends up in the middle of nowhere hiding out and then he suddenly finds he has time to catch his breath and realises what he's done.

    At the time he did it, it was a means to an end, a way out of a situation gone bad. It's only when he sits and thinks about his actions that he realised he's actually made things ten times worse. So maybe he then starts to regret kidnapping the child and once again, his mind goes into overdrive thinking about what he can do to make the girl less frightened of him.

    12 is a funny age. The girl will be scared out of her wits, absolutely she will but she's also still at that child stage where everything in her life is governed and decided by an adult (parents/teachers/guardians) so at some stage, she will start to believe every word this adult (kidnapper) tells her because that's what kids do. If he tells her he won't hurt her and then follows through with his word, she will have more trust in him.

    And yes, researching Stockholm Syndrome for this is a great idea.
     

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