1. g_man526
    Offline

    g_man526 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    2

    She's too nice to him...or is she?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by g_man526, Dec 19, 2011.

    So as I said in the General section, I'm writing a story about the supernatural revolving around the lives of some four college students (to give you an idea, my main inspirations for starting this project were the Japanese novel/anime series Haruhi Suzumiya and my own college experience, which is swiftly approaching its end). Here's my question today:

    I'm in the middle of writing the first scene now, in which my male lead (who also happens to be the main POV character) first meets our female lead (who will probably have a couple POV chapters here and there, and the only character other than him who will have POV written, period), and they've already sorta undergone the 'awkward getting-to-know-you' bit. Anyway, before beginning the project, I had written this one much later scene that I see as the focal point in a sea change of their relationship, because she really doesn't like to show weakness (emotional weakness, or at least what she perceives to be emotional weakness) and she ends up showing it to him.

    I don't know if it's a "problem," but in what I've written so far, she's fairly polite and friendly to him given it's their first impressions of each other; she functions like a normal human being, and I intend to keep her that way (I hate MPDG and that is not what I have in mind for her). Most books, films and whatnot building a relationship like this seem to have boy and girl hating each other at first (Haruhi Suzumiya being no exception) or at best make them rivals at first or something. On the one hand, I understand why it's done and I certainly don't want her fawning over him or appearing not to have her own goals, and honestly, I think she could do to be a *little* nastier to him (i.e. take advantage of him buying her various equipment for their class project, chiding him for always being late to meetings, etc.). And yet I kind of like that they hit it off in the beginning and that you can sort of see the seeds of a naturally developing friendship (and it's more original than copying Haruhi who is herself a bit of a bully and jerkass). Would you want to be friends and keep hanging out with someone that's a little nasty to you? I just feel like suddenly making her a little more demanding (in literal terms and emotionally demanding) of him would seem a little unrealistic and just a tad bipolar.

    I guess what I'm asking is, how do I preserve the relationship I've established so far since I think it's fairly more realistic (without making it seem like she wants what he wants or like she fawns over him), but also make it so that they sort of have to 'work at it' (the friendship), in such a way as those boy-girl relationships that hate each other at first, such that the scene about her showing weakness to him when she wouldn't ever have shown such weakness to anyone ever is significant?

    tl;dr question: I feel like she's too nice to him at first but I don't want her to be a surprise bully or jerkass; what do?
     
  2. Marge
    Offline

    Marge Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    You don’t have to make your female character more demanding just for the sake of being demanding, especially if you think it might not be realistic of her character. I think you have a good set-up for some conflict as it is. She has just shared herself emotionally, and this could leave her feeling vulnerable. Maybe she regrets confiding in him because now he has the potential to hurt her. She might withdraw a little, leaving him confused and maybe a little upset. After all, he thought she liked him. Maybe he questions her and this makes her edgy. Or he avoids her, and this upsets her so now she won’t answer the phone when he finally does call. Or something along those lines.

    Now you have conflict without changing her character. She won’t seem like a surprise bully and at the same time you now have wrinkles in the relationship that will need to be ironed out.

    Just one idea. Good luck with the story—and I hope it has a happy ending!
     
  3. g_man526
    Offline

    g_man526 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    2
    I should probably clarify on this point: the scene that I've written is supposed to be a resolution for a personal(ity) conflict, and developing the personal conflict solved by this scene is what I'm having trouble with. I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm having trouble figuring out how my story gets to that point, not past it.
     
  4. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    maybe he is in love with her but she just wants to be friends or she ignore him altogether, but he persist, even though she sometimes treat him badly. her reasons for treating him badly I guess is up to you. could be a way of "trying" his feelings, what do I know? is it supposed to be a romantic story or is this just a subplot?
     
  5. g_man526
    Offline

    g_man526 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    2
    It's somewhat subplot. Think of it as a story that has a larger backstory about the supernatural, but that's character-driven. It's okay though, I've come up with a solution. Thank you everyone for your help, in the end the way I'm fixing this is somewhat of a mix of almost everything that's been said here.
     
  6. Yuri Strike
    Offline

    Yuri Strike Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    far far away
    No, she's just being normal and that's fine. It all depends on what the male lead think is more appealing-being bullied by a girl he ran into three seconds ago for no apparent reasons? I've seen too many tsundere like that.

    I would never hang out with jerkass people myself, though.
     
  7. Ettina
    Offline

    Ettina Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    20
    One thing: the real-life people who act most like tsunderes are people with borderline personality disorder. But with them, usually they act perfectly normal at the first meeting. It's when they start to feel something about the relationship that they freak out, because they have attachment issues. They've been hurt by people very important to them (borderline PD is usually caused by severe childhood abuse) so all that closeness comes with a great deal of fear as well. They feel like they have a bottomless hole of need, and this person is filling it - but what if they leave? That would be devastating. And they can't trust that they won't be abandoned, so instead they decide they have to constantly be on watch for it. This results in clingy, jealous behavior. Or maybe they decide that rather than wait for the other person to get sick of them and leave, they'll just get it over with by leaving first.

    Overall, then, the closer they get, the crazier the person tends to act, because the situation becomes more and more fraught for them.
     

Share This Page