1. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    This girl, her slave, and their relationship with my mc

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Imaginarily, Sep 17, 2015.

    Okay so.

    I have been spending quite a lot of time working on my vampire protagonist dude lately, and I love him to death (ba-dum tss), so I think it's time to start really getting into his supporting cast: the vampire chick who turned him, and her slave boy thing who she really loves but would never openly admit it.

    Normally when I go into character development mode I just obsess over that particular character for, like, ever. The ideas for their history and their quirks and what makes them who they are just sort of come on their own, and then I'll follow whatever detail into the ground until it becomes something I like or I've exhausted all possibilities for it and find out it's dumb or doesn't work.

    It's important to me that these two characters get fleshed out, because Mr. Protagonist would be nothing without them. They're his family, they're close, and they interact almost daily, so they need to be people too.

    I have a freshly solid idea as to why Mrs. Vampire turned Mr. Pro, but there's a piece missing as to what has been holding them together all this time. Or why Mrs. V doesn't have more descendants (just Mr. Pro).

    Here are the things I know for sure:
    • Why Mrs. V wanted to turn Mr. Pro into a vampire (but she hasn't told him, and may never)
    • When it happened
    • How it happened (oh god this was so fun to hack out)
    • Mrs. V does have feelings, she just expresses them like a villain

    Here are the things I need to explore:
    • Mrs. V and Mr. Pro's relationship (the entire timeline, including now -- at present they interact sort of like "friends who used to date." Sometimes she kisses him at work, but in my mind it's always been a selfish marking of territory. I have no idea how much she actually likes him or what message she's trying to send to observers)
    • How Mr. Pro really feels about Mrs. V. Really.
    • Mrs. V's actual relationship with her slave (they're pretty stiff in public, but I bet you that's just for appearances)
    • Mr. Pro and slave's relationship. (Slave is much older, but Mr. Pro has free will. I feel like at some point they would talk about existential stuff, but the tone/purpose of the conversation is a mystery.)

    I am rapidly running out of brain fuel, so I'll try to wrap up with some coherence.

    Basically, I'm looking for techniques and methods that I might not have thought of for developing these characters. The obsess-for-weeks strategy is slow and subject to very many distractions (as well as being at the mercy of my muse, which is not always my friend)...

    So, what's your process? How might you go about sniffing out these details?

     
  2. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I interview my characters in my head. :D I am not crazy I swear!

    If you are like me, you got a pretty solid picture in your head, whether or not you can explain it. The nice thing is that means you can work on instinct. I mean to a degree. Obviously this is an issue because you can see more than one answer. So me in that situation? I think of a false scene that would reveal there feelings and then go ogg initail reaction.

    Like take these two concepts.

    What if one of them died? How would the other react?

    What if one of them found there true love? How would the other react?

    You don't need these scenes to exist but just understanding how they would react to them will probably solve all your problems in this case. :D
     
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  3. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    Well I'm not opposed to interviewing them... :bigconfused: I have never tried that.

    What sort of questions do you ask?
     
  4. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    It depends on how well you can speak to them. I would personally ask a few opener questions before asking directly. Sometimes they will not give you a straight answer and it is really their nature which you have to kind of understand before you ask such questions. I had four characters that I can communicate with pretty openly, but they all have really different voices and will dodge certain questions. Also, one of mine refuses to comment on certain personal matters that are embarrassing - so I have to ask another character and peel back the "how" certain things happened.

    Especially if the whole "turning" was more of an impulsive reaction to something, there may have not been a good reason and it may have been rooted in just selfishness. There are more than a few scenes that I've put to paper which are really just characters working out their relationships or acting impulsively. Not to cross - but if your Mrs. V is anything like my Fiel - then I can understand it. If Fiel was in such a position, if Mr. Pro happened to do a good deed or show even a little affection, she would begin stewing on the meaning and idolize such contact. If it was an impulsive turning brought on by a logical end of this fantasy, then it really would be a way to keep him around even at the risk of losing this relationship. Though only under pressure would she admit to such feelings, the peaceful existence and distance between them would come to be a highlight and a boundary in her life. Testing the barriers would be a thrill, but she would not want it to change because then the enjoyment of such prodding would be lost. Thus fantasy of it is sustaining, but this results in an unusual tension in the relationship because she does not want it to go further. Least that is what my Fiel would be doing.
     
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  5. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    That is a very good point, @Inks .

    Mrs. V is meant to be a very intimidating person. She's cold, ruthless, and really doesn't talk much at all -- unless she's on a villainy soapbox about something, which doesn't happen often (but could... I don't write about her enough).

    Trying to get a straight answer out of her by simply asking what I wanted to know would probably just get a scoff, a glare, and a dismissal. I suppose I could ask Mr. Pro but I don't think he knows much more than I do.

    By all rights and every definition of the word, Mrs. V is the dominant one of the three. She literally owns the men. If anyone would obsess over a good deed or general kindness, it'd be Mr. Pro. Slave boy doesn't have the mental freedom for it, he'd just nod quietly and be thankful.

    At this point, as an observer, all I can gather about why Mrs. V would push that boundary with Mr. Pro is simply because she can -- if he defied her, she could easily kill him. They both know that.
     
  6. Dismas
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    Dismas Member

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    Just brainstorming myself a bit here, I think Mr.Pro and Mrs.V's relationship depends on how much Mr.Pro likes being a vampire. Is this something he would've liked, something he would've wanted either way? Or does he miss his mortal life? Also, I imagine Mrs.V trained him, so to speak, on how to be a vampire, right? Even if he hated her, Mrs.V being his mentor in a new lifestyle would probably make him positively disposed to her, or at least make him respect her.

    As far as the slave goes, well, does he see him as an equal. Does Mrs.V elevate him?
     
  7. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    @Dismas

    Mr. Pro has fond memories of his former life, but had he not been turned (against his will, by the way) he would never have had the opportunity to experience all the wonders of the modern world and the luxuries that come with it. He doesn't dwell on the past, and he's found ways to put his new talents to good use.

    I have actually not explored his early days with Mrs. V, so as far as mentoring goes it's up in the air. If she did take much time to teach him how to vampire, she would have done so bluntly, and left him to deal with his feelings on the subject by himself. Probably.

    As I think about it more, I notice there's a sort of mutual admiration going on; Mr. Pro is impressed with Mrs. V's influence over her surroundings (including people), not to mention her sheer survivability. She's insanely old, and he's sure that he would have screwed up and gotten himself killed many times over in half the time. (He had a very close call some decades ago, but thanks to some smooth talking, it's worked out in his favor. Sort of.)

    But she did curse him, so, there is that.

    As for Mrs. V, she is content to be an audience for Mr. Pro's intrinsic optimism and cheer; he has a way of warming up a room just by being in it. I mean this by his personality, not necessarily how she views him. He has the same effect on everyone, so this wouldn't mean automatically that she loves him. o_O

    I'm still fuzzy on how they interact. They're not a "couple" in my mind, they've never felt like anything even close to one. That's why slave boy is there.

    Mrs. V treats her slave like a valuable work-animal. He's comfortable, he gets rewarded for good behavior, but he is most certainly lesser. What he has in common with Mr. Pro is that they both answer to Mrs. V, or heads roll. I don't think Mr. Pro would see slave boy as an equal, but he's not the snide, "I'm-better-than-you" type of vampire either.
     
  8. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    I should follow up that last paragraph with some more explanation, I think -- Mr. Pro doesn't get bossed around by Mrs. V hardly at all. He's free to do whatever he wants, but if she needs something specific from him, she may end up forcing him to do it.
     
  9. Dismas
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    Well if they're not a couple,they certainly don't seem to be friends, going by everything you've told me. There's respect on both sides, especially from Mr.Pro, but there's also coolness, a distance that comes Mrs.V's lack of care for her "offspring's" feelings and the fact that apparently he either takes her orders or heeds her advice. Personally, I see a boss- employe type relationship or a teacher-student relationship, one where they might both like and respect the other but both know their standing in the relationship and expect the other to act according to their station.

    As far as the relationship between MR.Pro and the slave, if he isn't too above it they could be friends, they're both lackeys of the same mistress after all. Unless, of course, they're both competing for her affections and such.
     
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  10. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    That's what it is! Boss/employee! That is probably the best way to describe them, thank you.

    Mr. Pro has no romantic interest in Mrs. V, so there's no active competition for her attention. There is some lust, but not enough to ever act on -- he's content with just looking.

    I feel like Mr. Pro and slave boy would be awkward around each other. Slave boy knows on some level that Mrs. V admires Mr. Pro, so that would amplify the subservience I think -- but Mr. Pro wouldn't like being waited on, called sir, or having his gaze avoided.
     

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