1. Kallisto
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    Kallisto Active Member

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    What are appropriate ways to have this character react?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Kallisto, Aug 2, 2015.

    So the character is a sorceress of sorts. Her sister is the queen of the country. While she was away, she got word that a neighboring kingdom is going to attack. She is under the impression the letter arrived safely to the queen. However, when she arrives to her sister's castle, she finds that the message was never delivered and while they try, they don't levy a defense fast enough. This has led to the deaths of the queen's two children and the imprisonment of the queen herself.

    The sorceress finds the agent responsible for delivering the message, and finds out that instead of seeking an audience with the queen and delivering the message, he entrusts it to a servant where the letter is conveniently "lost." What should she do to this guy?

    Here are the things that can't happen:

    1. The sorceress can't kill the man. It's okay if she wants to. But it would ruin a very critical plot point later in the story to have her kill anyone.

    2. She doesn't have time to stand around arguing with this guy. Currently, her sister is headed as a prisoner to the enemy kingdom, and if she hopes to rescue her sister, she can't be wasting more time.
     
  2. Chewie
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    Chewie Member

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    Maybe have her attempt to kill him, but he survives somehow. If it is a plot point that she cant kill. Maybe have her throw him off a bridge or a tower he looks dead/washes away but actually lives. (could then use him as an antagonist later?) Or you could have her on the edge of attack then she shouts at him to run away or she gets distracted and he bolts. Then she uses the built up magic/spell on a inanimate object to release some anger.

    I think its only natural for her to overreact, she has lost her two nieces and her sister is in peril. Plus she has all the power inside which couldn't help so she is going to be frustrated in herself and would lash out for that as well. Hope this helps.
     
  3. Symphonic
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    Symphonic New Member

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    First of all, I think it depends on the relationship she has with the guy. Is he a stranger, or was he a friend to her at all? If she has any kind of preexisting relationship, she might be more inclined to react emotionally. "How could you let this happen?" or "I'll never forgive you for this." type of reaction. Like her anger and emotions are being directed at him also because he betrayed her. And since she hasn't got time to waste on him, she may dismiss him as if she can't even stand to have him in her presence. However, if he's just a stranger, she might react with physical violence or detached anger. Perhaps more of a "just get the hell out of my way, I'll deal with you later," kind of thing.

    Secondly, is she prone to violence or a temper? Or is she more sensitive? Someone who is generally more aggressive is more likely to react with violence or harsh words as opposed to someone who is typically more sensitive or passive, even if they regret it later. Her personality and feelings about killing and violence should really be a deciding factor. Even in a really dark moment, a nonviolent person wouldn't just straight up try and kill someone, or would at least be torn up about the feelings of violence that overcame her.

    And lastly, how is the guy behaving? Is he remorseful? Does he know what he's done? Did he do it intentionally or maliciously, or was it a mistake? Did someone else force him to do it to plot against the queen? I think the severity of the punishment would depend greatly on his intent if the sorceress is guided by morality. If she's really torn up about it, she could knock him tf out and tie him up, that's always a fun way to get out of killing someone outright, but if they die it's like... Whoops, forgot you were tied up there. :dead:

    Good luck, hope that was helpful!
     
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  4. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Are you writing the story already or still figuring things out? Don't think too much in terms of plot. Let the plot take care of itself. Think logically -
    anger
    guilt
    she has powers and can abuse them
    ego
    Just figure out who your character is - is she the type that would at least break the man's leg or fling him against a wall before thinking temper, temper. Has she killed before? Is she a kind soul that is seeped with guilt - why did I entrust someone else with something so important.
    It's not just about how someone would react, it's about how your character would react and be believable. She has feelings but how she reacts is going to show us who she is.
     
  5. Kallisto
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    Kallisto Active Member

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    I'm revising this story. There's lots of rough spots and things that need to be sorted out.
     
  6. Christine Ralston
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    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    She can't kill him, but she should plan to. Have his execution set up, but somehow he manages to escape.
     
  7. Kallisto
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    Kallisto Active Member

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    No, no, no! She cannot kill. Cannot imply she kills. She might want to, but it's not something she does. To have her running around killing everyone who wrongs her will ruin the character in later parts of the story.
     
  8. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    I am sorry, but I don't buy it. Put yourself in the princesses shoes. Your sister is being held by an enemy, in a disgusting dungeon. You have no idea her condition beyond that point. Then you come to find that the messenger screwed your kingdom over by his inability to follow protocols resulting in the events. Even the most gentle and kind person would be really angry if this happened to them. So if she can't have him killed, there is always another way to make the messenger pay for his crimes. Lock him up as some have said. Throw him off of a high point into a river as another. You could have him put into hard labor for x amount of time. Could have him tortured for not following the protocols in the first place until he gives up a reason as to why he failed to fulfill his duties in the first place. Plenty of non-lethal means of taking out her aggression for on the messenger. Hope this helps. :p
     
  9. Kallisto
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    Kallisto Active Member

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    I never said she was in a disgusting dungeon. On the contrary, she's actually treated very well by her captives. That is until she dies of a plague the invading army brought back with them, but that's neither here nor there.

    No, none of it helps. It's basically this: She has a choice. Go after her sister, or punish messager. She's not an idiot. She goes after her sister. Messenger is not an idiot either. You never see him again because it doesn't make sense he's going to hang around waiting for the MC to come back. However, there is a moment when she does speak with messenger before taking off to do the smart thing. And the way the scene is timed, I'm not going to have her wait around, killing someone.

    Secondly, there's a bigger reason why the MC doesn't kill. At least not at this point in the book. Later, she's duped into going after this one guy in exchange that she regains her place in the line of ascension. This man supposedly killed another sibling of hers, but the evidence is very flimsy. She knows this. An entrusted friend who investigated the murder tells her long ago, that it is very unlikely he killed this sibling. Later she finds a letter from the sibling that suggests the possibility he had something to do with the murder, but again, it's ambiguous. And I wrap that plot point up pretty quickly.

    So, what does this have to do with the messenger? Simple. If she takes time, she doesn't have, to kill the messenger for her sister's death, then logically she has to kill the guy she has all the time in the world and incentive to kill. Because it would be like, "Okay, why didn't she just kill him when she killed the other guy? I mean, she's going to get her kingdom back and avenge her sibling. Hello, is she some kind of idiot." It's for the sake of maintaining consistency in the character.
     
  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    What you haven't told us (unless I missed it) is WHY this messenger chose to delegate the job he was entrusted with. Was he a traitor? Or was he just a lazy bum. Or did he have so much else to do he needed help? All of these things would figure in to her reaction.

    Sometimes the most powerful reaction is no reaction. Depending on the messenger's reason for neglecting his duty, the most lasting punishment she could inflict on him is making him wonder when she is actually going to punish him. She could react very calmly to the news. Say something along the lines of "Thank you for telling me." But let him know she's not going to forget it either. Even if she doesn't intend to actually inflict punishment, it does no harm for him to go around waiting for the other shoe to drop. It might make him a useful tool, actually.
     
  11. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Well why didn't you say so. Would have saved a few of us the trouble, of guessing. Now that we see the circumstances surrounding the sister being treated well in her captivity. Not suggesting waiting around to punish him (though you could have a couple of guys do that). But after seeing that she is going after her sister, we know that the messenger gets off pretty light. Since she speaks with him and takes the 'smart' course of action, as you say. Still having trouble understanding this a little bit.

    I recommend listening to jannert on this one.
     
  12. Kallisto
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    Kallisto Active Member

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    Yeah, sorry about that. I'm still learning to write and learning how little details effect everything.
     
  13. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    It's ok. That is why I am here as well. Don't sweat it. :p
     

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