1. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    what makes a character scary?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Cacian, Jan 29, 2012.

    I am looking to describe a scene where someone gets upset because they see someone that scares them to the point of making them cry.
    Do you start with the looks then go on to describe their behaviour.
    I am looking for ideas taken from real life because having to imagine is not going to be as effective.
    Have you ever been scared by just looking at someone?
    or
    Have anyone ever made you scare?


    Thank you for sharing.:)
     
  2. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    I guess that depends on the character. Does this character know the scary person? Or are they doing something that reminds the character of past trauma? Or is the character simply terrified of people with moles on their faces? And why?
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't focus on the scary character. Use the reactions of the scared character to sell it to the reader. You don't need to explain her thought process. In fact, the less you say, the better.
     
  4. Show
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    Different things will scare different people. I'd worry less about trying to be scary and more about just making the story as compelling as possible. If you can convince me that one character is scared of another, I'll at least be able to relate to that character regardless of whether or not the same character is scaring me.
     
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I don't think looks would make anyone cry, unless maybe it was a small child seeing a very deformed person or something of that nature. I find it creepy when characters do things that are extremely sinister or foreboding, but in a totally nonchalant way, like it's no biggie for them. There's a huge sense of unpredictability there. Also, when people have a very volatile temper and will suddenly yell at you out of the blue, it feels like you're walking on eggshells whenever you're around them.
     
  6. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    good point.
    so I am guessing no they would not hence the scariness.
    I am guessing the more you get to know the person the less scary they become.
    Inever thouhgt of disfigurement as scary.
    I meant more in their body language.
    Ah Ok.
    I came from the other direction from you.
    I thought it must come from the scary person instead.
    It just shows how we people see things differently.
     
  7. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    so the reader relate to the doee if such word exist and not the doer.
    so even if the person is not that scary you would still go with the person being scared?
    How do you relate to films then when you actually get to see it?

    I so totally agree with. Unpredictabilty and volatile is very scary because you just don't knwo when someone is going to blow up.
    Very true but I think that with time can be overcome because one learns to adapt or simply avoid by leaving.
     
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    ^^^^Since I can separate fiction from real-life, yes I could accept a character being scared in the context of the story, even if it doesn't really "scare" me. (And "scared" is a fairly ambiguous term. You could scare me that my favorite character is gonna go toes-up while not having me truly scared out of my mind as many horror movies aspire to.) Different things will scare different people and nothing will be a sure universal scare.
     

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