1. Roux
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    Roux Member

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    What would make a relatively good char go off the deep end?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Roux, Nov 30, 2013.

    In my story, taking place in a dystopian empire, I have a character who is a main leader in a group of rebels and is relatively good. I say relatively because at times he can walk the narrow path of being evil by doing some seriously questionable acts but all in all he isn't out to purposely hurt others for his own gain.
    This is true till the near end of the story. In my original draft the whole story was three shorter books making a trilogy, but due to better story telling I cut out a lot of unnecessary and distracting sub plots to make one long book. One of these subplots was the long lost nephew of said character above, and his tragic death in the middle of a war is what makes my character finally step over the line into evil out of revenge, which IS majorly important. Now the nephew doesn't exist and i need a new reason. And I promise, I've tried to keep him in it, but because of a lot more important and plot driving things happening around him there just isn't room. :/ thoughts, help, joke of the day? I'll take anything you leave me :)
     
  2. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why do you need a new reason - isn't the avenge of his nephew's death enough?

    If not there could be a squillion things that turns him into Dr Dispicable. It all depends on where you take your character.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    My friend, the answer to that IS your story. That means it's up to you,and only you, to decide
     
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  4. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    My first thought on this is, if you have to go out of your way to construct a viable reason, you'll only start bulking out the story again. What can possibly be more important than that motive being believable, and not tacked on because it needs to be there? What have you got already that has the potential for the same outcome? Failing that... would it be enough to know of your character's fondness for him, without going into reams of exposition. Could you rewrite the nephew without a convoluted, lengthy 'long lost' back story? The death of a loved one will generally be enough to make any feeling person act out of character.

    Like Cog says... it's your story. None of us here really has sufficient knowledge to understand what might serve your purpose best.
     
  5. Voltigeur
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    Voltigeur New Member

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    I have a WIP that i all about how my characters are affected and changed by the events of the story. I have a character that starts as an innocent 14 yr old at the start of the El Salvador Civil war. She looses her mother, a Cousin several other extended family members and fights with a family friend in a guerrilla unit.

    There is no way this character will emerge as the girl she starts out as.

    Sounds like you character will be much the same way.
     
  6. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    I agree with obsid... No matter what you replace it with you will have to explain. But a family member dissent need that much explaining really ask readers would understand the death of a loved one effecting someone.
     
  7. O. Snow
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    O. Snow Member

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    Perhaps you should look at his virtuous aspects and warp them into weaknesses. Often a good character can be made bad because they are so adamant on their cause. Which in this case I assume is taking down the Empire. Take this motivation to an extreme and twist it. For example, in his desperation to defeat his foe your character chooses to engage in an inhumane style of warfare, perhaps chemical or biological. In the aftermath of this event your character snaps and decides that no cost is too great, and that lives are mere stepping stones. Not sure if that makes any sense, but hope it helps!
     
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  8. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    How about demonic possession?
     
  9. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    posioned blade that doesn't kill but renders him psychotic
     
  10. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    Reefer madness!
     
  11. Roux
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    Roux Member

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    I actually really like this. Thank you!
    Hahahahaha :)


    Thanks for the feedback everyone. This website is always so helpful!
     
  12. Remus Penn
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    Remus Penn Member

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    One of my characters is like this, and the way I'm writing it is gradually. He's already pretty troubled (he's been cursed since he was a baby), and because he's made to be a pariah because of his curse, in addition to the fact that his curse kills people, just drives him more and more away from goodness.
     
  13. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    any number of things can cause a person to go off the deep end. The death of a person that was close to the character a relative or a friend.
    Stress from having too many bad things happen at once can cause that as well.
     
  14. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with this. Times of testing don't create our characters, they reveal what our characters really are.
     
  15. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    i agree with snow, that sounds like a good way to go.

    Your posts are really hard to read o_O
     
  16. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    Maybe try watching some episodes of Tom Daley's Splash to give... Oh, wait, we're talking metaphorically here? Oh, never mind?

    Perhaps then you could kill off another character? Though only you'd know if this would work. Perhaps all these not-necessarily-that-bad-but-still-kinda-bad things your character has done has just gradually tipped him over the edge, perhaps he comes to realise that, actually, he's a bit of a monster, or perhaps there's one particular act that does so?
     
  17. Remus Penn
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    Remus Penn Member

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    That was actually pretty of rude of you, Lae, not to mention uncalled for. I'll format my posts however I choose to, and it's really none of your business.
     
  18. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    Erm....right, yeah rude of me, and totally uncalled for. Understood cap'n, here's me thinking i was just letting you know that your formatting choice and small font was quite difficult to read.

    But no, i get it, totally rude...
     
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  19. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    "Madness is like gravity, all you need is a little push" -The Joker
     
  20. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I'm going to be super rude then, and point out that making yourself more difficult to read is a format choice in the same way russian roulette is a great way to make money.

    No one comes out ahead.
     
  21. vera2014
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    vera2014 Contributing Member

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    Have you seen the movie Fun with Dick and Jane starring Jim Carrey? It's a good example of how a nice guy can lose it when faced with too much stupid. SPOILERS: I like how they make the viewer think that Dick has gotten a promotion (at the beginning of the movie) but his boss humiliates him in a big way (then the company tanks). Dick and his wife go through all kinds of bad events. The couple turn to crime for a while but their final crime is one that corrects all the injustices done to everyone who worked for Globodyne.
     

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