1. sarahg1988
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    sarahg1988 New Member

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    Womanising Character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by sarahg1988, Mar 16, 2012.

    My main character has a history of being a womaniser but I'm not sure how much detail I should go into when describing what he is getting up to. I have written it in quite a lot of detail but I don't want the story to become sordid, I just want to make it lively and real. Any ideas on how much is too much?

    Thanks

    Sarah
     
  2. MeganHeld
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    MeganHeld Senior Member

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    I think if you are portraying a womaniser that you should include such details as him talking about certain escapades, or talking about women and acting like he forgets his name. Sometimes even including a scene where he points out women he slept with should imply enough information. If you think of people in real life, they would not just tell everyone about their escapades, close friends they would, others they would brag but not go into detail.

    Hope it helps!
     
  3. cerb123
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    cerb123 Member

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    I am a big supporter of the idea that if something is disgusting and a real problem in our world, as a writer it's your responsibility to not soften the impact of that reality in your writing. After all in today's day and age most people only become aware of issues through print and visual media and the severity of it's portrayal in those medias determines how positively or negatively we view them. So IMO go out there and open some eyes, shock someone, because if you don't they might never change themselves.
     
  4. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    Womanizer or just easy? My personal idea of a womanizer is that it doesn't always end in sex; it's the fact that he can, so it can just be him proving that if he wanted, he could.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, a womanizer is a man who glories in the hunt and seduction, not necessarily leading to sex. The flirting and the conquest is the entire game. After that, he is bored and moves on.
     
  6. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    the hunt is the fun part
     
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  7. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    What the guys said. Men womanise for the thrill of the hunt, for knowing they could get the woman if they wanted, but once they have her they quickly get disinterested. Sometimes even before they bed them! If a woman gives it up easily, it's no fun anymore. (I've known several men like this, including one I was enaged to - after he had won me, there was no challenge to him anymore and he had to go in search of another conquest to fuel his ego).

    Anyway, the point is that this behaviour has a psychological explanation, it's not just about getting laid. If you emphasise that side of it, I don't think it will sound so sordid anymore.
     
  8. sarahg1988
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    sarahg1988 New Member

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    Thank you for such great responses. I think I'm going to try and cool the scenes slightly without loosing the shock factor. I still want to create an exciting read!

    Many thanks again!

    Sarah
     
  9. Salama
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    Salama Member

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    Just a scene of him going through a list of his "victims" would be enough.
    It could be:
    their phone numbers,
    pictures of them,
    tokens he collected etc.
     
  10. Jowettc
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    Jowettc Contributing Member

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    Use only that which is relevant to your character and the plot. To be specific, he might receive the unwanted attention of a disgruntled lover at an inportune moment, he might receive vicous hate mail in the post or via text that someone else finds or reads, the new BF of an ex-lover might beat him up and so on.

    I do not think you need to describe anything, I think you need to tell us the story. If it is necessary to describe how he treats a _particular_ woman, then describe whatever it is we need to know. If he pursues several women at once, then let us know that.

    It is implied by your use of the term 'sordid' that he is also sexually ecentric or into fetishes. Again, if this is necessary then let us know - just be aware of whatever audience you are selling this tale to.
     
  11. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Personally, I don't think simple recounting of past liaisons, or rude behaviour such as forgetting the name, will go far unless your character is a superficial sex-addict. Bleh. He is more than his libido, everyone is, and I think it's best to treat him like any other character.

    Think, what kind of person becomes a womaniser? Usually he is handsome, or makes himself handsome through excessive grooming. He is superficial, a bit of an adrenaline junkie, but also vain and insecure. He is scared of hard work, he likes to play and even live off others. Deep down, he is insecure about his masculinity, but why is that? Is it a physical lack, or emotional? Think his family, what would his mum be like? Or maybe he is one of those loveable rogues who had lots of sisters and knows what women want, like an adventurer or suchlike who works hard and plays hard too (and refuses to be tied down because he loves adventure too much).

    Once you decide on the type of personality and motivation for your womaniser, play up all the characteristics of his personality in such a way that once you get to that physical scene, it becomes just another piece of the puzzle rather than the whole story.
    That's how I'd do it, anyway. Good luck! :)
     
  12. RowenaFW
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    RowenaFW Member

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    I think that you've just described one of my characters very closely!

    Of course, in my story, the mc is a woman, so this character is seen very much from her perspective. She is inconsistent, which allows me to play with the womaniser's tools - sometimes she hates him, sometimes she's attracted to him - sometimes she's even sympathetic.

    There are no actual sex scenes in my novel - though hints and things close.

    I think if you want to make it more sordid, you can do this without going into detail. I think seeing something like contempt as he watches her sleep would be more moving than describing the sexual conquest.

    I also think that writing down a list of words or character elements can help you develop a personality as you embed them into the text. Sometimes you can find that by doing this you let your reader know a personality without ever telling or showing them explicitly. If it's a big part of the book, I think you should be explicit now and then, though, for a bit of a shock factor, but as a general rule the more subtle approach would be more telling.
     
  13. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    Sorry, guys. What you guys consider 'womanizing' I consider simply a guy who dates a bit.

    I'm a child of the 1960s. If you weren't a womanizer--and a good one--your parents took you to a shrink for arrested development.

    I liked the larger lecture halls of the UW Madison. Starting the hour, 400 students walked in. At the end of the hour, 200 couples walked out...
     

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