1. Wayjor Frippery

    Wayjor Frippery Contributor Contributor

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    A negotiator's foil.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Wayjor Frippery, Nov 20, 2016.

    Foils, opposites, Mulder and Scully, you know what I mean?

    Mulder's a believer, Scully's a sceptic.

    So, there's this negotiator. She negotiates. It's all about negotiation, baby.

    Who's her foil? Who's her Mulder? (The character I'm after is an ally, not an antagonist.)

    :)
     
  2. Lifeline

    Lifeline North of South. Contributor

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    Obvious answer? Someone with strong opinions, who is willing to sacrifice nothing for his/her believes (but some of them have consequences which might be not what your negotiator is looking for). Someone who has principles to die for, and who is not aware that principles are by definition never questioned :).
     
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  3. hawls

    hawls Active Member

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    Or someone who gives in easily. Someone who avoids confrontation. I feel like anyone who loves to negotiate, who just has to find a fair deal for both sides because their sense of justice is that strong, anyone who just immediately agrees with her would make her feel uneasy and full of guilt. It would drive her mad.

    Even if she negotiates because she is there to exploit one side, there's no challenge in it for her if someone just says with a smile, "Okay, sure! I don't care!"

    I can image her throwing her hands up all, "Argh! Where is your spine?! Honestly, I don't know how you keep upright!"

    "Sheer positive thinking!"

    "You're so annoying!"

    "Yes, I am!"

    "Gaaargh!!!"
     
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  4. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Keep writing. Contributor

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    I like both of the above, however, I'd take a slightly more annoying route.

    Make the partner a government required shrink that's meant to 'understand' the criminal, but always over empathizes and takes the criminals side.
     
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  5. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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    Someone who is confrontational. All action and no talk, unless it is some kick-ass one-liner about kicking ass. :p
     
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  6. SethLoki

    SethLoki Retired Autodidact Contributor

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    Akin to lifeline's suggestion with a bit of @Cave Troll 's to boot (the door down). Swap though, the principles—the no nonsense approach sometimes sees palms greased and red tape snapped. But at heart, the foil has... well has one, a heart.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016
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  7. Wayjor Frippery

    Wayjor Frippery Contributor Contributor

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    All good stuff, food for thought, grist for the mill. Thanks all.

    But what about reducing it to a word. What do you reckon?

    believer / sceptic

    fighter / pacifist

    optimist / pessimist

    negotiator / ????
     
  8. SethLoki

    SethLoki Retired Autodidact Contributor

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    mute

    :-D
     
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  9. SethLoki

    SethLoki Retired Autodidact Contributor

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    8 hours on my subconscious surrenders a more appropriate opposite: enforcer ?? that okay?
     
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  10. Wayjor Frippery

    Wayjor Frippery Contributor Contributor

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    That's not bad. I've got fatalist rattling around my otherwise empty head, but I don't really want the universe-is-all-clockwork implications of that. A go-with-the-flow-er. Is there a noun for that?

    I don't know, maybe overthinking... maybe should look for a simpler pairing...
     
  11. QualityPen

    QualityPen Member

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    Well I would avoid boiling a character down to a single word in the first place. She's not just a negotiator, is she? What does she negotiate for, and what are her personal motivation for being in this profession in the first place? Is she there out of principle, perhaps she landed in that profession out of chance but stayed for a feeling of belonging and self-confidence in her ability, or maybe she is carrying out her parents' legacy... this is where I would recommend you to start.

    Once you have her motivations figured out, they are easier to flip for her foil than "negotiator" is. For example, if she is there to carry out her parents' legacy, her foil could be someone who landed in the same profession because he despises his parents' legacy and sees working in this profession instead of continuing their business empire as a way of getting at them. Your MC can in that case be willing to compromise and engage in realpolitik like a good negotiator and her foil can be someone who has a certain very well defined set of values he is unwilling to compromise (and this is part of the reason he does not get along with his parents) and this causes him to be equally uncompromising during their negotiations in contrast to her willingness to bargain.

    Obviously I don't know anything about your characters and the above is just a hypothetical way of creating such a foil character.

    I think it's good for all writers to remember that well-crafted characters with depth and the potential to evolve during the story are a sum of their life experiences and perhaps some innate skills or traits. Instead of assigning your character to an archetype, try to think of reasons why they fulfill that role in the first place- build from the bottom of their experiences and up to the person you want them to be in your story.
     
  12. Denegroth

    Denegroth Banned

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    heh heh heh...okay

    negotiator/sniper
     
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  13. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Keep writing. Contributor

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    Negotiator/reporter

    Ones trying to deescalate the situation, the other is trying to overstate it?
     
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  14. Denegroth

    Denegroth Banned

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    ahem, why would you assume a reporter is trying to overstate the situation?
     
  15. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Keep writing. Contributor

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    Not saying it happens every time, but its hard to ignore how the whole system is tilted towards more interesting stories getting more air time, better ratings help careers and whatnot. Not entirely their fault, not many people want to hear about the bank robbery that was really just a misunderstanding...

    Actually, maybe they would, that sounds pretty interesting.
     
  16. Wayjor Frippery

    Wayjor Frippery Contributor Contributor

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    Good advice but spoils my game. Ask a simple question and peer into the minds of others... good for a laugh, revealing. You have revealed a lot. :) Thank you.
     
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  17. SethLoki

    SethLoki Retired Autodidact Contributor

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    Settled on anything yet? @Wayjor Frippery Um, a settler?

    No nouns here save for the invented que-sera-sera-laissez-faire-yet-not-so-prederterminist.

    Put me out of my misery.
     
  18. Wayjor Frippery

    Wayjor Frippery Contributor Contributor

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    Well.. kind of... maybe... with a couple of adjectives tossed in for seasoning.

    A tough negotiator and an impulsive free spirit embark on a quest to blah blah blah, but their conflicting world views mean they must find common ground and learn the true value of blah before blah blah destroys them both.


    I can see the movie poster already...

    ----
    Love this, by the way. Makes me feel all warm and understood.
     

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