1. 7XshadowolfX7

    7XshadowolfX7 Member

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    Getting Your Character to grow more Dark

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by 7XshadowolfX7, Nov 19, 2016.

    I'm wondering how to make my character grow more dark as I write my novel.

    Basically he is a vigilante, fighting crime, and he is good at it. Being an ex-black ops soldier. He starts off beating up crimminals and tieing them up, but as things progress I want his methods to grow darker. He gets like this cos crime isn't slowing down. Eventually he will just be blatantly shooting crimminals dead. But how should i portray this gradual growth of darkness?

    Thanks Guys
     
  2. TMK

    TMK New Member

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    I would suggest that over time you slowly change their ideals, they originally believe that some criminals can be saved, therefore they attack big time criminals, but over time just group them together and take out even petty criminals, just an example. You're character seems similar to Light from Deathnote so I suggest watching a few episodes there to gain inspiration.
     
  3. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    shooting criminals dead isn't a very dark destination for a vigilante - how about in the end he winds up redefining the law to suit himself and shooting anyone who he sees as a breaker.
     
  4. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    I think you've already got it: he starts out trying to incapacitate criminals for the police to find, this doesn't change anything, but he misses the point "vigilante violence doesn't change anything" and thinks instead that the point is "non-lethal vigilante violence doesn't change anything."

    Imagine this:

    Your vigilante beats up a street-level drug dealer

    The drug dealer makes a deal with the police to turn on a higher-level supplier

    The drug dealer is released to lure the supplier into a trap

    The vigilante sees him back on the street within a day
    What your vigilante thinks is

    He beats up a street-level drug dealer

    The guy's back on the street within a day​

    Your vigilante thinks that he should kill the drug dealer so this doesn't happen again.

    Now the higher-end supplier is free because the police lost a way to arrest him, so the total crime in the area stays the same because the supplier can just fund some other guy to take the dead dealer's place.
     
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  5. OJB

    OJB A Mean Old Man Contributor

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    Hello Shadow,

    How I would approach such a thing (I'm no expert so take my advice with a grain of salt), is I would deny the character his desire (stopping crime), despite his best efforts, which in turn causes him to turn to more extreme methods (murder). In the end, he becomes the very thing that he hates (some irony there.) You'd have to start off slow (give him some success so he gets addicted to his accomplishments) and make the things he is trying to accomplish harder and harder. I suppose it is really about stressing out your character one chapter at a time until he breaks. If I was to write this, I'd have some event take place where say he catches a criminal, criminal gets out of jail (say bond), then the criminal commits the crime your character tried so desperately to stop (like blowing a building up). This 'failure' the character feels would be enough for him to commit murder. If you want to end on a dark note, I'd say end the story with him killing his first criminal (the bomber).

    Just some thoughts. There is really a lot of ways you can go with this. I wish you the best of luck on this.
     
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  6. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    That is an even more important point than the details of the, ahem, execution of the concept: is this a stand-alone or the start of a series?
     
  7. Denegroth

    Denegroth Banned

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    I've always had a problem with the term "dark". I'm really not sure what it's supposed to signify. As a writer, I have to be more specific. I can see an overall dark mood in the sense of visiting Dracula at home. However, with regard to how people view their own personality I just don't see the Goth thing in that.

    Some of it I understand is appearing to have characteristics people of a certain ilk define as evil. However, I'm not about to make "dark" and "evil" interchangeable. In the case the OP states, I don't see how much "darker" you can get to have given up entirely on organized society and decided to take matters into your own hands - violently meting out justice according to your own whims. More or less violent than before? I hardly see that as a measure of light and dark on the emotional scale.

    Perhaps "dark" means inflicting terror. Perhaps it involves torture. If it involves dread, which is really the only way terror can work, then it involves taking more time with the crimin....uh, victim. 'Cause, like it or not, the objects of this "hero's" attention are victims once he's gotten involved. Justice in terms of law enforcement follows some well-drawn lines he's decided to vacate.

    The "turns into what he hates" part is the cliche destination of this mechanic; only way this can go.
     
  8. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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    I hope this is the last time I post this vid, but it should help you with what your doing. :p

    Hope it helps. :)
     
  9. Dominique Parker

    Dominique Parker Member

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    Like a lot of other people have suggested, I would take it slow at first. His vigilantism isn't having the effect that he thought it would so he starts to amp things up little by little. Maybe he starts out just being a little harsher on criminals, breaking bones perhaps, maybe threatening their lives. I think I'd use one specific event to really throw him off the edge though. Something he witnesses that just makes drives him to killing any criminal he comes in contact with. For example Rorschach from The Watchmen. I think finding two dogs fighting over the leg bone of a little girl who was murdered and butchered by a serial killer would make any vigilante reevaluate their methodology when it comes to dealing with criminals.
     
  10. Phil Mitchell

    Phil Mitchell Banned Contributor

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    A corrupt or inept legal system. They just get out and do it again.
     

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