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  1. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Member

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    How Often do You Maim Your MC?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Justin Attas, Jun 30, 2019.

    Another matter of curiosity, how often do you seriously injure your main characters? I have done this in several books myself. I've had MC's lose eyes, arms, and even suffer brain damage. It's always been crucial to the story and some major development point for their character, of course. Am I some kind of sick literary sadist, or is this something you guys do too? Curious to hear!
     
  2. AndieBoDandy

    AndieBoDandy Member

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    I have never really considered this. In my current WIP; my MC is kidnapped and tortured; another is shot by a poisoned arrow and then mauled by wolves; I have one character blown up on a molecular level, and at the climax the MC is possessed by a demon god where his body begins to split open and drip ichor as it tries to contain the foreign entity. There are a few bar fights and fist fights thrown in for good measure. So I guess the answer is yes...
    My characters however, are supernatural in origin so they can take a lot of beatings.
     
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  3. Night Herald

    Night Herald Have you seen the Yellow Sign? Supporter Contributor

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    I wound and disfigure with some frequency, but I don't know about maim. First thing that comes to mind is a character whose brain exploded (then he caught on fire) but I suppose that counts as "killing off" even if he did become a ghost afterwards. I can't think of a single main character who has lost a limb, say, at least not in-story, though one at least has become a borderline cripple as a result of injury. Maybe that one would count. I guess this is something I should consider doing more of in my stories. I can name some very effective examples, such as:
    Jaime Lannister losing his hand and how it affected his character development
     
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  4. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Loved by a Sweet lady. :) Supporter Contributor

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    You mean besides:
    Getting shot in the upper chest, lung, or
    a through and through from a sniper rifle.
    Stabbed in the tail, sliced in the face.
    Having teeth, and an eye removed forcefully
    while unable to defend themselves.
    The flesh stripped down to the bone on fingertips.
    Whipped with a braided cable perhaps?

    Well a fair amount of bruises and welts from hand to hand. :p
    Maybe a split lip or two.

    I think my 3 MCs are doing ok, considering their vocation and
    its demand to be thrust into harms way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
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  5. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    I tend to give my characters more emotional damage than physical.
     
  6. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    In TNT, 7 out of every 8 people die in the world. The remaining 900 some-odd million are called The Fortunate Mangled. Hope that answers the question. :D
     
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  7. DarkPen14

    DarkPen14 Senior Member

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    Whoo.

    Pink is a sentient slime golem, so I can't really count physical damage, but she's been burnt to powder twice, one time to infiltrate a drug ring where her powder was snorted and rehydrated inside a dude's body, and she took him over from the inside. She's been frozen solid and diluted into pink tinted water a time or two, and she got splattered all over Omara's car when they first met.

    Samantha lost both legs, a couple fingers, an entire arm, and an eye at the same time when an explosive went off in front of her.

    Fire the archmage... can we count a god turning you into a woman as a maiming? Or the treatment of women by drunk men as such?

    Fire's sister, Water, was turned into steam and it took the combined efforts of four Archmages to collect her steam so she could reform.

    I've got a few more, but they go into fanhammer territory.
     
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  8. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Member

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    Damn. That's cold. But I'm sure it's a great story if you've got a jacket :)
     
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  9. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Member

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    D
    Jeez those are some creative punishments. I've got to up my game!
     
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  10. The Bishop

    The Bishop Member

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    I always brutally abuse my MC's. It's not for no reason or for fun either. I do it because it lets the reader know that no one in the story is invincible and it's realistic to have them suffer from the things they experience. Like PTSD and going deaf in one ear or blind in an eye. It's unrealistic depending on what your story is.
     
  11. Nariac

    Nariac Contributor Contributor

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    Sometimes, but I've found emotional damage can be more effective than being seriously injured in some cases.
     
  12. Lilith Fairen

    Lilith Fairen Member

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    Very rarely.

    I'd rather have interesting things that my characters have to overcome than "sadistic injury".
     
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  13. Edward M. Grant

    Edward M. Grant Contributor Contributor

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    Not often, because a wound like that can interfere with the plot too much. But one of the main characters in my last book got beheaded for a couple of chapters.

    Actually, several of the characters did, but that one survived.
     
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  14. The Bishop

    The Bishop Member

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    How did he get re-headed, or whatever you call it?
     
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  15. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Loved by a Sweet lady. :) Supporter Contributor

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    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    :superagree::superlaugh:
     
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  16. psychotick

    psychotick Contributor Contributor

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    Hi,

    Actually in the sci fi I'm just finishing I blew up my MC right at the start - got the story off with a bang so to speak! He's spent the whole book ever since in hospital beds and casts, and I just shot him. (The bullet bounced off his titanium hip replacement!) But here's the bad part - he's getting too smug about surviving. So he doesn't know it yet but he's about to be blown up again!!! Who knew astral travel could be such a dangerous occupation!!!

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  17. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    That is among the stranger titles for a thread I've seen. My MC in my WIP doesn't get involved in much physical stuff, so no. He goes have a susceptibility to cold and fever though. He is also congenitally deformed and handicapped. And I intend to have a scene where he falls over while shitting and twists his ankle, does that count? He certainly has his share of miserable moments.
    As to whether yours' are justified, it depends on what kind of story and what kind of character. It sounds like yours' are probably violent stories with a sufficiently active character to get involved. In which case a record of injuries makes sense, as long as none of the incidents feel contrived. And if some of these characters only get major injuries once that's not hard to justify, although at the same time any regular fighting character should pick up some more minor injuries with scars as well. It's about scaling.
     
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  18. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    Nope, sorry. Fallout causes clothing and fiber to combust. Gotta scene where people's clothes catch fire. Never saw such a conservative crowd so happy to strip down to bare-ass nekked! :eek:
     
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  19. Edward M. Grant

    Edward M. Grant Contributor Contributor

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    The other main character convinced God to bring her back to life because she was so amusingly stupid. And good bait for the werewolves.
     
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  20. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter Contributor

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    One of my pet peeves is when the main character in a book series ends up in a hospital bed after every adventure -- this can get kind of boring, and a good example of this is in Hunger Games: Mockingjay in my opinion. Physical injuries in fiction are a balance between keeping the stakes real and avoiding unecessary distractions. I'm currently writing in a world that has scififuturetech, so most bad wounds can be healed without too much difficulty. It depends on what technology the characters have access to at the time (which varies; it's a Space Western).

    Currently my MC has been injured by an explosion, almost eaten by a space lizard, arrested for murder, poisoned by an inhaled slow-acting toxin, and burned by space acid. Nothing really permenant yet. I'm more interested in sci-fi stuff like uncureable nano diseases than characters losing their arms for example.
     
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  21. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Member

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    Definitely agree with this.
     
  22. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Member

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    One of the most perfect replies I've seen to a post. I couldn't agree more. It's all about what's appropriate for your particular story. Mine do tend to have more action , and I always make sure to never make my characters seem invincible by having them escape countless battles unscathed.
     
  23. psychotick

    psychotick Contributor Contributor

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    Hi,

    Or it's about how much your characters annoy you and how much you want to make them suffer!!!

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  24. LoaDyron

    LoaDyron Senior Member

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    Hello, friend. :superhello:

    Us? Sadistic? Nah... we want to test the characters to their limits. But it's true. If we don't challenge them, how they are supposed to grow? In my part, while I don't make a character losing a leg, arm or other human parts of the body; I do make them suffer psychologically. This because it takes more time to heal, and can affect their lives in everything they do. So yeah, you aren't alone. :superwink:
     
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  25. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Member

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    Scifi really produces some interesting situations on this front.
     

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