1. TheDarkWriter

    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    How To Improve This Character? Is She Too Mean?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by TheDarkWriter, Jun 18, 2017.

    So this character I'm working on she's like a dominatrix themed assassin her skills involve breaking people and this ranges from getting info to just making them her minions, killing highly difficult targets, and infiltration. She's very insecure about because these skills are all she knows and she was forced to learn them as a child.

    She wants to be normal but she has a hard time being normal due to various traumas and her PTSD. She starts out as an antagonist and becomes a love interest. She does what she does because she feels it's all she can do. She really has a low opinion of herself despite being a badass. She didn't become what she is by choice and that really plays into her head.

    She has someone she cares about and hides her dark side from now here's the thing I don't know how I can get her to turn over a new leaf because in her mind there is know legitimate job she could work and she.has tried but nothing legit ever works out for.her and despite repeated attempts nothing really works out for her.

    Another question I have is I'm not sure how a therapist would approach her in a session because she's emotionally closed off and for her being vulnerable is a scary thing because emotionally and physically she's been batted around to the point she's not easy to really connect to.

    I'm worried she might be too mean because she's very blunt and doesn't show much empathy. For example she decides to go to a support group and when she hears this woman talk about an abusive husband and how much she fears for her kid's safety(the same woman has voiced the same concern repeatedly but does nothing but keep talking about how afraid she is) so she responds with "Your a fucking coward stop crying to a bunch of strangers and do something about it. I mean really what the fuck, is crying going to do it's not going to change what happenedand the fact that you don't do anything only proves your husband is right that you are spineless."
     
  2. RWK

    RWK Member

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    I think you are laying it on too thick: dominatrix, assassin, infiltrator, badass, trauma, PTSD.

    And then love interest.

    It isn't 'too mean', I think it is 'too much'.

    You have some conflicting traits here: infiltration requires extreme patience and reserve, as does someone who goes after very difficult targets. Yet you are trying to pack in PTSD, trauma, and a dominatrix, none of which match up to the subtlety of her 'career'.

    My two cents is trim back. You have some contradictions going on in her. Drop the dominatrix part, because a closed-off person is unlikely to have any save a superficial sex life, much less an involved fetish. Pick one of the trauma or the PSTD, and focus upon trigger events.
     
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  3. TheDarkWriter

    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    To be honest the idea is that she's addicted to things like sex and despite her problems she's developed a BDSM interest because she's just always trying to be in control. For her not being in control is a very big deal.

    She's not a dominatrix it's just like how I'd describe her. She's very take charge but everything has to be on her terms and if she's threatened or if she is touched without consent by anyone she gets mad.

    She's the type who would be fine in control but becomes easily triggered if you tried to boss her around so she copes by micromanaging everything. Even her sex life she is tough but very damaged.
     
  4. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Hi floor, make me a sammich. :P Supporter Contributor

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    Wow...yeah did not think that having and MC that tortures people
    to escape the horror of being a 6th grade biology frog was bad enough.
    Though she has some social skills, getting people to talk and all.

    Anywho, you have quite the Molotov in a leather mini there don't ya.
    Laying it on a bit thick, maybe? Does the protag have an off beat theme
    as well?

    Sounds like she might do well in the CIA or something like that, given
    her specialized skill-sets. Although from what you have given us to
    examine, she really lacks in the personable department. Not that is
    ever explained in your post in regards to who or what trained her.
    That would be a tad bit useful.

    Eventually no matter how badass and tough people think they are,
    they will break down in the long run. Can't escape the past is the
    best example I have of this. So instead of forcing her into turning a
    new leaf over, just for the sake of the romance angle or for some
    other reason outside of her own self. Smash her emotionally
    with all the horrible things she has done in her life. Twist and
    grind all the bad shit inside her head, until she can't take the pain
    at the realization that she is a monster. Then try to work on the
    part of putting the warped mess back into a functioning state.
    You don't need to send her off to therapy, until she can confront
    herself and come to the conclusion that she does not like what she
    has become. Things have a way of coming back around to bite you
    in ass, as it were. So run her ass over with the reality train, then
    go from there. Sure she won't be 'cured' or give up some old
    tendencies, but it is a start to building a lesser monster that can
    function and even kinda fit in.

    I managed to do it with a 1000 yr old 99% pure sadistic bio-engineered woman.
    Does she still fall back into being an evil bitch, and get off on it? Yeah, but
    after the burden of everything she had done to many of a few centuries
    helped her to see that it is no way live, because she was more or less a slave to
    the threat of being dissected and what not accordingly.

    IDK, but I think you will figure it out, or somebody will have a better answer.
    Good luck with evil pot of potpourri. :)
     
  5. Phil Mitchell

    Phil Mitchell Banned Contributor

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    "Your a fucking coward stop crying to a bunch of strangers and do something about it. I mean really what the fuck, is crying going to do it's not going to change what happenedand the fact that you don't do anything only proves your husband is right that you are spineless."

    "At least I can land a husband".



    They would kick her out of the support group for that. If that woman's crying triggers her so much why doesn't she simply follow the wife home, abduct the husband and scare him straight herself?
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  6. TheDarkWriter

    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    Well it's not that the woman was crying it's that it's the woman's 100th time talking about things (a good estimate) like by the time she snaps she's heard the woman cry about it five times at different times and each time ending with how she doesn't know what to do. What makes her snap is that she hears how the husband put the kid in the hospital and it pisses her off that the woman still wants to "work things out" and that the woman doesn't "understand how it could happen" her snapping is her way of saying to the woman to wake the fuck up and get out. She comes off as mean but what she's really saying is "Unless you want you and your kids dead get out otherwise buy a head stone and pick out a plot." as to why she doesn't do anything as far as she's concerned it's not her problem and her mind doing it for the woman won't help her and she even says "Hey if you can pay me I'm good but other than that no way."
     
  7. TheDarkWriter

    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    Well the idea is that her extreme and odd personality is to make her stick out in a way that's funny but also scary. There's also a big twist with her where it comes out she has a twin whose her reverse and total opposite both went through a very severe trauma and reacted differently she became violent and controling and her sister became frightened of everything and just has a need to nurture and protect but both are very codependent of each other. Imagine you meet the most intimidating anti social woman whose probably irredeemable and then after getting close with her find out she takes care of her shut in of a sister whose all sunshine and rainbows and likes to take care of injured animals. When her sister is introduced that's when she starts getting toned down because even though she's extreme her sister really balances her out trust the sister has a lot of "Oh snap" moments with her.
     
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  8. The Scarred Servant

    The Scarred Servant Member

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    It's a story, anyone can be redeemed as long as you give enough time to show those seeds of possibilities and develop them. I mean, if Dragon Ball can redeem a Galactic Psychopath who happily slaughters innocent children and adults as well as purposely screw over the life of everyone on a planet just for a chance at a good fight. Anything's possible.

    I'd have her encounter the consequences of her life, maybe have her confronted by someone who was effected by her work (Like, a guy who's life is in complete disarray because of her, someone she's crippled, ect.) or push her into her weakest moment, have her in a situation where all that control she craves is taken away from her, allowing her to have a new perspective. Maybe have her love interest show her something she's never encountered before.
     
  9. Phil Mitchell

    Phil Mitchell Banned Contributor

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    She'd get kicked out of the group for that. The reason she can't be allowed to stay is because snapping at vulnerable people makes them close up and afraid to talk, and not just her, but the entire group. So the support group ceases to function.

    She cares enough to get frustrated and angry and bark at people but doesn't care enough to do something about it herself. Is this a sign of things to come as to how she's characterized in general?
     
  10. TheDarkWriter

    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    That's actually how she and the MC her love interest are he really pushes her buttons in a way that makes her pain come to the surface. For example he's the first person who she doesn't intimidate and even can keep up with her in a fight. They both get into each other's heads when things start out and he turns the tables on her A LOT like he just for fun when they first me he steals pick pockects her cuffs and is able to leave her hand cuffed to something and this becomes a very recurring theme him tricking her and subduing her.

    The MC really turns out to be the first person to push her and get her to really face her emotions. He does it because unlike many who are afraid of her and are intimidated by her he's the first to really get in her face.

    It's more like she's not going to do anything because in her mind "What's the point in helping someone who clearly won't accept help and just remains in denial?" She also feels that you shouldn't hide behind somebody so in her mind just solving someone's problem for them even if it's a job wouldn't help.

    This is kind of an example of how she'd be in a support group. She sees at least a few women clearly aware of how bad things are and she's like "Just do something because nobody is goign to help you, you can't expect some savior to come out of nowhere the world doesn't work like that."


    As for why she'd not intervene aside from the previously mentioned she's aware that from experience mixing personal and business gets messy and says something like "Now if I intervene you might blame me out of some remaining remnant of love for him or whatever and you won't learn to stick up for yourself. Besides if you try and purchase my services you might chicken out at the last minute and if I get involved without asking well you'll just spiral into a mess probably. It's best you just leave him while you still can that I will help with for free but only if you are 100% committed and I'm gonna need some serious proof from you before I even do anything."

    However her chief reason that she won't admit is that when she's in the support group at that point she's trying not to do terrible things and is actively trying to change for the MC and in her mind killing and torturing the husband would for her be a step backwards.
     
  11. Phil Mitchell

    Phil Mitchell Banned Contributor

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    The idea is that the wife isn't told about it. The assassin just shows up in his back yard, says something like this to him disappears into the shadows


    And then the next week at the support group all of a sudden the wife reports hes treating her alot better. Doesn't require change from her, doesn't require her to accept help. Doesn't take much effort from the "Badass".
     
  12. TheDarkWriter

    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    I mean she's badass in the sense she is tough she's not insanely over the top tough. Also realistically this person is a stranger to her who gets a rise out of her once outside of that why would she help a stranger? Besides and this is a spoiler the woman leaves her husband because what she hears makes her face the reality of her situation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  13. Phil Mitchell

    Phil Mitchell Banned Contributor

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    That's so offensive to DV victims. The idea that they just need to be shouted at and cussed out in order to get out and end it. :rolleyes:
     
  14. OJB

    OJB A Mean Old Man Contributor

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    Hello Dark Writer,

    I read an essay last year which explained that Authors should not run away from the idea of having their MCs have (as he called it) Bad habits, but should embrace them and even amp them up. This is actually the crux of some of Dostoyevsky's works, Some of his MCs are Assholes.

    So in essence, don't worry about it.
     
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  15. TheDarkWriter

    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    Well it's not meant to be offensive but you can't expect someone to just save you. That's the point to find the courage to save yourself there are no magical saviors in the real world and that's what this part of the story is about.
     
  16. Phil Mitchell

    Phil Mitchell Banned Contributor

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    All your character would do is make her stop coming to the support group. Nothing more.

    A person who is ruled by fear because of abuse, is supposed to find courage from...verbal abuse?

    It's nonsense. Not hating, just being honest.


     
  17. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

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    These things don't really follow. In this kind of high-risk, combat oriented career, you have to believe that you are the best. Combat trauma can cause all kinds of problems, but I've never met somebody that was still combat-effective that didn't also still have that feeling of superiority. Many martial arts also espouse the idea that battles are won in the mind.


    Or am I misinterpreting what you mean about this?
     
  18. TheDarkWriter

    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    It's fine you've actually helped a lot I've taken a lot of what you've said into consideration.

    [/QUOTE]

    For her skill is matter of survival it's part of why she works for the big bad in the beginning. The big bad comes across her(in a flash back where she was escaping with her sister) and because he saw that she's naturally skilled he decides to make her work for him and when she refused he made her fight him and again she ended up forced to work for a really bad guy but with a catch if she keeps getting stronger and if she can one day beat the Big Bad then he'll let her go however every time she gets tougher he gets stronger so it's not that she cares or thinks she's stronger. It's just for her more of a "I have to be/get strong." because she has someone she cares about depending on her. She may not have a high opinion of herself but living for her sister is what drives her and she hates people who dont put their loved ones first. Her situation with the Big Bad is very much like Bui and Toguro from Yu Yu Hakusho.
     

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