1. Lady Murasaki

    Lady Murasaki New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    4

    Is this type of obsession subplot realistic?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Lady Murasaki, Nov 22, 2019.

    I'm writing a story where one of the antagonists becomes obsessed with the protagonist, The Hunchback of Notre Dame's Frollo style, but it isn't the main plot [that would be a mystery/political conspiracy where both are involved]. More specifically, he's a rich, powerful nobleman and she is a plebeian servant with duties on the palace akin to a housekeeper/governess. She's not directly under his power but vulnerable nonetheless.

    What I'm worried about is that she is supposed to be good looking and intelligent but not breathtaking like the heroines in similar stories usually are. The whole idea is that's about control and the main reason for his obsession is that she claps back as much as her inferior status allows her and obviously doesn't like him. He is very handsome and also married to an extremely beautiful and scheming woman in an arranged marriage. There won't be any change in the heroine's hate for him nor future romance between the two.

    I kinda like the whole idea but I'm afraid it sounds unrealistic that a man in his position [and with his looks] would nurture an obsession like this for the reasons mentioned above. Any opinions?
     
  2. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    5,099
    Likes Received:
    6,672
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    Well looks are only one desire. If he doesn't feel he has complete control, and he's a bit of a control freak being knocked down a peg by his scheming wife, trying to gain control over this resilient woman would be his outlet. He may want to try and take her, master her. That may be his central desire.
    But unless this is part of the central plot, you have to not let it distract too much. It may be a frame of reference for how the characters act around each other.
     
    Kalisto and Lady Murasaki like this.
  3. Lady Murasaki

    Lady Murasaki New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thanks a lot for the feedback! It was really helpful. This is exactly the line I'm following with this. My main fear was if it would sound like bad writing, a situation with a ''plain'' servant woman and the seemingly perfect dude that has everything obsessing over her with no plausible reason, even though there will be zero romance, but the 'taming her' as an outlet aspect is really the key, since he is indeed a control freak and also kinda threatened by his wife schemes as you said. I think it could be a nice take on the ''Villainous Crush'' trope if I can get it right.

    And yes, I won't focus too much on it and keep it as a behavior guide as you mentioned, this is really good advice. Both the protagonist and this antagonist have greater goals inside the main plot but I thought this subplot would be good to add drama and danger on a personal level since the other main antagonist is a religious leader with lots of 'it's nothing personal' type of reasons for the evil stuff he does. The obsession could also be a good wildcard into the whole conspiracy thing since it would make the secondary antagonist less predictable than his master (the religious leader) would like him to be.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
    EFMingo likes this.
  4. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    5,099
    Likes Received:
    6,672
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    Sounds like your talking your way through it with the rest of your story. Good, that's how it should work. I talk myself through these situations all the time, sometimes literally out loud.

    One last piece of advice, remember that even the side characters are people too, not just tools as a means to an end. No you don't need to muddle the story with their relationship information and details, but maybe do that on their own so their speech and actions sound more natural and less robotic or detached. Just dont dive too far down the rabbit hole.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
    Lady Murasaki and jannert like this.
  5. Lady Murasaki

    Lady Murasaki New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    4
    I will keep that in mind! I usually try to make an exercise of 'mental' POV when I'm writing the secondary characters, usually to figure out their motivations and possible reactions to events and other characters. But I will keep out of the rabbit hole, I definitely can overthink things a little bit sometimes! :D And thanks once more for the excellent tips and feedback!
     
    EFMingo likes this.
  6. Kalisto

    Kalisto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    950
    I don't think it's question of realism as much as it is question of whether you can convince your audience to suspend their disbelief. And I think you could. While it's not play by play like real life, it does echo some aspects of real life. Like the boss hitting on the secretary or something like that.
     
    EFMingo likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice