My super soldier character, long lifespan since ww2? Or just give him offsprings in each new war?

Discussion in 'Character Development' started by SilentWaves55, Jun 16, 2022.

  1. SilentWaves55

    SilentWaves55 Active Member

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    I see what you're saying. Perhaps if I broke it down a notch and narrowed it down to just a three an a half? The grandfather, father and son, with a little backstory of the great grandfather?

    Or I can just focus on the one character from ww2, in each new generation, still being young because each new generation he is cloned?
     
  2. SilentWaves55

    SilentWaves55 Active Member

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    And I understand what you mean by the polemic issue and how the characters don't seem farely developed. But that can change.

    What if I just focused on just grandfather, father, then son?

    Grandfather was in Bosnia in the mid 90s, meets a Baltic/Serb woman, their son then meets a woman of Germanic/African heritage in the 2020s, producing the MC?

    Is it still an issue? The great grandfather could just be mentioned during the cold war on a mission and little mention of the great great grandfather who died in ww2?
     
  3. evild4ve

    evild4ve Senior Member

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    Yes.No.Maybe. It's already been said that it's all in how it's done not what's done. I feel some of these posts are at cross-purposes with our craft: it doesn't matter to the story if it's twenty generations of kilt-wearing Mongolian horseradish farmers called Gurta Gu, and the inciting incident is that the twenty-first one buys an Elvis record.
    In fact, even that's giving forum commentators more to comment on, or starting points from which to help, because Gurta Gu XXI's story has an inciting incident.
     
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  4. SilentWaves55

    SilentWaves55 Active Member

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    What I mean is the previous/older generation family members wouldn't be as much mentioned or of much main importance to the story, but just known for changing or sacrificing themselves for something major at that time, that currently affected the path of the story. The focus could then be geared more on the more current generations; the grandfather/father/son.
     
  5. evild4ve

    evild4ve Senior Member

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    It doesn't matter - even the inciting incident only matters as part of the character arc
    Call the "sacrifice self for greater good" trope A
    If the story is A then A then A then A then A, then the writer might as well just tell A. So the theory goes. Others have already put it different ways
     
  6. SilentWaves55

    SilentWaves55 Active Member

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    Only the first generation would do the sacrifice. The second generation could of could of been killed off, the third generation father could of gone MIA, then the forth generation father could be trying to help and fight back.
     
  7. evild4ve

    evild4ve Senior Member

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    I'd suggest to just tell the first part and leave it at that. The rest isn't revealing a character or advancing the story. For characters in literature we often know who their parents were - but it's only because in life parents cross our paths all the time or they hang over us even when they're absent. They're only mentioned in a story to reveal aspects of their children. A plot beat that needs a grandfather to complete, can probably be done just as well by the father. And the readers don't care if it's the father or the grandfather. And if it can be done without mentioning either, that's usually better.
     
  8. SilentWaves55

    SilentWaves55 Active Member

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    So you're saying leave out the ww2 generation father and leave out the second and third generation fathers?
     
  9. Fervidor

    Fervidor Senior Member

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    Huh, is that some sort of idiom I've haven't heard before or...

    ... Oh.

    Yeah, I know that feel.

    Maybe, to an extent. But it's a matter of perspective, philosophical outlook and the individual's interpretation his or her own values.

    Like, take Captain America. He's a good guy, good man, seems to have his head screwed on straight. He represents the United States of America in a fairly reasonable capacity - he's not a Bible-thumping Christian fundamentalist or a deeply paranoid conspiracy-theorist/doomsday prepper who thinks the government is going to take his guns away, because those are extreme expression of certain parts of the American stereotype.

    Rather, he represents the core ideals: Freedom, liberty, democracy and so on. But that still makes him an idealist. What he fights for is an idea, so he's not necessarily always going to back the USA arbitrarily. This is actually sort of an established feature of the character: Captain America is pretty old-school, and sometimes he seems to think that America may have forgotten what it used to - or was supposed to - stand for. That's part of his appeal, because his virtues are timeless or at least hearkens to a more romantic age.

    So, let's say Captain America were to, for example, shift his views of homosexuals from the standards of the 1940s to that of a more modern perspective. That would be great, and also not that much of a stretch. Perhaps he originally didn't think about it much but, upon reflection, figured it doesn't really matter to him if two people of the same sex love each other. Like, why would that even be a problem? Don't we have more important things to worry about? And since most people in this new era are okay with it, he'd have no reason to object. There's nothing intrinsically American about being homophobic. You can also apply this to whatever views he originally had on black people, or whatever. It probably wasn't a huge deal for him to begin with.

    On the other hand, if the government were to, say, abolish freedom of speech, then I could see ol' Steve have some serious objections no matter how justified the reasons for that change. At that point you're encroaching on the stuff he genuinely believes in, and he's going to start to wonder if the country he's now fighting for is still the same country he swore his allegiance to.

    This matters because martial ethics and idealism, historically, tends to be based on a deontological outlook: There are rules and you stick to those rules because that's what makes you honorable and dutiful and true to what you fight for. This is an easy way to instill a martial code of conduct that is fairly rigid and dependable. (Which is very important because highly trained professional killers absolutely need discipline or they will become a major problem.) Or, on a more personal level: All you have to do is to set rules for yourself regarding what is right and wrong and then commit to them, no matter what. This attitude is great for soldiers and warriors since it leads to less hesitation when faced with moral dilemmas, and less anxiety afterwards, which means you can do your duty more efficiently.

    However, in modern times the prevailing model of morality and ethics has gradually shifted towards consequentialism, or more specifically utilitarianism: Right and wrong is determined based on which option results in the maximum degree of utility - that is to say, whatever best accounts for costs vs benefits. To put it very simply: This is where it's okay to kill one innocent person if that act saves the lives of five other innocents. Morality thus becomes a matter of context, consequences and arithmetic. (Again, I'm over-simplifying because I'm a layman and don't really want to get into a serious discussion on moral philosophy.) To a utilitarian, this is rational and the optimal way to get the best possible results. To a deontologist, this could be seen as extremely cynical and hollow, even if it does lead to victory.

    Point is, a centenarian super-soldier would have a lot of time to think about all of this. Especially if he wasn't frozen in ice or lost his memories for most of that time. Being able to "keep up with the times" really just means they're not stuck in their ways (like always following orders, or never changing his mind regarding minorities) which probably just makes them more likely to solidify their beliefs and have pretty ironclad arguments to support them.

    I mean, not necessarily. That depends on the themes and messages you are trying to get across. The villain is whoever is wrong, as far as your story is concerned.

    Listen, I think you're missing my point: I can't answer that question, because I don't know what you want to say with this story.

    All of that stuff I mentioned might not even apply to your guy because different people respond differently to their experiences. Maybe he just keeps fighting and doesn't care too much about who or what he fights, he's just doing his job, and that's all. Some people are like that: They're content and don't think too deeply about their situation. That's not a very interesting character arc, but maybe that's not what you're going for?

    The point I'm trying make is, if this guy keeps fighting in wars for the government for like a hundred years, is that a good thing or a bad thing? Are you focusing on what he achieves or what he wants? Is he just supposed to be a weapon they point at the enemies of the country or is it a story about a man coming to terms with being treated as such? What is your thematic statement? What is your story really about?
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2022 at 5:26 PM
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  10. MartinM

    MartinM Active Member

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    @SilentWaves55

    Some great back & forth posts here, really made me think. I’d prefer a single generational super solider rather than siblings (my view). Constructed carefully it could be a wonderful piece of work. My thoughts would be after each major event or conflict the MC is changed from the experience and we see it going forward.

    Points were made about him becoming more of an anti-hero with his disillusionment from his government or handlers. This is Wolverine, but skew it in a different way could be fun. Nobody goes into work to do a bad job. They may do a bad job but nobody tries to achieve this. So, through his actions he may solve the problem or save the day, but leaves a bitter after taste... There are hundreds of examples here to play with.

    For example, towards the end of WW2 our keen Super helps destroy a V2 Rocket factory and liberates the concentration camp workers that supply the factory’s labour. London is saved, but he also needs to extract the NAZI management alive back to the US. See Operation Paperclip.

    Churchill’s operation Unthinkable again another one that fits in perfectly.

    From here the Super ranks up as he ages. He is brought in on a strategic level as well as frontline. Korea or Vietnam or back home with civil rights. Each turn puts a plan into action that he agrees with but somehow fails to deliver on his expectations. He becomes more senior and yet his plans don’t really make things better. Vietnam, Kennedy you can have a field day…

    Image and media, the storyline starts to become just as powerful as him. Here the MC cannot become anti-government as he himself is already sunk into a political narrative. He grows as a character, but cannot rage against the machine as he’s the one driving it. Even with superpowers it becomes a head fuck.

    Just my skew, and take it with a glass of Bran Caia 2019 Chianti.

    MartinM.
     
  11. MartinM

    MartinM Active Member

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    @SilentWave55

    Just to add... @Fervidor asks what is your story really about?

    The growth society as evolved to become more accepting of all? Would be my thought. Super stories are a mirror that reflects society and its injustices at the time of writing. A Suttle nod on what we should be doing. A message, but not at the expense of the storyline. A Super story through the ages is really interesting as that message changes.

    I’m a big James Bond fan, although not a super he was a Super MC. The books are amazing and the reader must have a good understanding of the world at the time of publication. The first couple of movies do this to good effect. However, watching all of them in order they reflect a lot of society’s attitudes at that time. So, watching Daniel Craig’s films against the others you’ve got a very different style. The books see the MC break and fail, which reflects the authors life. Bond’s character grows. Over the movie series you don’t see this, only his attitude changes. This is the problem using generations of supers. I’d rather see one super change and evolve through the passage of time.

    I’m 53 tomorrow and I know full well I’m not the same person 10, 20 or 40 years ago...

    MartinM
     
  12. SilentWaves55

    SilentWaves55 Active Member

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    Precisely yes, it's something my character could relate to at first. Especially if he was fighting during that era against the nazis.
    And there's nothing wrong with that. At least in the beginning.
    Exactly, as his views wouldn't drastically change from how those today view the same way. A character like this has more important things to worry about. And we're talking about someone, who's literally from the 40s, and snapped right into the present. My character would have more important things to worry about as well, yet at the same time had lived through all the generations. It wouldn't be hard to believe that he wouldn't have a problem with this. He'd be just fine. Wolverine didn't have an issue with things like this. I think it would be believable with a character like this.
    Totally understandable and very relatable to reasons why someone like this would have an objection towards and very acceptable.
    And I can show how things have changed and how these are the reasons for the shift.
    Agreed on point. It would be easy to explain.
    There will be a major villain that is controlling all of this that has lived for many more decades compared to the super soldier.
    There's a mix of this, along with something beyond his control. There are other super soldiers involved and those who've lived longer than him as well.
     
  13. SilentWaves55

    SilentWaves55 Active Member

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    I like this idea!
    This would be great. But at the time, were the concentration camp workers ones who were actual victims of the camps? Or were they nazi workers that worked at the camps?
    I like this. It shows how he's evolved fr9m each mew conflict. Would it be good to say that he was really truly willing to help but couldn't as some wars like Vietnam for example, were then put of his hands and control and could not be that hero he once was during the defeat against the nazis?
    I like his development as a character and has become a basic product of war. Couod this also explain that he continued to do missions, like throughout the cold war era, where he dealt with proxy wars secretly against the Soviets and maybe even Chinese, throughout the events that followed? Like he could of gone to Nicaragua, Colombia, Cuba, Afghanistan, etc, where such secret missions were being held, where he could of prevented multiple attacks from Soviet weapons that were geared at democracy nations, which he helped prevent a ww3, as he'd be the man for the job? But then as time moved on into the later conflicts, the ones he worked for have proven themselves to not care for their own citizens and how they have affected the casualties of war in other foreign countries, where money, power, land and fortune has become the turning point? A good reason I can say he can't get out of it is, since he is a Super, there could of been a few other Supers long before him, like back and before ww2 or right after ww2, who've had this seat in power for a long time?
     
  14. SilentWaves55

    SilentWaves55 Active Member

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    Perfectly well said. This would be more ideal for what his purpose, as he evolves as a character and whst the meaning is behind. I think it would add more to the story if he's not the only one in existence and other ones out there can play this part as well as an ally or enemy. I imagined one major Big Bad who's been working under the shadows, maybe since ww1, or even before.
    This would definitely be important and I would show that course of changes overtime as he'd develop in each new decade.
    Happy belated birthday! :)
     
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