1. Caalro

    Caalro New Member

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    Need some opinions on this character…

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Caalro, May 9, 2021.

    So I have been developing my novel plot and I have hit a point where I would like some opinions from strangers.


    My question is: Is this character believable? Does her development make sense to you? How would you feel about this character? Would you be able to predict this?


    It’s about one of my main characters and the love interest in the book.

    To keep things brief: There are three forms of humans, all with different abilities. Humans are equilibrium of the two others and use enchanted weapons. S* are connected to the physical world and able to manipulate the physical. They have elemental magic. A* are connected to the spiritual world and use spirit magic. Their abilities include predicting the future, possession magic, healing magic, curses and so on.

    Both humans, S*s and A*s have slightly different physical features. They also differ in their cultures and beliefs.

    A*s live in seclusion from humanity because they’re connected to the spirits. In order to awaken your abilities as an A*, you will have to give up on the physical world (human relationships and so on) and give into the other world.

    The late emperor lead a genocide on the A*s which only a few survived which leads us to the love interest. She, let’s call her M, escaped with her father. Together with the other A*s, they lived in a small community. When it came to awakening M’s power, she was not able to because she kept clinging to the memory of her mother and the fact that her father was with her. However once an A* starts awakening their power, they either do it or the spirits kill them. Everyone tried to save M from death by trying to force her to give up on her connection to the physical world. They did some pretty terrible things out of desperation. Anyway, M being mentally and physically completely worn out only clung to her memory even more. She ended up becoming an illusionist. Someone that cannot change reality but they manipulate people’s perception of reality. For example, they can basically make you think you’ve been pierced by a sword (and feel the pain kinda like a placebo effect) when in reality no harm was done to their body. They can drive people absolutely insane.

    Illusion is not a pure skill. A*s normally can only summon/manipulate/use the power of the dead. Illusion however manipulates the spirit of the living.

    The spirits angered with M forced the other A*s to kill her. M’s father overcome with grief over his daughter’s destiny planned to put a curse on the remaining A*s and he trusted his daughter with his plans. She however loved everyone in the community and didn’t believe in her father’s plans but there was no stopping him. She was so afraid of another genocide because the first one was the cause for all her pain. In the end she killed her own father and fled. Everyone believed M had finally gone insane and searched for her with the intention to kill her but they weren’t able to.

    Which leads us to her character at the start of the book. M hides her A features through illusions. She is part of a human trafficking group which the protagonist and his friend go to at the start of the story. She has become a skilled assassin which contrasts the protagonist who is also skilled with weapons but absolutely unable to kill. She is very mischievous, cheeky and does not care for rules. She does what she believes is necessary to achieve her goals. However she is really loyal and has a keen sense for justice but she believes she has to do everything on her own. She has lost all trust in other people’s justice. When I think of her character, I think of an aloof cat if that helps anyone.

    Throughout the story she will put faith in the protagonist and two other characters. In the end of the story she reveals her ability in order to save the people she has grown close to. However the reveal of her ability makes her everyone’s enemy, even the protagonist’s because her abilities are dangerous to everyone (plot related). She is able to save the protagonist but has to flee right after in order to save her own life. The protagonist might’ve been forced to kill her otherwise. He feels somewhat betrayed by her but cannot forget what she did for him. However due to the plot he has to kill her if he wants to protect the others which causes a lot of inner conflict.
     
  2. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Active Member

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    You probably could have left a lot of that out, or at least started with a general description of the character in question.

    I don't see any issues with the character, it all depends on execution. Sort of reminds me of 'Frozen' but that's not the first story to use the 'if I reveal my powers they will hate me' trope, so I don't see a problem with that either.
     
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  3. Caalro

    Caalro New Member

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    Hm, then I might change it because I don't want her to be that kind of character. Elsa is afraid of hurting someone with her powers and goes into exile. M is not supposed to be like that. That's actually why I wrote her whole backstory. The idea is that she herself is afraid of her powers because they don't bring out the good in anything. Her main motivation is not that she is afraid to hurt someone. Her main motivation is that she herself is afraid of what her powers do to her, of who she becomes. She is afraid of what it makes out of her. The feeling of pure strength and superiority. The feeling of having someone's entire existence in the palm of her hand. It has already made her a murderer but what comes after that? That's her conflict. It's not directly related to others.
    And the other reason she is hiding her powers is that she has goal in mind. As I said, she believes she has to do things on her own to actually achieve anything and giving away too much would be detrimental to her plan. It's not like she avoids human contact. She works with other people quite a bit but she tries not to get attached to them
    And lastly for the fact that any A* are being hunted (after the genocide). Now that's not the same reason as to why it is so dangerous to reveal herself in the end of the story btw. That reason only unfolds during the story.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
  4. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    I'm confused (which is not an unusual condition). Maybe your synopsis is inconsistent withe the actual story, but here's what's toubling me:

    1) You start by telling us there are three forms of humans. You then immediately say there are S*s and A*s, and that humans are a bridge between them. That would mean (grammatically) that S*s and A*s are not human.

    2) You then tell us that the spirits, who were angry with M, forced the other A*s to kill her. Her father wanted to avenge her, so she killed him and then fled. If she was already dead, did she kill her father using magic? However she killed him -- she's dead, so why did she have to flee after killing him?

    As to the rest -- someone who loves everyone so much that she killed her own father to avoid a genocide becomes a skilled assassin? That doesn't work for me at all.
     
  5. Caalro

    Caalro New Member

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    Thanks for the reply.

    1. English is not my native tongue. They are are forms of humans. So basically they are human but have different names. I did not to give "normal" humans a different name because it would be way more confusing. In my language we have three different gendered nouns and it would get very confusing, I think. You could think of it as a phylogeny where A*s and S*s developed out of humans. However we're not talking about species.

    2. They did not kill her. They forced them to but they never got to go through with it because the timing wasn't right. Her father knew about this and warned her beforehand.

    The idea behind her character is a person who has a clear goal in mind and is ready to do anything to get there. After some time, I believe, you would get numb from killing. Furthermore as I said, she keeps people at a distance so she doesn't grow too fond of them and ends up being unable to go for what she is aiming for. Her goal is her absolute main focus. So she is someone who got hurt and then decided on a goal after that. Having already decided to use wrong methods (aka killing) to do what she thinks is right, she kinda spiralled down from there. I want her character to switch from optimistic to someone that has been driven to do terrible things through sheer desperation. This doesn't happen from one moment to another. There's about 5 to 6 years between her father's death and the start of the story. However I see your point. I will work on it. Thank you.
     
  6. making tracks

    making tracks Active Member

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    I understand the arc of someone who becomes gradually worn down and more cynical over time, I think it can definitely work. There were a couple of things which confused me too though, but I don't know if that's because you can't explain everything in a brief synopsis:

    You say if A*s don't manifest their power spirits kill them - I don't quite understand how the spirits don't manage to do this to M? Do they have to work through humans? If so, can they only work through A*s to kill people? And if that's the case does that mean the A* healing power only works on other A*s too? And if that's the case can S*s only use their powers on other S*s? I just find it a little strange that the spirits are powerless to actually kill her. Also, is M the only one this has ever happened to? It seems strange if you have to let go of memories of loved ones that no one else has had this problem or become an illusionist.

    I also see @SapereAude 's point - I understand an arc where she gets worn down, but it could seem a bit of a one eighty if the last thing you know from her back story was she kills her father to keep her community safe then the next scene she is an assassin forcing herself not to have a relationship with anyone - unless this is a case of she only kills 'bad' people? Because I can see how that makes sense. She would still be trying to protect communities by killing bad guys but without getting attached to the communities first. Sorry if I've misunderstood! It sounds like your story has a lot of interesting aspects.
     
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  7. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Contributor Contributor

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    I also think the same about her becoming an assassin. It depends on whether it's a gradual change, I don't think it would work if done to quickly unless it was well set up.

    It's hard to say how this idea would translate to paper.
     

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