WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > Writing Craft > Writing Help & Issues

Writing Help & Issues You name it, we solve it! Ask your questions here.


How do I make this character darker?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-28-2014, 04:11 PM
Alligrace797's Avatar
Alligrace797 (Offline)
I Am My Own Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 108
Thanks: 24
Thanks 6
Default How do I make this character darker?


Hello

I'm having a problem with the male main character in my story. This guy who we will call Character A is just too nice for his own good. A guy with just a heart of gold. Character A is in a relationship with a human trainwreck.

Character B is a girl that Character A loves but can't exactly hold onto. She's really immature, bitchy, and extremely flighty. They break up all of the time. Whenever she comes back to him, she's either pregnant or drunk or coming from strange mess. The main character always tolerates it because she is in his heart and he can't envision his life without her and plus they do share a daughter. I want him to be free of her for at least a little while and date other women, while making the main female character jealous.

How do I make him darker and less of a creampuff?

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-28-2014, 04:18 PM
Alien (Offline)
I Am My Own Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 89
Thanks: 50
Thanks 12
Default

"Don't."
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-28-2014, 04:42 PM
Nick Pierce's Avatar
Nick Pierce (Offline)
Samuel Johnson, obviously!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,491
Thanks: 2,095
Thanks 1,380
Default

Have him meet a chick that takes him on a three day crank run while she empties his bank account, maxs out his credit cards and steals his car.

That should bring the shades down over his happy eyes.
__________________
Through the smoke and fog there comes a form ... shape shifting ... could this be the Future?

Last edited by Nick Pierce; 08-29-2014 at 09:42 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-29-2014, 12:00 AM
Non Serviam's Avatar
Non Serviam (Offline)
Heartbreaking Writer of Staggering Genius
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 1,463
Thanks: 71
Thanks 590
Default

Always in writing, the way to make a character darker is to give them their own demons to face. However, some of the best options have been seriously overexposed. Don't give him post-traumatic stress disorder from having fought in a war, and don't give him a history as an abused child, because those have been done to death.

(The reason why these particular character-demons are popular with writers who want to darken their stories is because they can happen without the character having had to make any bad decisions, by the way. This is a mistake. Make sure he HAS made bad decisions. Good characters develop, grow and learn better over the course of a story.)

Examples of some less overexposed demons you could give him:-

A drug addiction. These are brilliant, by the way, but make sure you don't write an addict story unless you know about addiction.

Debts. Comments above still apply: the way to make your character boring is to give him debts that aren't his fault. If he's an American, don't give him medical bills as a reason for debt because that's also overexposed... but if he's borrowed money to put into an investment that failed, or handed it over to Nigerian scammers, or whatever then that's fine. (He could also be in debt because he's bailed out character B, but listen: if you make that true, then you haven't made his character darker, you've made hers.)

If I'd written the story he'd be in debt after wasting tens of thousands on setting up a strip joint that got closed down by the authorities and she'd be one of his ex-strippers who he still feels responsible for.
__________________
A few of my stories:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
;
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
;

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


English is a strange language. It can be understood through tough thorough thought though.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Non Serviam For This Useful Post:
RaineDrop (09-30-2014), RyleyAlexander (09-01-2014)
  #5  
Old 08-29-2014, 07:26 AM
Seedy M.'s Avatar
Seedy M. (Offline)
Profusive Denizen
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Puerto Armuelles, Chiriqui, Panamá
Posts: 257
Thanks: 16
Thanks 74
Default

The situation screams of a doormat type who was sexually abused by a stranger when he was just at puberty, but one of whose parents were religious and he is denying and hiding it. He feels guilty, though he had no choice.
Flashbacks when she pulls one of her stunts. Religious father, unfaithful mother. Have a growing fear in him that he has become his father.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-29-2014, 02:45 PM
Rei's Avatar
Rei (Offline)
Verbosity Pales
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: The Tardis
Posts: 3,488
Thanks: 269
Thanks 257
Default

Dye his hair black and make it all greasy. That's what happens on television.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-30-2014, 02:57 AM
Nick Pierce's Avatar
Nick Pierce (Offline)
Samuel Johnson, obviously!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,491
Thanks: 2,095
Thanks 1,380
Default

Originally Posted by Rei View Post
Dye his hair black and make it all greasy. That's what happens on television.
And have him spend ten hours per day for two weeks at a tanning salon.
__________________
Through the smoke and fog there comes a form ... shape shifting ... could this be the Future?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-30-2014, 08:33 AM
Rei's Avatar
Rei (Offline)
Verbosity Pales
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: The Tardis
Posts: 3,488
Thanks: 269
Thanks 257
Default

Not the ones I am thinking of, Nick. They actually get paler.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-30-2014, 10:51 AM
Nick Pierce's Avatar
Nick Pierce (Offline)
Samuel Johnson, obviously!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,491
Thanks: 2,095
Thanks 1,380
Default

Beginning to wonder if any of this is what the poster was looking for.



If he stood in the shade he would seem darker.
__________________
Through the smoke and fog there comes a form ... shape shifting ... could this be the Future?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-30-2014, 11:11 AM
Seedy M.'s Avatar
Seedy M. (Offline)
Profusive Denizen
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Puerto Armuelles, Chiriqui, Panamá
Posts: 257
Thanks: 16
Thanks 74
Default

If the cutesy remarks are over, Ali, have you considered adding short insights from his mind about something like I suggested. To make him appear as though he is bottling up something that can explode at any time into something horrific, how about, when she's being bitchy:
A look of pure hatred flashed across his face.
His smoldering look could have started a forest fire.
His lip curled for the barest second in an intense sneer.
Put such things in sparsely. Make your reader know there's a lot more to this character than he's in the habit of showing. Show a smoldering, deep resentment being held just below the surface.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-30-2014, 11:19 AM
Floyd's Avatar
Floyd (Offline)
Dedicated Writer
Official Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Gloucestershire, UK
Posts: 216
Thanks: 53
Thanks 49
Default

If you want to make someone darker, other than as Seedy suggested to show through brief flashes of darkness or, in certain cases, thought, you could change the way he interacts with other characters? Make it so he says the wrong things, sometimes, that he make people uncomfortable by saying dark things.

One of the main, if not the main way an author shows a character is through the way he/she interacts and communicates. Especially in novels with no internal monologue, it is the way a character is presented to the world, and indeed the author
__________________
“The story so far:
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-30-2014, 01:49 PM
Rei's Avatar
Rei (Offline)
Verbosity Pales
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: The Tardis
Posts: 3,488
Thanks: 269
Thanks 257
Default

What's wrong with a few jokes, Seedy?
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Rei For This Useful Post:
RyleyAlexander (09-01-2014)
  #13  
Old 09-01-2014, 08:02 PM
RyleyAlexander's Avatar
RyleyAlexander (Offline)
I Am My Own Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Florida, sadly.
Posts: 102
Thanks: 51
Thanks 9
Default

I'd give him a dark past. Perhaps he was an alcoholic (maybe even accidently killed someone driving drunk and has nightmares still about it as the guilt eats away at him), who made some of the same dumb mistakes she's making- sleeping around, spending himself into debt buying so much booze. But now he's in AA and sober and he wants to help her do the same. He knows she has good in her, because after all, look at all the good that was hiding in him! The other characters don't know about his past, because he's so different now, but the reader knows things others don't.

His past gives him darkness, but still leaves him a likeable and good person.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-01-2014, 09:01 PM
Darron (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 4
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

I would think it's difficult to make someone darker if they have a "heart of gold" like you have. If this is in your story, then maybe remove it. If you're just telling us how he comes off, then we have something to work with.
There are plenty of people who need someone to take care of, a little pet project, even if that is someone they care about deeply. In their mind, this could give them a "credit" to offset some other behavior of theirs. I read giving them an addiction earlier or giving them a compulsory habit that isn't morally acceptable. Let's even consider the debt example because he has his normal bills to pay and Character B is a serious financial drain, so instead of cutting her off he goes out at night and breaks into cars or empty homes or something.
On the surface and to most people he's not awful, but then you have this lack of morals in a specific area that bring his character down and depending on how you want your story to play out could be a skill that comes in handy or gets himself busted later on.
__________________
A hero has to win every time, the villain only has to win once.

Sometimes the world doesn't need a hero, sometimes it needs a monster.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-02-2014, 01:55 PM
Seedy M.'s Avatar
Seedy M. (Offline)
Profusive Denizen
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Puerto Armuelles, Chiriqui, Panamá
Posts: 257
Thanks: 16
Thanks 74
Default

Nothing is wrong with a few jokes. I'm a bit prone to get into that, but after the question is answered. It's now answered as well as we're capable (which is probably not any great whoopee, in my case).
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-02-2014, 03:47 PM
Alligrace797's Avatar
Alligrace797 (Offline)
I Am My Own Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 108
Thanks: 24
Thanks 6
Default

Thanks for all of your advice, everyone.

Do any of you know where I can post an ad on this site for a writing partner?
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-02-2014, 04:12 PM
Nick Pierce's Avatar
Nick Pierce (Offline)
Samuel Johnson, obviously!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,491
Thanks: 2,095
Thanks 1,380
Default

Originally Posted by Alligrace797 View Post

Do any of you know where I can post an ad on this site for a writing partner?
Post your ad on the Classifieds page.
__________________
Through the smoke and fog there comes a form ... shape shifting ... could this be the Future?
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-04-2014, 09:55 AM
Pandora's Avatar
Pandora (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 825
Thanks: 220
Thanks 261
Default

He's not a nice guy he is just a guy who wants to take care of a woman instead of have an equal in his partner. He is actually self centered, selfish, has low esteem and kind of pathetic. That's bad enough. He sounds much like the female character. Give him a backbone for a more interesting story. Let him discover saving someone else only happens in fairytales and there is no changing anyone ever. Maybe he could meet a girl he would want to be more like.

I don't know why but I picture him as a gambler.
__________________
"now I float away like honey in the sun"
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-04-2014, 10:31 AM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 404
Default

if I was doing this I would have him met another woman that was very dominate, a mothering, controlling kind of person who doesn't like his 'girlfriend' and sets out to destroy the 'relationship' leaving him with the necessity to chose between them. The process should make him less naïve and leave his heart of gold only slightly tarnished.
__________________
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-19-2014, 03:07 AM
TerryMarine (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 11
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by max crash View Post
if I was doing this I would have him met another woman that was very dominate, a mothering, controlling kind of person who doesn't like his 'girlfriend' and sets out to destroy the 'relationship' leaving him with the necessity to chose between them. The process should make him less naïve and leave his heart of gold only slightly tarnished.
I too will do the same thing and give him advice to met with another women.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 09-29-2014, 02:14 PM
Alligrace797's Avatar
Alligrace797 (Offline)
I Am My Own Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 108
Thanks: 24
Thanks 6
Default

Originally Posted by Pandora View Post
He's not a nice guy he is just a guy who wants to take care of a woman instead of have an equal in his partner. He is actually self centered, selfish, has low esteem and kind of pathetic. That's bad enough. He sounds much like the female character. Give him a backbone for a more interesting story. Let him discover saving someone else only happens in fairytales and there is no changing anyone ever. Maybe he could meet a girl he would want to be more like.

I don't know why but I picture him as a gambler.
Recovering Gambler and Alcoholic.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 10-07-2014, 09:24 PM
Hans Lillegard (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 19
Thanks: 2
Thanks 0
Default

use ugly vocabulary around him
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 10-08-2014, 09:31 AM
Alligrace797's Avatar
Alligrace797 (Offline)
I Am My Own Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 108
Thanks: 24
Thanks 6
Default

Originally Posted by Hans Lillegard View Post
use ugly vocabulary around him
Alexander is a very brain smart and has a low tolerance for misspelling and grammar errors. Christiana lists the aforementioned as her 3rd reason for leaving Alex so many times, next to being way too perfect and being a stuffy old bookworm. Christiana wants to party and live it up while Alexander would rather stay home with a good book and a cup of tea. The age difference is a huge reason why Christiana and Alexander keep getting divorced. Crissy is in her mid 30's while Alexander is an 300 year old ex-demon.....that looks 27.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 10-08-2014, 11:04 AM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 404
Default

so is character A the 300 year old demon?

you didn't tell us that, he has built in EEEEEEvil - he is a creampuff he's just laid back, all you have to do is let him out from time to time. Like the HULK

Max
__________________
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to max crash For This Useful Post:
Alligrace797 (10-08-2014)
  #25  
Old 10-08-2014, 02:35 PM
Alligrace797's Avatar
Alligrace797 (Offline)
I Am My Own Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 108
Thanks: 24
Thanks 6
Default

Originally Posted by max crash View Post
so is character A the 300 year old demon?

you didn't tell us that, he has built in EEEEEEvil - he is a creampuff he's just laid back, all you have to do is let him out from time to time. Like the HULK

Max
Character A is a 300 year old ex-demon. Character A still has a dark side and could be evil but is afraid of scaring Lily with it. Character A figures that Lily has enough dysfunction with her parents constantly on and off that nothing else needs to scar the kid for life. Character A is pretty cocky when he wants to be and is not afraid to call Character B out on her crap. Character A knows that Character B loves to get on his bad side but only screams at her when they are alone, as to not scare Lily. Character A would love for Character B to act like a 32 year old woman, instead of a 16 year old girl. Character A has never hit Character B and will never hit Character B but the thought of punishing her for her misdeeds has come to mind many times. During Character A's days as a demon, he was a master of torture. Before Lily was even a dot on a sonogram screen, Character A used to spank Character B. Spank and tie Character B up. Character B loved every minute of it and always wanted more. Basically before Lily was born, Character B and Character A were freaks to the 15th power. Now when Character A and Character B sleep together, it is boring and vanilla. Character B hates boring and vanilla but loves waking up in Character A's arms.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 10-08-2014, 03:56 PM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 404
Default

sounds like you got this but I see a crisis coming, when 'A' is left no choice but to reveal his bad side to protect Lil.

could get mess unless A and B have tried to talk about it somewhere in the previous text, they don't have to succeed, or find a solation, they just need to talk about it. it's called a tell when written into a movie script. you set the readers up for something that may or may not come. the drama is there either way.

Max
__________________
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 10-08-2014, 04:31 PM
Peeety1241 (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 21
Thanks: 0
Thanks 3
Default

Maybe this is not what your looking for but could you have character b tell character a that it's not really his daughter? Surely that would tip him over the edge. You might even get an attempted murder out of that!
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 10-09-2014, 08:54 AM
Alligrace797's Avatar
Alligrace797 (Offline)
I Am My Own Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 108
Thanks: 24
Thanks 6
Default

Originally Posted by max crash View Post
sounds like you got this but I see a crisis coming, when 'A' is left no choice but to reveal his bad side to protect Lil.

could get mess unless A and B have tried to talk about it somewhere in the previous text, they don't have to succeed, or find a solation, they just need to talk about it. it's called a tell when written into a movie script. you set the readers up for something that may or may not come. the drama is there either way.

Max
Which one of these ideas sound good and less horrible?

Reveal his bad side when Character B decides to take Lillian to Greece and won't let up from it because it is her fiancee's idea?

or

Reveal his bad side when Character A finds out that Character B is using heroin and that the guy that she is marrying is actually her dealer?

or

Several months after Character A's accident and in the process of Character B still taking care of Character A, Character A just lets loose on Character B by telling her how stupid it is to marry a guy that she barely knows and that she will never be happy with him. I mean just like really screams and curses and lets Character B just have it.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 10-09-2014, 08:56 AM
Alligrace797's Avatar
Alligrace797 (Offline)
I Am My Own Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 108
Thanks: 24
Thanks 6
Default

Originally Posted by Peeety1241 View Post
Maybe this is not what your looking for but could you have character b tell character a that it's not really his daughter? Surely that would tip him over the edge. You might even get an attempted murder out of that!
Hmmm.....you are onto something. Character B could tell Character A that Lillian is not his daughter but it would be a lie that she is telling to just piss him off.

Attempted murder? Hmm....our minds are insync.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 10-09-2014, 11:40 AM
Peeety1241 (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 21
Thanks: 0
Thanks 3
Default

That's exactly what I was thinking. She sounds like the kind of bitch that would lie just to screw with his mind. But it could just horribly backfire.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > Writing Craft > Writing Help & Issues


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Creep World (WIP) MalReynolds Fiction 21 09-07-2017 06:06 AM
You Make Diamonds in My Eyes ~WishfulWriter~ Poetry 0 09-09-2012 12:23 PM
Fortitude - Make $10 to $100 Per Article or Story JustinK Classifieds 30 07-20-2010 04:55 AM
How to make a character think. HopelessWriter Writing Help & Issues 8 03-26-2010 10:41 AM
Tips for writers - how not to lose your audience Crystalwizard Tips & Advice 13 07-23-2008 05:54 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:14 AM.

vBulletin, Copyright © 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.