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I keep kicking the crap out of my characters.

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funbagz



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 61
Location: I'd tell you if I knew
I keep kicking the crap out of my characters.  Reply with quote  

I keep kicking the crap out of my main characters, and I think I'm enjoying it too much Smile
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Post Wed Feb 16, 2005 4:27 pm   View user's profile Send private message
funbagz



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 61
Location: I'd tell you if I knew
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I keep doing it, I keep beating them near to death. So I am starting an Organization, The Organization Against the Cruelty to Fictional Characters. It's not only about cruel author's, also for bad actors, Studios that keep pumping out all those stupid comic book to movie franchises, also to stop all the damn sequels the studios just won't let a franchise die until they've sucked every last penny from it. Wil E Coyote could be are mascot. So, who's with me?

Slapstick, you days are numbered. Smile
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Post Thu Feb 24, 2005 1:37 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
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Do your characters at least deserve the ass kicking your giving them? If so, I have no problem with it. Especially if it keeps you from ebating up real people.

On the other point, I like some of the comic book to film movies. Constantine was good. So are the X-Men movies. Not everything has to be Citizen Kane. Some sequels are excellent. I enjoy quite a few of them. Spiderman 2 was better than the first one, for instance. (Just to stay with the comic theme.)

Feel free to mention this post to me in a few years if I am on here bitching about Mr. Undesirable 2: The Reckoning. LOL.
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Post Thu Feb 24, 2005 4:09 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
funbagz



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 61
Location: I'd tell you if I knew
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I'm not really sure if they deserved it or not. In my newest novel attempt he welcomes ass kickings and even kicks his own ass a few times. I don't know if I've created masochistic characters or if I am the masochistic one. Either way, I sure enjoy it for some creepy reason:)

As for the comic movies and sequels. I liked the spider-man movies. Constantine sucked. Sequels don't necessarily always suck, but they are making way too many of them. the movie industry is saturated with them, and it's pushing out original ideas. I don't want it to stop all together, but I would like it if they would turn it down a notch.
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Post Thu Feb 24, 2005 8:09 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
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You're the one dishing out the beatings and you're enjoying it, so that would make you a sadist instead of a masochist. LOL.

I'm with you on the whole thing about new ideas getting pushed aside. I'm learning that first hand right now. I really liked Constantine, though. I thought it was one of the best comic adaptations I have seen.

I've always liked this quote and it seems somewhat appropriate here:

"Sure, 90% of science fiction is crud. That's because 90% of everything is crud."
--Theodore Sturgeon
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Post Sat Feb 26, 2005 2:14 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
conspiracies unlimited



Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Posts: 4281
Location: California
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Don't worry about it... five or ten pages into my book, my main character gets a serious beat down... Hell I'm even toying with killing him off... though I don't know how that will affect future books... This is the first book, and IF I ever get around to finishing it, and IF I get it published, AND IF it does well, I plan on writting more books about this asshole... YES, my main character is an ASSHOLE... He really isn't very likable... in fact, thats why I had him get beat... It made me feel good, deep deep down in my soul... Why, becuase the fucker deserved it... not that the people had reason to beat him, but because he's a dick...

Go ahead man, beat the crap out of your character... its good for the soul...
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Post Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:29 pm   View user's profile Send private message
funbagz



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 61
Location: I'd tell you if I knew
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Thanks for the vote of confidence. In my book my character kind of looks for beatings and beats the crap out of himself a few times. In my novel my character does die at the end and I've already wrote a few pages of the sequel. But I'm no where near finished my first.
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Post Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:17 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Ferrit Leggings



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 2658
 Reply with quote  

Funbags,

It is a bit odd referring to some as that, well as that when I donít know then that well. Anyway, I had just finished reading The Thought Gang by Tibour Fisher and the main character in the story gets the crap beat out of him all of the time. It did not detract from the story at all but exemplified the situation that he was in. The book is a very good read BTW. Another character that I didnít mind the crap being beat out of him, literally, was the main character in Choke by Chuck P(I wonít attempt to sp his name but you know who I mean). Another one is in David Eggers You Shall Know Our Velocity. All of them were great reads and it was alright with me as a reader.

As a writer I donít write stories that involve too much violence so I would have difficulty writing a detailed fight scene. However, that doesnít stop me from reading them.

In Film:
We all loved the character Bruce Willis played in the Die Hard series and he seemed to get the shit beat out of him all the time.

Ta,
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Post Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:49 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
funbagz



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 61
Location: I'd tell you if I knew
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I think the main reason I do injure my characters on a fairly regular basis is because must of the books I read do the same. Like Chuck's work, I have read Choke too. But I'm doing it almost at every turn, even when I'm trying to do a nonviolent part, violence some how wiggles its way into it.
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Post Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:10 pm   View user's profile Send private message
funbagz



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 61
Location: I'd tell you if I knew
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I think my character is also a little too detached and too much of a jerk. I'll give a small bit of my novel as an example:

So I go to the fucking film show. Not for the production value, that's for damn sure. I watch the shitty short films of a chick getting stabbed by a pathetic plastic butter knife. Being sprayed with ketchup.

While this farce flickers before my eyes. A movie with much better production value and with props much more realistic is happening on the other side of campus. The knife is stainless steal and the blood is B negative. But I guess they forgot the camera and the girl must have forgotten the safe word. Okay, I'm being way to facetious. The fucking chick got shanked in the park.


Is my character being too much of an asshole?
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Post Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:19 pm   View user's profile Send private message
chris
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Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
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FBz. I've said it here before, but maybe it bears repeating here. I had to rewrite the whole beginning of both Coyote Blue and Love Nun because the characters were basically unlikable (and they were way more likable than your guy). Your main character can be a misanthrope, and a rascal to be sure, but if the reader can't root for him then you are hosed.

Seems to me that Martin Amis wrote a couple of early books that had unlikable characters -- (Cigarettes -out of print), Money and London Fields. I actually liked Money, because the narrator's voice was so entertaining that you started to root for him, and eventually he is redeemed. I didn't even get through London Fields, because the main character seemed beyond hope. Here's the trap. If you write an unlikeable character, he has to be so clever and entertaining that the reader wants to stick with him, is even afraid that his own flaws will undo him. No matter what, we have to be rooting for him.

You have to draw a line between a flawed anti-hero like Updike's Rabbit, Salinger's Holden Caufield, or some of the more desperate characters in Cheever and Roth, and complete assholes. (I haven't read The Human Stain, but the title gives little promise for a hero to root for. I'm sure some boardies can chime in.)

Ultimately, people respond to moral fiction. This is one of the few times where you will ever see me use the word "moral". You're character can be cynical, crude, even selfish, as long as he ultimately makes the right decisions, does the right thing, or tries to. The voice you used by example is a little harsh, but it doesn't condemn your character as long as he turns his contempt on the bad guys or the bad deeds. Andrew Vachs and George Pelicanos write some really harsh main characters, and Vachs' in particular seem to border on being psychopaths, so obsessed are they with their self-proclaimed missions, yet these guys have lots of readers. By the same token, I quit reading James Ellroy's books or watching the Sopranos because I couldn't find anyone to root for. Everyone was scum.

I think it's particularly important to give the reader something to hold onto in the first few pages of the book so he or she will stay with your character. What that is, I leave up to you. I resorted to actually going back in Coyote Blue and inserting the line, "It wasn't that he was a bad guy, it was just that you could never get close to him, etc. etc." In other words, I just resorted to telling the reader that even though Sam appeared to be a bit of a dick, he was not.

I can also tell you that as long as your character makes decisions that the reader can identify with, then you can always fix character flaws in rewrite. Sometimes it's as easy as taking a really harsh line of dialogue and adding, "he said with a grin" afterward. Sort of the equivalent of the Razz in email and chat posts. Takes the edge off, implies a sense of humor.

Post Sun Apr 03, 2005 7:32 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
funbagz



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 61
Location: I'd tell you if I knew
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Thank you for the advice. The reason my character is a little cold is because life keeps grinding him into the dirt. I try to show later on in the book that he was a nice guy, but a very unique situation has turned him into a self loathing detached asshole. The character has a good reason to be an asshole, but I'm afraid the reader might not stick around to find out why.

If anyone wants to read what I have so fare copied from my messy notepads to a word processor, I could put it in the fan fiction thing. It's about 40 pages and I still haven't rooted out all the grammer problems and other mistakes, though.
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Post Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:53 am   View user's profile Send private message
chris
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Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
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funbagz wrote:
Thank you for the advice. The reason my character is a little cold is because life keeps grinding him into the dirt. I try to show later on in the book that he was a nice guy, but a very unique situation has turned him into a self loathing detached asshole. The character has a good reason to be an asshole, but I'm afraid the reader might not stick around to find out why.

If anyone wants to read what I have so fare copied from my messy notepads to a word processor, I could put it in the fan fiction thing. It's about 40 pages and I still haven't rooted out all the grammer problems and other mistakes, though.


No. Once you get 100 pages you can go back and fix stuff. Don't take critiques or do any rewrites yet. If you have ideas for changes, make notes, but there's no sense rewriting stuff now when you don't know where the book is gonig to go and you may have to rewrite it again and again anyway. Just keep going, and if you want to lighten the character up, make that decision and go back and change the first 40 later. You're right, forty pages is too long to have him be a prick unless you say that there's a reason and he's a very entertaining prick.

Are you writing a book or really polished first chapters? Onward, I say. Onward!

Post Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:41 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
funbagz



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 61
Location: I'd tell you if I knew
 Reply with quote  

I do have well over a hundred pages of my book, almost 200 pages. But it's all hand written, and my hand written style is really messy and big, so when it is put on a word processor it is greatly compressed. So I have no idea how many pages I have in entirety. But I think I'm about two thirds done.


P.S. Do you want to know what unique situation that makes my character such a jerk?
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Post Mon Apr 04, 2005 5:01 am   View user's profile Send private message
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