Unbelievable Character Type.

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  1. Don Fairchild profile image78
    Don Fairchildposted 7 years ago

    As a writer, I use character quirks from real life to develop my fictional characters.  I have encountered in real life, a character that is the most outrageous personality type that I have ever seen.  This person would make the writers on "Desperate Housewives" blush with shame.
    Now from a writers point of view, this is a gold mine of material, BUT, nobody would believe that this character could ever possibly exist!
    Any advise out there as to how to use this character type in a credible way.
    Characteristics include, chronic lying, getting people fired with no cause, undermining normal business processes, creating false emails, and on and on....

    1. Mikel G Roberts profile image76
      Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Characteristics include, chronic lying, getting people fired with no cause, undermining normal business processes, creating false emails, and on and on....

      Sounds exactly like politics to me.

      1. paradigmsearch profile image90
        paradigmsearchposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Come to think of it... Shades of Nixon!!! lol

    2. Hollie Thomas profile image60
      Hollie Thomasposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Sounds like a spy, or an agent provocateur. Why would they lie continually (insecurity is boring) intelligence agencies do it all the time. Why would he want to get someone sacked? Unless of course he was trying to isolate someone, or ruin their business/livelihood.

      1. Don Fairchild profile image78
        Don Fairchildposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Getting someone sacked is a great way to eliminate your competition.  Has happened more than once.

        1. Hollie Thomas profile image60
          Hollie Thomasposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          Yes, but that alone would make him a boring kind of corporate ass. I think there should be more twists and turns here.

          1. Don Fairchild profile image78
            Don Fairchildposted 7 years agoin reply to this

            Oh there are lots of twists going on here, but I think I should develop this story before I discuss it any further.   My creativity is jumping up and down right now, so I don't want to miss out on this.....

    3. Hollie Thomas profile image60
      Hollie Thomasposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Yep, to make them credible, you'd have to illustrate their motives.

    4. habee profile image93
      habeeposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Hey, I think I know that guy!

  2. paradigmsearch profile image90
    paradigmsearchposted 7 years ago

    I haven't run into the false emails, but I have certainly seen all the rest. It is called the corporate norm.

    1. Don Fairchild profile image78
      Don Fairchildposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, I know about the corporate norm, I only mentioned about ten percent of his behavior.  That is what makes him unbelievable.

    2. paradigmsearch profile image90
      paradigmsearchposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Sounds to me like you've got a real money-maker and you are already on the right track, i.e.: change the names to protect the guilty, use the corporate background setting, write up everything you've seen and heard, and call it fiction even though you know it is not. big_smile

      1. Don Fairchild profile image78
        Don Fairchildposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Yes I thought so too about the money-maker part.  This scenario would make a great "Reality show".

  3. tobey100 profile image60
    tobey100posted 7 years ago

    Make him a politician.  Readers will believe anything you say about him then.

    1. Don Fairchild profile image78
      Don Fairchildposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      You hit the politician on the head, he is a politician wanna-be and contracts his trickery as a political consultant.  You start to get the picture now, yes?

      1. tobey100 profile image60
        tobey100posted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Ooooh.  I'd say you've got a slight believeability problem. smile

  4. paradigmsearch profile image90
    paradigmsearchposted 7 years ago

    And promote the guy in the story so that he can do more damage. In fact, every time he does something especially awful, promote him again. big_smile big_smile

  5. paradigmsearch profile image90
    paradigmsearchposted 7 years ago

    And, of course, it is your societal responsibility to give the readers what they want at the end of the story. Along with all the other misery you can think up for him, maybe have him end up in prison with a 240 pound cellmate named Bubba. big_smile big_smile big_smile

    1. Don Fairchild profile image78
      Don Fairchildposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      lol I love it, the 240 pound cellmate is perfect.

  6. 2uesday profile image82
    2uesdayposted 7 years ago

    If he is unbelievable as one character how about trying to split up the character traits and make him into two or more characters. This will help to disguise the him as well in case he is not too happy at  being portrayed in the way you might want to write it.

    1. Don Fairchild profile image78
      Don Fairchildposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I thought about the splitting up character trick.   But I just wanted to find some way to capture my jaw dropping, stunned, "I just can't believe I heard that?" kind of reaction.  Splitting up the character would dilute that feeling.

      1. cdub77 profile image84
        cdub77posted 7 years agoin reply to this

        I'd go for farce with this character, like people have advised.  For inspiration, see the Sot-Weed Factor, Confederacy of Dunces, or Catch-22.  All have countless examples of the unbelievable and comic becoming poignant commentary about serious subjects like war, history, personal responsibility, etc. 

        The strength of your farce will lie in the complexity and accuracy of the analogy between the character you write and the human condition this person you know manifests.  Don't, however, expect all of your readers to understand the analogy without help though.  This doesn't mean explain things explicitly, rather, think of ways to creatively hint at what you are really talking about.  It's more rewarding to discover than be told, and it's this discovery of the subtler meanings that will leave the reader with a lasting connection to your character and story/novel.

        Also, when considering this person you know: notice what they choose to be self-aware about and consider why.  Often times we create inventive ways to manipulate other or simply distract ourselves and these are two very different enterprises set out upon for distinctly different reasons.  Think about this person you know and meditate upon the underlying reasons why they are the way they are. 

        Lots of good ideas from others. Hopefully mine help too. smile

        1. Don Fairchild profile image78
          Don Fairchildposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          Thank you for some great insight on this character.  I am a firm believer of letting a situation be discovered.   This character is extremely manipulative with a very scary lack of remorse.  Myself and others still find the boldness and inventiveness to be quite disturbing.  You know the feeling you had when you first heard about a chainsaw murder, you have a hard time believing the situation because it is so beyond the norm.
          I have a very intuitive personality, especially for recognizing aberrant behavior, so the character saw me as a nemesis.  I would readily call his bluff, but this would cause a massive escalation in his bad behavior.

          But all that said, I just have to develop this fictional character in a wonderful thriller mystery... 
          Thanks

          1. Lisa HW profile image66
            Lisa HWposted 7 years agoin reply to this

            If I were trying to do that I'd make I'd factor in/explain some of the traits of one of clinical disorders, "personality disorders".  I'd find a way to work in some of the traits, work in the ways that a person with a personality disorder (like narcissism) can sometimes seem very normal, and then work in the ways they stray way off from what's normal.

            There are people who do have a personality disorder and who do do the kinds of thing you're describing.  It is hard to believe that they can be the way they are or do the things they do, but they're real.  Explaining it (or subtly working it in that this is the root of the person's behavior) would probably helpmake the character believable (and give yet further "color" to the development of that character).

            1. Don Fairchild profile image78
              Don Fairchildposted 7 years agoin reply to this

              Thanks Lisa HW, Yes I think you have a great point here. The psychology of the character is very much the root of his problems. And yes we have seen narcissism, paranoid tendencies, revenge, and creative lying that would make your head spin.   
              So by using a protagonist in the story that explains the psychology of the character, this would explain a lot of the unbelievable. 
              Thanks for your insite, very helpful.

  7. couturepopcafe profile image61
    couturepopcafeposted 7 years ago

    Hey Don - IMO people read fiction to escape reality.  A wild character portrayal would not be out of place.  Believable or not, as long as he holds the readers' attention.

    1. Don Fairchild profile image78
      Don Fairchildposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the confidence vote,  now it is up to me to paint the picture...

 
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