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Thread: question on character developement

  1. #1
    figuring it all out
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    question on character developement

    I've always wanted my mc in my wip to start out as a normal happy girl with a loving family and good friends etc...and then during the course of the novel things get dark and her once happy world is gone.

    So, my question is, how do I do this without making her appear like a sissy mary jane type? I know how important the beginning of a novel is. Should I perhaps start with something dark than reflect back on her happy life. Or is it ok to start out with her being happy?

  2. #2
    _ SomethingOrOther's Avatar
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    Start her out as a happy girl who's not a "sissy Mary Jane" type.
    Stop what you're doing and give me some short story recommendations in this thread.


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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW zeragon7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keepcalmandwriteon View Post
    I've always wanted my mc in my wip to start out as a normal happy girl with a loving family and good friends etc...and then during the course of the novel things get dark and her once happy world is gone.

    So, my question is, how do I do this without making her appear like a sissy mary jane type? I know how important the beginning of a novel is. Should I perhaps start with something dark than reflect back on her happy life. Or is it ok to start out with her being happy?
    I think as long as you write the plot in such a way that it justifies her change in dark progression, she won't seem like a sissy character.

  4. #4
    Following my North Star L. Y.'s Avatar
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    So, my question is, how do I do this without making her appear like a sissy mary jane type?
    Personally, I don't think happy = "sissy mary jane" type. You could make her happy, independent, tough, and strong-willed.

    Or is it ok to start out with her being happy?
    Sure, as long as you have some sort of conflict, whether internal or external (or both).

    I've always wanted my mc in my wip to start out as a normal happy girl with a loving family and good friends etc...and then during the course of the novel things get dark and her once happy world is gone.
    Without having read your story, I don't see the conflict in starting off that way. Without conflict, it sounds like backstory. Backstory can be done well, but if it isn't, it can be tedious.

    IMHO, start with conflict, and reveal the MC's backstory in bits and pieces.
    Write. Edit. Rinse, repeat.

    Edit with your head, write with your heart.


  5. #5
    Shooting stars. lolchemist's Avatar
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    Start your book with her being happy now and just start writing. Later on, during the editing process, you can re-arrange things and maybe start the book with a first chapter that's a scene from the darker future and the second chapter is your original beginning. No need to run around trying to insert tension and conflict right now, when the story doesn't even exist on paper yet, it's like trying to put decorations on a cake that's still eggs, flour and sugar waiting to be mixed.

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  6. #6
    (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ starcookie's Avatar
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    How your portray her life doesn't make her a Mary Jane. How you portray her is what makes her more or less a Mary Jane. Just try to give her dimension the best you can. Maybe one of her flaws is that she takes those people and things for granted. Maybe she's annoyed with her loving parents, and doesn't appreciate them until they're gone.

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  7. #7
    Recovering adjective addict
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    Happy doesn't equal Mary Sue. Lots of people, even teenagers, are generally happy. I think as long as you don't make her perfect, you'll be fine.

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