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Archives > Help with portraying a charming (but evil) character

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message 1: by Joshua (new)

Joshua (remymarin) | 40 comments Hi!
I'm working on a steampunk/fantasy novel. I have recently remembered that when I wrote the character profiles, I portrayed the antagonist in a very charming/sadistic/cruel way. Now, when I'm writing the sections with him in them, I've realized that I have no idea how to make these things mesh. I really think that he has to be a charismatic person, and I have no idea how to portray that! If anyone has any ideas/tips I would be very grateful!
~Doremy

Note: I've posted this same comment in a different group; just trying to get more opinions! :)


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, is it from his POV or from the POV of others? That's essential when you're writing to know exactly how to portray him.


message 3: by Joshua (last edited Sep 23, 2012 03:55AM) (new)

Joshua (remymarin) | 40 comments I don't think the story is going to ever switch to his POV. So from the POV of others, I guess.


message 4: by Pirl (new)

Pirl (pirlismyname) Well it depends on the scene. Can you give me an example, and maybe a bit of background?
((I'm very good at understanding characters and their actions, but I need background. Besides, it's good for a writer to understand where his/her own character comes from anyway.))


message 5: by Buffy (new)

Buffy (buffywuffy) One thing to remember is that the bad guys never think that they're bad guys. A lot of times they think that they're the victims. They have the same feelings, insecurities and such as everyone else, but they go about things in the wrong way.

One thing that I like to do (and it's probably going to sound very silly) is to interview my characters. It's quite an interesting exercise to do as it can really start the ideas flowing and you can find out things that you never would have thought about your characters otherwise.

I'm not sure if any of that is helpful. I would need more specifics in order for me to be any more specific.

Good luck! :)


message 6: by Pirl (new)

Pirl (pirlismyname) I do that too!!! That's exactly what I think of my characters as well... I NEED to understand who they are before I start writing, otherwise it all seems very fake to me.


message 7: by Morgan (last edited Sep 29, 2012 04:57AM) (new)

Morgan Fables | 1 comments I portrayed the antagonist in a very charming/sadistic/cruel way. Now, when I'm writing the sections with him in them, I've realized that I have no idea how to make these things mesh. I really think that he has to be a charismatic person, and I have no idea how to portray that!

Body language. Include your characters unspoken communication.

Use the characters spoken dialogue to ooze charisma (they seemingly say all the right things), but their body language tells a completely different story.

For example, your character tells someone he agrees with what they are saying, 'but leaned back, arrogantly crossing his arms as his eyes drained of all humour'.


message 8: by Pirl (new)

Pirl (pirlismyname) I like that description... That's always where I fail...
Anyway I think all of this should be enough, no?


message 9: by Joshua (last edited Oct 12, 2012 07:26PM) (new)

Joshua (remymarin) | 40 comments Thank all of you for your help!
Interviewing your characters... that's like making a character profile, right? I absolutely cannot start a story without knowing who my characters are either! (I did NaNoWriMo last year and went into it completely unorganized. I got to my goal, but just barely. Once i read it over, it didn't even make sense!)
Use the characters spoken dialogue to ooze charisma (they seemingly say all the right things), but their body language tells a completely different story.
That's helpful!!! I never thought of that!
Thanks again!


message 10: by Buffy (new)

Buffy (buffywuffy) Doremy wrote: "Thank all of you for your help!
Interviewing your characters... that's like making a character profile, right? I absolutely cannot start a story without knowing who my characters are either! (I d..."


Not a character profile. I mean actually interview your characters. If you were sitting in a coffee shop with your baddy and you were writing a news article about him, what questions would you ask? How would he respond? Would he answer your questions honestly or would he get angry that you're prying? Would he get up and storm out or would he start asking you probing questions? What is his body language like? Is he glancing nervously around the room or is he staring at you intensely and making you feel uncomfortable? Pretending that he's a real person will enable you to portray him as one.

It will probably surprise you what you come up with. Maybe you won't put everything in your story, but it will help you to give him more depth.


message 11: by Pirl (new)

Pirl (pirlismyname) what's a NaNoWriMo?


Ʈʜэ MɐÐɲΣ§Ꭶ ᏊརƭᏲƗϞ (death_of_the_rebelz) Pirl{or maybe Meg} wrote: "what's a NaNoWriMo?"

It's a writing contest where you try to write a book in a certain amount of time.


message 13: by Amy (new)

Amy (amy_bookworm) | 504 comments It's held in November- and yes, it is a book, but you actually put how many words you want to write & you have to try & achieve it. It gives you a rough estimate of how many words that'll be per day to help.
Last year was my first so it was maybe 10k? I think it was... And it was rubbish. So I'm not doing to do a NaNo again. I prefer quality over quantity... NaNo tells a different story. That's the way I see it ;)


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