Congruent Characters

Discussion in 'The Library' started by Burnse, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Burnse

    Burnse Yellow Belt

    Feb 12, 2010
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    Melbourne, Australia
    Working on first novel (comedic sci-fi) and one aspect I need opinions on is the characters and the congruency of their responses. The purpose of these characters is either to aid the growth of the main character or develop themselves. If anyone could find the time to psychoanalyse these characters it would be very much appreciated.

    Situation: Earth, relatively modern day, an illness that has hung around for two decades is still sending people into quarantine. Close third person and character driven.

    Characters' Traumatic Event (TE): Diagnosed with slow-acting terminal illness and placed in quarantine.

    Logan: M/45. Main character.
    Issues: Originally a computer programmer, after his wife got hit by truck in front of him he took low-paying night shift executing unstable people who broke out of quarantine and cut himself off from most social contact and never faces the issue.
    TE: Gets fired and claims illness for the monetary support but gets thrown into quarantine he thought he could evade.
    Response: Constantly on edge, expecting to be attacked and infected.
    Pivotal point: a) Finds Dana bleeding and desperate not to die/witnesses death of Emily and Vanessa, b) Gloria is blatantly interested.
    Growth: a) Realize even if unstable they are just sick people and accept the consequences of his actions. b) Get over his wife and move on.

    Dana: F/14.
    Issues: Inferiority complex with sister so self-multiates.
    TE: Drank tainted water and passed it onto sister and father.
    Response: Guilty so pleases her sister, design costumes and have crush on 20-year-old boy.
    Pivotal point: Nearly bleeds to death from self-mutilation and witnesses death of Emily and Vanessa.
    Growth: Stops pleasing sister and works on self. Stops actively pursuing crush.

    Clara: F/14.
    TE: Infected by sister after acing an audition to be on a TV talent show for her singing.
    Response: Anger at being denied stardom so bosses around sister more, refuses to sing ever again, insults people and ignores rules.
    Pivotal point: Witnesses death of Emily and Vanessa.
    Growth: Sings to express grief and learns to use bossy traits to be an effective leader.

    Dean: M/41.
    TE: Infected after trying to perform CPR on a wayward employee.
    Response: Takes it in his stride and assumes role as leader of group.
    Pivotal Point: Logan points out that he follows him for his genuine warmth and Emily makes same point.
    Growth: Accepts that at his age people won't insult his accent or degrade him for being overtly foreign.

    Baba: F/80.
    TE: Infected when she deliberately kissed her infected best friend she's been in love with for years.
    Response: Has a stroke, can only say her name and trouble moving. Watches TV for hours and drinks tea with best friend.
    Use: Shows Logan that as enfeebled as she is she's still just a sick woman.

    Gertie: F/60.
    TE: Infected while trying to save infected grandson and kissed him.
    Response: Assume role of matriarch, take control of tea time and cheat at games.
    Use: Leads Logan into the social world by force and ensures that he doesn't do anything harmful.

    Gloria: F/37.
    TE: Infected when attacked by infected co-worker who she refused the sexual advances of.
    Response: Take control of garden and preach about reading and the pursuit of knowledge to lazy cohabitants, be blatant about interest in Logan.
    Pivotal points: Realizes Logan is lying about being infected.
    Growth: Confronts Logan about her issues with her illness and tells him to accept her or she won't pursue a relationship.

    Mac: M/20.
    TE: Infected when kissed by a pretty girl in a nightclub with the illness.
    Response: Self-pitying and sullen, reads comics, gets into yelling matches with others and is bluntly annoyed by Dana's interest in him.
    Pivotal point: Dana self-multilates because of his words and witnesses Emily and Vanessa's deaths.
    Growth: Accepts that he still has the capacity to learn and begins reading books and being nicer to Dana.

    Vanessa: F/28.
    TE: Trained nurse who demanded to be locked up with her infected daughter and was deported by husband.
    Response: Spends every moment with her daughter to the point of almost no sleep and cares for others injuries.
    Use: Illustrates unconditional love and her death from protecting her child forces him to reconsider his passive and negative approach to life up until now.

    Emily: F/6.
    TE: Infected after sharing tainted sandwich with a schoolfriend.
    Response: Unaware of situation so spends every moment playing and trying to help people and learn new things like gardening.
    Use: Shows Logan that people are not their illness, can be perfectly lovely and still be horribly ill.

    If a response seems totally uncalled for, please call me out on it. I don't want to be forcing characters to change unnaturally. Cheers guys and round of applause to whoever gets through this.

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