Ooooh I’ve had to do a lot with this one too and idk if I’ll ever get it right!
I actually have a character with intense trust issues like that and high anxiety etc, and I usually rely on tiny details, mini flashbacks and body-language more but I also use a VERY deep POV so idk, I probably do too much introspection…*shrug*. I think the best way to not sound fake is just to actually feel the emotions your characters are having, I know most of my scenes are (eerily and VERY unintentionally) close to whatever issue I’m working through at the time and the whole book stringing together is basically a self-examination (AND I DON’T LIKE WHAT I SEE…). Soo…be authentic and the rest’ll kinda follow?
One thing I did learn in draft…three or four, was that I needed to deliberately “set up” scenes for the plot BEFORE the plot was actually revealed, and just set up the character’s personality and problems until I had a good connection before anything happened that required readers to care about my character lol. And so, for example, I ended up “setting up” my character with a way to contrast and demonstrate some of his trauma in a kinda funny way with how he interacts with stray animals as opposed to people and that showed some of his trauma via dialogue like…
Right out the door, Alessio brushes his fingers against the rim of the broken window of the inn, but his foot nearly knocks into something furry. He glances down as the creature hisses, whipping between his legs so he nearly trips.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there.” he murmurs, bending over to touch the wulfling. “You’re not still mad at me, are you? Sorry”
Its bat-ears flick up and down as its feline eyes blink coldly. After a second Alessio touches the remainder of his trinch tucked under his surcoat, staring back at the creature almost guiltily. With an inaudible sigh he slowly lowers onto his heels beside it.
“Here, that’s all I can give you so shoo.” He grumbles a little, crumbling some of the trinch he saved and holding it out to the wulfling. It sniffs, wandering around his bruised knees, its flappy red-diamonded tail whirls unfamiliarly warm lice-knotted fur against him. He’s not used to touch, or most human contact. Its wet, sticky tongue tickles his hand as it laps the food. Alessio makes a hesitant move to scratch its ears, earning him a forbidding growl. His hand instantly retreats. He sighs.
“I said I was sorry.” Alessio says, and turns to begin searching the rotting-wood porch closed in the board that might be a rail meant to secure draekons and other steeds hastily. “You’re right you’re right, people tend to say anything because it’s the ‘correct’ thing to say and not because they mean it.”
If his memory is correct…he dropped his bow somewhere around here. Maybe there’s another broken window, or something. Alessio slips around the back. A noise behind Alessio makes him halt and peek back at the wulfling trailing after him.
“Peow.” The whipping of its ears make the diamond on its forehead give a trembling motion.
“N-no,” he says “no, this is not going to work.
“It’s…it’s not you, it’s me. I’m not ready for a relationship, and I’m a toxic person to be around.” Instead of a back-way Alessio trips near into the stables, for some reason it looks more locked up than most. Although, if a Swarm attacks at least once a year he’d probably make sure every door and building could be closed secure. For a brief second he wonders if he should look in, maybe they found his bow and put it away somewhere, he has yet to ask and he doesn’t want to if he can avoid it. Alessio drops his gaze the fuzzy creature at his heels.
“I don’t want to break your heart. You’re young, you’re still full of live. So go. Live.”
It blinks, and licks its paw.
So that bit kinda shows his major lie (“I’m the villain, unlovable etc”) and some ghosts/flaws (extremely wary of people, unused to touch, avoidant personality all part-due to Trauma), if you listen carefully you get some extra hints to his past but only if you know what to look for and don’t get lost in red herrings LOL assuming I actually pulled that off!! XDD
Ehhhh kinda long but I WANT A SAMPLE OF YOUR STORY TOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
Anyway, he basically just kinda projects a lot of his issues on the wulfling kinda as a joke but also kinda seriously and having the wulfling for him to interact with really sped up the info without it being too introspective (probably) and showed a lot of his personality without breaking up the plot (which I’m actually trying to take real slow like to establish the stakes the connect with the reader in a very immersive way before anything actually happens). My entire plot there is practically build on his past soooo pretty much every page is like that, reestablishing information the readers already know and throwing in just one more thing that better be tantalizing (pls). But I mean every stray throwaway sentence can help.
Although that wouldn’t be first draft, for the first draft I really wouldn’t try to show not tell the first draft is pretty much tell not show and the all so you know what the story is.
But to communicate it to other characters…that basically is the conflict that keeps the story in momentum the entire first book XDD. My character is in a situation where he needs to communicate some of his past to get help, but he’s edgy pretty edgy, half the information comes out when he’s having a break down or a panic attack, half his past is surmised by the other characters via his situation, his obvious triggers, all the people who happen to have a bounty on his head, some historical context, a couple eye-witness accounts actually it low-key runs like a murder mystery where everybody’s detective to figure out his past cos it’s putting everybody’s lives in danger and could potentially change the entire course of the war, fate of the world and he doesn’t want to trust the wrong people (or any people) and cause catastrophic ruin by default sooo he thinks it’s a good idea to just try and fix his mess by himself and push away anybody willing to help him cos he doesn’t want to be responsible for anyone else’s death. But as his character develops he tries to communicate some of his ghosts/flaws/intrigue but without telling his backstory and things get messy from there but one of the other characters was actually there for one piece of his trauma and another character knows another bit of his past and if the entire cast got together they could probably sort out his entire backstory on their own if they didn’t end up trying to murder each other in the process and then everybody else’s traumatic backstory kinda weaves into his too sooo, with their character arcs tangled together trying to figure when to trust and who to trust.
Definitely will probably have some argument reveals sprinkled throughout but then half the characters are also lying to cover up so the readers could probably deduce the story pretty well if they could figure out who’s telling the truth etc etc and man I forgot how much I loved writing this story…
Aaaaaaaaaand if any of that’s actually helpful…XDD. Also I swear I’m still gonna reply to the Theological Discussion threat I just lost my old notes on Mary and was so mad I didn’t even look at that for a few days and then a bigillion things vomited out of life like a bad case of yack-phoria and my last brain cell ran away and I had to chase it down lol XD. But I’m half-way…a third of the way…maybe a fourth of the way through writing a post…
Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage