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Tormenting a Character

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  • #66101
    Kayla Joy
    @kayla-joy

    I need help figuring out some things to torment a character with. The character is a jerk and hurt my main character’s friends, and she is going to make the jerk character rue the day he messed with her friends. Does anyone know any ways she could do that? She doesn’t want to do anything that would seriously hurt him or get her in trouble, she just wants him to pay for what he did. I thought of chili pepper in his clothes, but then I hit writer’s block. Any ideas?

    Red haired Disney Nerd. Proverbs 3:5-6 ENFP-T

    #66129
    A. D. S.
    @ads_forest

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hi Kayla,</p>
    (I’m kinda new to this forum so I don’t know anyone yet, so hi everyone.)

    I would say that the best way to torture a character is to use something that would personally hurt them. So could your main character just punch the jerk character in the face? Yes, and it would hurt. But does your main character know anything about the jerk character that could be used? What if she knows about your jerk character’s family insecurities and insults her parents? Or what if she knows about your jerk character’s fear of the dark and locks her in a closet?

    Overall, though, on the topic of torture, I think something to keep in mind is that hurting another person is never a good thing. We should always try to bring out truth in our stories, and we should always ask ourselves why we are adding a torture scene and examine if it is necessary. If it has a purpose to bring out truth than that’s great.

    I’d love to see what you come up with! Once it’s done, if you want to share it, you should totally post it!

    -G. L.

    #66130
    Kayla Joy
    @kayla-joy

    @ads_forest

    Yes, my main character will learn that hurting people is not right, but not until about halfway through the book. I feel really mean for making my character go through this, but she has to in order to grow.

    Red haired Disney Nerd. Proverbs 3:5-6 ENFP-T

    #66134
    Eden Anderson
    @eden-anderson

    @kayla-joy

    Ahhh, this is just the sort of brainstorming I like! I’ll probably just say the first things that pop into my mind so sorry if they are weird or cheesy.

    *clears throat*

    She could:

    Put salt in his water bottle. Glue his books to the inside of his locker. Take the filling out of his Oreo’s and replace it with toothpaste. Get him in trouble with an authority figure some how. (it’s not that hard.) Break a couple windows in his house. (technically that would be vandalizing…I don’t know how mean your character is, though.XD) Put a couple dead chickens in his house.  Take out all the stuff in his backpack and fill it with trash. (If they don’t go to school together then some of this stuff won’t work.) Prank call him till he wants to kill something. Can he drive?…take all the air out of his tires. Set off a smoke bomb in his bedroom.

    Punch his lights out…actually she probably shouldn’t do that cause then she would get in trouble.

    Hope that got you past your writer’s block! 😉

     

    "But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    #66184
    Sarah Inkdragon
    @sarah-inkdragon

    *clears throat*

    (prepare for a rant)

    Well…. first off, what’s this jerk-character’s motivations for hurting your main character’s friends? Think about that. I once found a character who was a total jerk to the MC, bullied him throughout his entire life, and hurt other people, and yet…. was still very believable, human, and sympathetic because he had reason for this. They weren’t good reasons, but they existed, and they weren’t the standard: “I don’t like you because…. you’re not normal/good at this/to good at this.” He was a twisted, vulgar, rude, and emotionally stunted person, and yet he still was one of my favorite characters because deep down underneath all the jerk attitude and mean personality, he was a flawed human being.

    Now, it might not be your goal to make this jerk-character like that, but I wanted to put that in there because rivals/antagonists are often written so they aren’t human, but merely a plot mechanism to create conflict.

    Now, on to tormenting a character–hit him where it hurts. This is another reason you need to know your motivations for hurting the MC. For example, that total jerk of a character that mentioned above? He bullied the MC because he was insecure and thought himself weak, while the MC never seemed to give up, no matter what, even though the MC had a major disadvantage to everyone else on the story. The bully envied and didn’t understand that, so he turned his own insecurities back on the MC. Now, if you wanted to hurt this bully–like, really hurt him–you would play with his emotions and attack his friends more than him. Because his self-worth is already so low, if his friends were to get hurt or abandon him, he would break.

    So if you want to really hurt a character–get inside their head and use their insecurities or doubts against them. And I know that you mentioned your MC doesn’t want to seriously hurt him–but things like insecurities can be messed with and used to torment a person without the one who’s doing it even knowing often times. And even if she did know, most people don’t count saying a few bad things to someone as something that’s ‘really bad’.

    On to physically hurting–there’s a limit you’ve got to make, before your character turned from avenger to bully herself. Pranks, like putting salt in someone’s water bottle and gluing their books to their locker are…. not nice, but aren’t necessarily harmful. (Unless they’re in college, where school books are insanely expensive.) But like Gabriel mentioned above–if your jerk-character has a fear of the dark and you MC locks him in a closet, she’s gonna have to own up to this at some point. Something like that, a careless act without thinking, could result in anything on the jerk-character’s side from a panic attack to long-term PTSD, depending on how long he was left in the closet. (That’s a little dramatic, but it can happen. So don’t let your MC make stupid choices[on her end, not yours lol] like that and never own up to them. If she does something that specifically hurts someone like that, make sure she realizes this and tries to make amends. Otherwise, it’ll seem weak and flat, and your MC will seem like a jerk herself. Either that, or really, really, really oblivious and dumb.)

    Overall, it really depends on the character of your bully and your MC. You could easily turn the bully into the victim here, if you wanted to. You could easily make the bully reform. Either way, even though this reply isn’t really what you asked for, I think it’s something you ought to think about if you haven’t yet, and I hope it helped you in some way. 😉

    "A hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head."

    - C. S. Lewis

    #66204
    Thomas (CrØss_Bl₳de)
    @thewirelessblade

    Break something nice.

    *Forum Signature here*

    #66689
    Kayla Joy
    @kayla-joy

    @eden-anderson

    @sarah-inkdragon

    Thanks for your help. 🙂 You’ve given me a lot to think about and some great ideas. Thanks.

    Red haired Disney Nerd. Proverbs 3:5-6 ENFP-T

    #66696
    Eden Anderson
    @eden-anderson

    @kayla-joy

    Sure thing!

    Hope it continues to go well!

    "But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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