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Underd0g
August 6th, 2018, 07:21 PM
Ezekiel
by Underd0g


All you need to know about Zeke, you can figure out the first time you meet him. Better still, watch him enter a room... you would immediately look to one side, not wanting to be noticed by him.
His hair style of all things gives him away, normal people just don't use Vaseline anymore. The shape of his goatee is no accident, it's sharpened design brings it's intended chill. His clothes are often made of leather, accented with silver studs and chains. His concho belt buckle is easily transformed into a deadly weapon.

To describe his physique you would have to use the word gristle, as if there are no nerves in his body that could bring him pain in a fight. Much larger men give him wide berth. The visible scars reveal his willingness for conflict; the scars you can't see show he is not afraid of death.

You wouldn't think to say that eating breakfast was a sin, but Zeke eats his morning meal in order to give him energy to bring pain to anyone that might cross him. Everything he does is malevolence or prepares him for it.

Was it his childhood? He laughs when his attorney speculates; Zeke needs no excuse for being wicked and resents the attempt at justification. He doesn't desire understanding or approval. He desires that people fear him.

Does he have a soft spot? A woman? An animal? Let me save you time; no... you might as well not think redemption is in his destiny. A number of the upright are afraid to say when somebody is going to Hell; don't you be. He knows he's Hellbound and it's not a concern for him; don't let it be for you.

QuixoteDelMar
August 6th, 2018, 11:47 PM
It's good, but it feels incomplete. Zeke seems pretty two-dimensional. There's nothing mentioned that rounds him out as a person, nothing to give readers something to grasp or empathize with. Great villains you hate because you understand. Cartoon villains are 'just evul'. I think he needs a humanizing element - I'm not saying give him a puppy or make him best friends with an angel. "Irredeemable" doesn't have to mean "psychopathic", but even psychopaths have friends.

Someone like this? I wouldn't want to read about him. There's only lower for him to sink, and nothing for him to lose.

Underd0g
August 7th, 2018, 12:37 AM
Well this is a great insight to my exercise. Thanks for that!
I based it on observations years ago when I would hang out in bars that catered to bikers, but I guarantee I was never close enough to see what made them tick.

They were interesting to watch though (with peripheral vision). Loyalty, I guess I could give him loyalty as a basis for friendship. I'll think more.

Thanks again.

qwertyman
August 11th, 2018, 09:43 AM
Hi underd0g,

Is this an excerpt from a story or is it something you mentally refer to when writing about Zeke?

Underd0g
August 11th, 2018, 01:14 PM
Hi underd0g,

Is this an excerpt from a story or is it something you mentally refer to when writing about Zeke?

I'm trying to develop a method of writing. I didn't want to post my actual characters, but rather put out an example of
a character description. This way I'd get some feedback and apply the critiques to my actual characters.

Thank you.

Ralph Rotten
August 11th, 2018, 08:49 PM
I gotta agree with Don. The character seemed a little one-sided and flat.
He seemed like a 'safe' character. I mean a guy who uses grease in his hair, or takes the time to shape his beard to look like Ming the Merciless is a hardcore poser. This is a guy who is full of himself, and prolly a complete jerk to be around.
He is a 'might makes right' kind of guy, and those kinds of guys feel they are entitled to whatever they can steal.
They do not debate, they do not negotiate. They measure the world by what they can steal or take.
They also measure others not by their abilities or intelligence, but by their strength.
They are terribly egocentric. In short, they are terribly flawed people who see themselves as the perfect human.

qwertyman
August 12th, 2018, 08:21 AM
If this is a description of a character 'in use'. I agree with the other posters, he is immediately recognisable as a stereostype, and well described as one (good voice)...if that's what you want?

I know you empahasise he has no weak spot. It might be useful find one.

Ask him a couple of of-the-wall questions. What did he give his mother for Christmas? Has he ever been to a Circus? Keep going untill you find a vulnerability or unusual passion apart from maiming (stamp collecting?), which separates him from the stereotype.

Just saying,
qwerty

Underd0g
August 12th, 2018, 04:14 PM
What about the cousins Leonel and Marco in 'Breaking Bad'?
Or the guy in 'No Country For Old Men'?
Not as a main character but a presence.
Yeah, they could be loyal to family and get all weepy when they have a new niece born, but who cares when they're after you?

Ralph Rotten
August 12th, 2018, 04:42 PM
What about the cousins Leonel and Marco in 'Breaking Bad'?
Or the guy in 'No Country For Old Men'?
Not as a main character but a presence.
Yeah, they could be loyal to family and get all weepy when they have a new niece born, but who cares when they're after you?



You are not writing Marco or Leonel.

Your character has promise, but like Qwerty said, you should look for the flaws.
I see a lot of writers do what you did, but with their heroes.
People always try to write the inoffensive hero (usually troubled by his war memories or some such).
The guy who says nothing politically incorrect, who has a true heart but a troubled past, who treats women like a gentleman...
but that guy is booooring!

Your villain is kinda like that. He's all powerful and not a bit broken.
But guys like that are deeply damaged.
I have known guys like your villain, and they are closer to the animal kingdom than humanity.
They are deeply flawed narcissists who feel that they are entitled to more than they earned by merit of their strength or wealth.

Try modelling your villain [internally] after someone like DJT. That is a great example of a rampant narcissist. If he had muscles instead of money, he would have been your villain. Seems like you just need a real person to focus on.


$0.02

NotMe
August 14th, 2018, 09:36 PM
Yeah, a little two dimensional. I think part of what makes great fiction is the reader putting themselves in the characters' shoes, even the villains. The guy doesn't need to have any redeeming qualities necessarily, but there's got to be a level of depth that makes him realistic. Like the reader can imagine someone like that, even if they've never come across that level of evil before, because the evil is nuanced.

Is this character part of a story?

Underd0g
August 14th, 2018, 10:09 PM
Is this character part of a story?

I have two stories that I really believe in.
One is a children's story that I have posted a couple chapters,
and another that is for juveniles that I haven't posted anything.
I'm working on character descriptions in order to help my other story's characters.
It's basically an exercise in logic for a guy who has no training.