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View Full Version : Is it bad to put yourself in your characters' shoes when writing?



ironpony
July 7th, 2020, 09:10 PM
A lot of times I am asked, why did this character make this strange decision, and I will tell the reader, that I just put myself in the characters' shoes and did what I would do if faced with that predicament.

But then reader will react like 'well just because that is what you would do, doesn't mean that that is what others would do, or that character who isn't you'.

So that makes me think, when I write, should I not try to put myself into the characters shoes at all, and write it so they wouldn't do what I would do in that same situation at all then?

SueC
July 7th, 2020, 10:17 PM
A lot of times I am asked, why did this character make this strange decision, and I will tell the reader, that I just put myself in the characters' shoes and did what I would do if faced with that predicament.

But then reader will react like 'well just because that is what you would do, doesn't mean that that is what others would do, or that character who isn't you'.

So that makes me think, when I write, should I not try to put myself into the characters shoes at all, and write it so they wouldn't do what I would do in that same situation at all then?

Hey IP. I think you might be hard-pressed to find a writer who does not put themselves into their characters, and their characters reactions. Well, maybe I should amend that. What I mean to say is that I imagine that its possible that almost every reaction that we read in stories comes from someplace inside the writer. It may be their own experience, or one they learned of from someone else and they found appealing for their story, but it almost always comes from the writer imagining what he or she would do in any given situation.

I may be proved wrong by further discussion, but I do not think it is possible to write a story using someone else's reaction to a situation. As a writer, you have to own your own imagination, your own words. You can't say - I wrote that way because I thought there must be at least one person on the planet who would react that way, but it wouldn't be me!

IMO! :)

Theglasshouse
July 8th, 2020, 04:17 AM
To try to attempt to give an answer, a character's backstory, motivations, and goals, all help. We have to as writers try to imagine we are many different characters at the same time when writing the story. The more you know about the characters the better. A character can be made more real by feeling their emotions. This sounds somewhat vague but it's more useful when you look at movie examples. If you don't think a character is interesting it is supposedly since you could not depict their feelings since you did not know a lot about them (an example could be in the backstory of a character). Since that creates the conflicts of the character supposedly.

Bayview
July 8th, 2020, 01:07 PM
You can put yourself in the character's shoes, but you shouldn't put yourself in the character's PLACE, if that makes sense. That is, you need to try to actually wear the character's "clothes" (personality, experiences, skills, areas of confidence and doubt, etc.) not just write what you (with your personality, experiences, etc.) would do in that situation.

Theglasshouse
July 8th, 2020, 01:46 PM
To go back to what sue said. We must see how the character is reacting. What is happening is not as important as how he or she reacts to what is happening. I assume this part has to do with an emotional problem or crisis (conflict is what I assume this is). Keep asking based on their reactions what their motivations could be. We must sympathize with characters in conflict. Or we won't get the character right and other people reading your story won't finish it since they didn't care about the characters (we must care about their motivation and so on; the why or reason they are doing it has to be emotional and not pure logic). The character cannot withdraw from the story's conflict because the stakes are too high. They are trying to gain something (possession). Not trying to lose something (trying to prevent something from happening or relief). Or tying to get revenge for something. Supposedly that’s the classification of the goals of the characters (think of it as a taxonomy of goals that need to be concretely stated because of the backstory). We can only make a goal concrete it seems when we know the character very well. Their past and what was mentioned before. By researching freddie mercury, maybe you'll have gained a better understanding on how he would behave in a story. Don't forget the reactions to what happened during his life.

I also agreed with Bayview's point of view. Write what you know applies here since we have to use our thoughts or better yet feelings to interpret the character's personality as if they were the writer (our experiences) (us writing the story). In other words you should use sympathy and empathy to discover the story that is being written. But by using that can you guess what the motivation, conflict, goal, really are based on feelings you feel and think would make for a great story. These are just some of the basic building blocks of writing a character. Research a character's past. The better you know them, the better the conflict and story will be.

An example would in Jaws, the mercenary to take down the shark is asking for money or 10,000 dollars to take down the shark (200 dollars a day). But the reality is he saw people die because of sharks in his past life. This complicates the character. Is he out for vengeance? He appears more 3 dimensional because of it.

Quote from a book (emotion, tension and conflict):
We sympathize with characters in conflict especially if the conflict is off their own making, and they are doing their best to change it.

Kyle R
July 8th, 2020, 02:32 PM
A lot of times I am asked, why did this character make this strange decision, and I will tell the reader, that I just put myself in the characters' shoes and did what I would do if faced with that predicament.

You should try to think of what the character would do; not necessarily what you would do.

For example, in the story I'm working on, the main character runs off to join the circus. I would never do that, if I were in her position. But she certainly would. :encouragement:

ironpony
July 8th, 2020, 07:01 PM
Oh okay. Well in my story, I would never do what the villains do, but I am told by readers that their plans are too elaborate, and that they wouldn't be. But if you want to commit crimes that you want to get away with, and have insurance on, wouldn't you want to be elaborate and cross all your Ts?

noisebloom
July 8th, 2020, 08:22 PM
Oh okay. Well in my story, I would never do what the villains do, but I am told by readers that their plans are too elaborate, and that they wouldn't be. But if you want to commit crimes that you want to get away with, and have insurance on, wouldn't you want to be elaborate and cross all your Ts?

It depends on the background and personality of your villains. If you convey that Villain X is an extremely methodical, detailed person, then it would make sense if his/her plan was elaborate. However, if Villain X "shoots from the hip", so to speak, then an elaborate plan seems out-of-character. The story and characters need to make sense to the reader given what they already understand about the story and characters (or what they will soon understand), if that makes sense.

Theglasshouse
July 8th, 2020, 09:07 PM
Here's something based on what I have been reading. Personality doesn't happen by accident. It's because there's a past according to what I read. To write your character (as methodical) you would need to write a past that forced them to become methodical in your case. This is the incident or event that forced them to behave a certain way (methodical as in careful). In other words what past event made the villain methodical would be what I would incorporate into the screenplay. (the personality or backstory is what it seems to be called by writers)

According to the book I am reading today these events are part of how people behaved based on the past and what happened to them. If you will this is the backstory information I plan to write. I'd imagine the details or write them based on my experiences of people I know well enough. Here are some parts to it:

A belief system, values, family and friends, fears and phobias, prime motivating incident (the last one is what past event in your character's life based of each of these to understand what influenced them). I'm guessing the past history impacts the present and the character will rely on experiences of what worked for them if caused them to behave as a person that is methodical. This experience of this event supposedly impacted their lives as a story event in the past.

But IMO I would focus on the hero and the main characters. In your script you have a lot of villains. The main villain is the only one which would need such a backstory. Since a script is not a novel sometimes having too many characters can be a problem since each would supposedly need a backstory. I am saying this since I read part of it. I suggested this once. But if you decide to rewrite it you would need to do that. Movies need a lot of money to be made. I wouldn't doubt that if it took me more than 3 years to write a movie, it better be good. Or the money I spent and time means that I lost a lot of money. Because I did not know how good or bad a script it was. Movies cost millions to make usually. The odds are terrible to get accepted. If you need to rewrite it you should.

Lastly some manuals don't always depict criminals as methodical. However they do suggest they like to try to outwit the police and others and earn money while doing so (Linda Edelstein's guide on psychological traits).

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 01:29 AM
Oh okay thanks. I can think about that. Another thing, is what if you put yourself into the mind of a character, but that character would do something that goes against traditional story structure?

For example, how important is refusing the call to adventure in a story? I've learned in a writing course before, that the main character will often refuse the call to adventure, but then something happens later, which changes their mind and then they accept it.

I could use this, or I could just have it so they accept the call right away. It depends on how important the refusal is. For example, when you watch say... a James Bond movie, he's given an assignment and accept it and that's it. No refusal, that needs extra character motivation to change their mind.

So I wonder if I should have it, or not, and just get on with the plot faster. How do you decide?

Kyle R
July 9th, 2020, 02:21 AM
Well in my story, I would never do what the villains do, but I am told by readers that their plans are too elaborate, and that they wouldn't be.
But we've talked about this before, haven't we? You always seem to mention a similar refrain: "... but readers tell me ..."

It's my sincere hope that, some day, you'll stop worrying so much about what readers think, and learn to trust your own creative choices.

When you finally do that, you'll likely see your productivity—and your confidence in your writing—truly thrive. :encouragement:

luckyscars
July 9th, 2020, 04:15 AM
Oh okay thanks. I can think about that. Another thing, is what if you put yourself into the mind of a character, but that character would do something that goes against traditional story structure?

For example, how important is refusing the call to adventure in a story? I've learned in a writing course before, that the main character will often refuse the call to adventure, but then something happens later, which changes their mind and then they accept it.

I could use this, or I could just have it so they accept the call right away. It depends on how important the refusal is. For example, when you watch say... a James Bond movie, he's given an assignment and accept it and that's it. No refusal, that needs extra character motivation to change their mind.

So I wonder if I should have it, or not, and just get on with the plot faster. How do you decide?

There isn't really a 'traditional story structure' that's true every time.

The reason James Bond doesn't refuse assignments is because it's his job to not refuse them and that job is built into his character. He would not be James bond if he wussed out, right? On the other hand, there are other sorts of characters for whom refusal of an adventure makes perfect sense. For Frodo Baggins it makes sense he would 'refuse' his adventure because he is a modest personality who is supposed to reflect an 'ordinary person' and ordinary people tend to be reluctant to take risks, be heroic, etc. The reason it seems that 'Refusal Of The Call To Adventure' is more prevalent is simply because many writers tend to be more comfortable working with a character who reflects an 'ordinary person': There are more Frodo Baggins' than there are James Bonds. So the prevalence of the character type creates a 'tradition', not the other way around.

Also, even within this notion of 'refusal' there are different levels. Frodo Baggins' refusal to go to Mordor is more severe than, say, Marty McFly's refusal to go back in time (Marty McFly simply disbelieves it and then rolls with it, mainly because he's a cocky teenager), which is even MORE severe than Harry Potter's refusal to go to Hogwarts (which is extremely mild, again because he's an abused little boy so his personality makes him more predisposed to adventure).

You have to take into account the character and how they would react It's not a one-size-fits-all. Your lodestar for what a character would do is primarily how you perceive what people similar to that character would do in real life, and secondarily what you would do if you were them. If the character is middle aged, conservative or fearful by nature they are going to react entirely differently (i.e with much more 'refusal') than a character who is positioned to be open minded and willing to 'take their chances'.

Theglasshouse
July 9th, 2020, 05:20 AM
I think you got an excellent reply to your questions. Luckyscar's answers made sense to me. Think of what events made the character behave a certain way and to have a certain personality (values, fears, phobias, beliefs, family, people, and so on and events that made these become an important part of the character's personality and who they are). Since without the character there would not be a story since there would be no conflict, goals, backstory and so on. You need to study the character as you make it up from your own emotions and experiences. I think I know too little of the hero's journey to answer. Just think what makes up their personality. I gave a brief list of the personality. If you think a craft book helps which I think has been helpful for me. Then purchase "Writing with emotion, conflict, and tension" (by cheryl st. John). I haven't finished it. It answers more in depth what I was referring to is the personality of the character. That will help you answer some basic questions as to why character is what makes up the writing of the whole story. Character is more important than plot. She calls it a method since even the hero's journey is a method for a character arc. Even though many people consider it structure. Which still imo helps the character change or look as if changed by the end of the story.

Refusal of the hero's journey could be fear, a character's self-worth in doubt for example. (I got this from a dissertation from the analysis of the dark tower series by stephen king)
These would be the reactions in the dark tower series in the refusal of the call for the anti-hero's journey (it is based on the hero's journey). Since that novel has anti-heroes. Your story imo has an anti-hero. It's very different from Luther the series I watched some time ago if we go by character. (the event in that story I read briefly is that the female character wants to kill them both before they enter the world of the dark tower to go back to the ordinary world (also a part of the hero’s journey). It takes place in a magical world and is a horror novel.

I agree with luckyscars's post.

Basically since a few outlaws broke the law. It makes it difficult for them to return to the world where they came from. But the other alternative is mobsters either killing them and or imprisonment.

Here is the refusal of the call in the dark tower which is sort of grimdark but you should get the idea.

Similarly, Detta applies her craftiness to capture Eddie and steal one of Roland’s guns. Her intention is to kill them both, to enter the door and get back to the Ordinary World, thus also refusing the call. Therefore, both Eddie and Susannah refuse Roland’s call to adventure, though Roland himself never balks from its calling

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 07:43 AM
Oh okay thanks, I will think about those responses. I have a lot going through my head now.

Well there is one section of my story that could possibly be more simplified and perhaps I made it a lot more complicated that it needed to be. I have to give a sexual violence warning when I mention this I think.

SEXUAL VIOLENCE WARNING


So in the script, a woman who is being protected by a cop, because she has people after her, decides to kidnap and rape the cop. I wrote it she has to sneak some items past him while she was packing a bag of luggage for her protection. She sneaks items past him which she will use for the crime. However, I was told by some readers that I am making this more complicated that she needs to be and that the only item she needs is drugs, which she can carry around in her handbag easily. The other items were ropes and a penis pump, but I was told she doesn't need these and it complicates too much, having to get them past him. If she doesn't need anything else, then I do not need to write a whole section of the plot as to how she sneaks this other stuff past him.

What do you think? Are they right in the sense, that the character would not think it's worth smuggling anything else past, and that all she needs is the drugs only?

Annoying kid
July 9th, 2020, 07:45 AM
A lot of times I am asked, why did this character make this strange decision, and I will tell the reader, that I just put myself in the characters' shoes and did what I would do if faced with that predicament.

But then reader will react like 'well just because that is what you would do, doesn't mean that that is what others would do, or that character who isn't you'.

So that makes me think, when I write, should I not try to put myself into the characters shoes at all, and write it so they wouldn't do what I would do in that same situation at all then?

Imagining yourself as the character is not the same as imagining the character is you. Do the former, not the latter.

luckyscars
July 9th, 2020, 09:51 AM
So in the script, a woman who is being protected by a cop, because she has people after her, decides to kidnap and rape the cop. I wrote it she has to sneak some items past him while she was packing a bag of luggage for her protection. She sneaks items past him which she will use for the crime. However, I was told by some readers that I am making this more complicated that she needs to be and that the only item she needs is drugs, which she can carry around in her handbag easily. The other items were ropes and a penis pump, but I was told she doesn't need these and it complicates too much, having to get them past him. If she doesn't need anything else, then I do not need to write a whole section of the plot as to how she sneaks this other stuff past him.

What do you think? Are they right in the sense, that the character would not think it's worth smuggling anything else past, and that all she needs is the drugs only?

This woman would almost definitely never exist in real life, for a thousand reasons, so quibbling over whether her having rope and a penis pump is realistic or not seems like tilting at windmills.

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 10:00 AM
Oh okay thanks, but it seems that readers say I should write it so that she doesn't bother to use anything, so they have a point maybe?

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 10:07 AM
No they are not all like that. But if her crime was to sexually assault a man wouldn't she want a tool or weapon for the assault, to make it easier, such as the pump, and plan ahead?

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 10:14 AM
Oh well I researched viagra but you have to sexually aroused for it to work, and it will not work if the guy is not aroused. Since in my story, the guy is being assaulted and he is kidnapped, he is the complete opposite of sexually aroused, and thus viagra will not work. Where a penis pump will give an erection regardless of arousal whatsoever. So wouldn't it be logical that the villain would want to use the tool that is guaranteed to work?

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 10:24 AM
Yeah sh's ugly you could say, and doesn't have the most desirable personality.

But so far readers are really taken out of the story, once the penis pump is introduced but I cannot understand why.

This is just me trying to think like the villain, where if I am the villain and I want to kidnap a guy and I want to force him to have an erection, what is the best way to guarantee that result...

This is what I can't wrap my head around is that readers think that the idea of her using one is absolutely crazy and doesn't seem to make any sense. But her plan works. So if her plan works, than it crazy and not make sense, if it works. That's what I am having trouble understanding.

Annoying kid
July 9th, 2020, 10:25 AM
No they are not all like that. But if her crime was to sexually assault a man wouldn't she want a tool or weapon for the assault, to make it easier, such as the pump, and plan ahead?

I thought the cop was raped by an incel gang? And now he's being raped by the woman he's protecting?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liuSbrghzmk

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 10:35 AM
He is raped by a woman who is a member of the gang. He then wants to go after the gang after because of it. Should I have him get raped by more than one member of the gang though? Of course he doesn't know that the woman is a member of this gang until later on.

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 10:42 AM
Oh okay, well I read cases in my research of women raping men so it has happened in real life, so I thought it was believable in that sense. However, the cases, are kind of vague in how the woman did the crime, and left specific details out, for understandable reasons, so I added the penis pump as my own idea for the character since it would work, but this is really taking readers out of it for some reason.

But this is what I don't understand because I try to put myself in the character's place and what they would do to achieve their desired goal. But how do you put yourself in their place, to make their decisions, for the reader to buy it?

Bayview
July 9th, 2020, 11:58 AM
Oh, look, here's my answer from another site from FOUR AND A HALF YEARS AGO about your use of the penis pump:




You seem pretty determined to stick to your penis pump idea, so... stick to it.

But approaching a story with regard to what the reader should be thinking is kind of idealistic, when your betas and this thread are showing you what they will be thinking.


You've been working on the penis-pump-rape for at least four and a half years. You're a really weird mix of "courage of your convictions" and "trying to write by committee". It's a waste of everyone's time.

Seriously. Stop asking people what they think and then ignoring what they say and then asking what they think and then ignoring what they say and then asking what they think...

Just get on with it.

Annoying kid
July 9th, 2020, 11:59 AM
He is raped by a woman who is a member of the gang. He then wants to go after the gang after because of it. Should I have him get raped by more than one member of the gang though? Of course he doesn't know that the woman is a member of this gang until later on.

A female incel would never join a gang of male ones. Incels and Femcels hate each other as Incels don't consider women as able to be legitimately incel and femcels hate them for their misogyny. 87 year old ladies have been able to get more responses on tinder than the average male. And thats the average male. Not an incel ugly male.

You might say this case in an exception.... No. There is no exception. In incel gang would never have a femcel in it. Its like asking oil and water to mix.

Theglasshouse
July 9th, 2020, 01:08 PM
I realize this is story theory we have gone over before. But I will repeat it here. You need to follow it as craft. You need to know your character well supposedly before you plot something down because character is everything (personality informed by your experiences helps you generate story elements such as goals, conflict, motivation)(conflict is not a plot device however the character is considered the source of the story and inspiration). This seems out of character. It wouldn't be believable as mentioned. I am given the impression incel gangs don't exist (I did a google search). Because if anything organized crime is something the police try to stop in its tracks. The punishment by law is long years behind bars which eliminates the motivation to create such a gang. These people I don't understand and would make bad subjects for characters. They don't come from personal experience. How are you going to study an incel member when you know not even one? Writers try to write what they know on characters. Even if you research it how can you imagine it if you never have known an incel person? Use characters you know only well enough to write about. That is my advice. For future projects that is know a lot about your character. It's clear it won't work because it is not believable. A personality helps a lot. Not just the backstory. Also, I will say that audiences enjoy movies with positive messages or themes. This is something that doesn't seem to have a positive message. Use this feedback as a learning experience and I wouldn't think of rape as a movie theme since that denigrates the person. Sorry but this sounds like an idea that can't work. There are multiple reasons why it would not work. Which is my opinion of course. But also take into account what other people have said on the idea. I'd start a new project and script. Because this one is something that requires you know such people. Which I know is not the case. That female character from the gang seems out of character to do those actions. If that makes sense. (the law is a deterrent and you won't get anywhere with this plot and movie idea) Remember plot is what happens to characters. But characters are the main source of the conflict (their personality such as flaws, misbeliefs, and so on).

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 05:55 PM
Well I talked to a member of an incel community that I know, and did get a lot from him in my research. So I tried to base it off real research as best I can but at the same time, took dramatic license to create a thriller, which requires a certain type of plotting as well.

As for coming up with character behavior after it's already written, I originally had everything outlined before I did any actual writing and had all the character behavior pre-outlined before. But then after I write it all out, I then show it to readers, and now just trying to take in feedback. So they say to change certain actions of the characters here and there.

But as far as a gang not being formed because they might get caught, you see other works of fiction where strange organizations will form and commit crimes even though they know they will be caught. So since it has happened in other fiction and real life, how does one get a reader to believe it?

Theglasshouse
July 9th, 2020, 07:35 PM
The subject is difficult to make sympathetic to the audience. I think females would not like the movie. They are the biggest victims of rape. That's half your audience. So I'd be careful. I think few MA rated movies are successful I read somewhere. Comics regularly make the list such as spiderman supposedly unless I am wrong and deadpool but these are very popular already. I think I read that yesterday but dont recall where exactly.

If people feel offended sadly there is nothing you can do and the movie will be on the road to losing money. I think incels are problematic to write well. In the script you wrote, they would act out of character I believe. People who have a mind of a criminal do not want to go to a jail cell. Because of this the gang would probably not exist in real life. A woman who is an incel, needs probably more motivation than most characters to commit a series of crimes. Some classic motivations are riches, love, passion, freedom. What is the incel's motivation in your story? What event caused it? You don't have to answer those questions here but it could help you make sense of what you wrote. Do people believe you when you tell them the motivation? Because starting a gang is a motivation that seems unrealistic to help the incels get away with crime. Many people who are considered incel don't do this for revenge in my opinion. But I don't know how an incel thinks. Again if you showed people your research and documentation that all their motives are revenge, that doesn't seem to make sense. Every person is different. There may be sex offenders, incel, and other people with different motives. A group makes decisions but does not think as a single person or incel in this case. Avoid the one person thinks all the same since they belong in a group. Every person has a unique personality including people who are identical twins.

In any case I wish you succeed. I am trying to give advice but it seems you need to accept feedback and move on and make adjustments or you won't grow as a writer if you don't make concessions. I hope you will remain encouraged to write but I would if feeling so insecure try to handle it by putting it aside. I still encourage you to continue writing. If you keep writing this its your own decision and I won't judge you for writing it. I was trying to help, and I am still trying to.

To answer your question:
If it helps all characters that are involved in an external conflict are likely to stay together until it is solved. Something happened to all of them at the same time for example.(this would be the gang that is in the movie script)

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 07:46 PM
Oh okay thanks. I didn't think that the problem is that people were offended by it, they just think it's unintentionally silly so I was trying to come with ways to make it more serious and not unintentionally silly. But there have been works of fiction done before, where you have strange organizations doing strange things.

In my story, which is told mostly from the police investigator's point of view, the police acknowledge how unusual and strange the situation is, and they treat it like the mysterious group like a real conundrum that they want to get to the bottom of. So does it help at all, that even the characters feel that this whole thing is a strange conundrum?

As for women possibly hating it more, one of the reasons why I have both male and female victims and both male and female villains in the group, is that I didn't want it to seem like one gender against the other, if that makes sense.

As for the incel's motivations, the way I wrote it so that they are all very angry over the years because of the constant rejection throughout their lives. I wrote it so that one of them gets the idea to commit rape crimes out of revenge, and he talks others he knows into it as well over time, and they recruit some more members.

Since it's told from the main character's point of view, one of the victims, he figures this out as he investigates further.

Theglasshouse
July 9th, 2020, 08:05 PM
Even if they were recruited I dont think all incels will think the same way and want revenge. I said that previously. Because if you are putting your life in danger it cant be. In the criminal world its usually money that makes people commit crimes. They dont want to risk losing their freedom. In either case you will need something emotional IMO some event that changes their reaction. I don't know what that event would be. This is only a writing strategy. There's too much to lose if they fail. Incels motivation can't be superficial. That could be many character's motives. But it's not like this is the criteria for recruiting people in this fictional world. No one thinks the same. However, whatever this event is to create a wish for revenge. It has to be an injustice imo to be considered a revenge motivation. Revenge is more complex. It suggests being unable to get justice for wrongs done to them and getting angry. If they were born ugly revenge doesn't seem a believable motive that becomes a theme from childhood to adulthood since it's genetics. I am saying this only to try to convince. There are some excuses or ways to convince women to date an incel. That would be money, and they wouldn't have to commit crime and they would just have to be smart. If studious an extremely ugly person can get a girl. Through that work incels don't need to commit crimes. Sure if they are not smart, and have no money to study. I don't know if that is an incel. But not every person thinks its a way to get revenge or to get justice. Justice and revenge are linked.

Look up psychological studies on revenge. It falls under the definition of an injustice being done. But there is no injustice (or a moral wrong done that needs to be fixed).

As you can see incels need a more powerful motive. What if the fire deparment could not come to their house on time, and they had burn marks on their face and body (I've seen this news story). They couldn't sue and they for example couldn't find evidence since the government hid it. All this time people languished in thier house as if rotting, with medical bills sky high. And no way to pay for it. Then the person turns into a so-called incel. That doesn't gurantee that if 3 people lived in that house all 3 became that. They have different morals and standards. Why? Because there is an age gap? People have different famiies. They live in different communities.

Again good luck, and keep writing. I just think it is flawed in its thinking and this argument doesn't make sense to me.

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 08:10 PM
Oh okay. Well there are other works of fiction that will have a whole group of criminals that are out to commit crimes, and they are not doing it for money though, so is it possible to still make it believable, if I change the motivation though for the crimes?

luckyscars
July 9th, 2020, 08:21 PM
Oh okay. Well there are other works of fiction that will have a whole group of criminals that are out to commit crimes, and they are not doing it for money though, so is it possible to still make it believable, if I change the motivation though for the crimes?

I'm just going to repeatedly post this in response to every frivolous question you ask until you either follow the direction or explain why you can't.


Oh, look, here's my answer from another site from FOUR AND A HALF YEARS AGO about your use of the penis pump:

You've been working on the penis-pump-rape for at least four and a half years. You're a really weird mix of "courage of your convictions" and "trying to write by committee". It's a waste of everyone's time.

Seriously. Stop asking people what they think and then ignoring what they say and then asking what they think and then ignoring what they say and then asking what they think...

Just get on with it.

Annoying kid
July 9th, 2020, 08:53 PM
The subject is difficult to make sympathetic to the audience. I think females would not like the movie. They are the biggest victims of rape. That's half your audience.

In terms of people eligible to see his movie, aka the non incarerated, this is true. It would go beyond females not liking it however. There'd probably be protests outside of cinemas.

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 08:56 PM
Oh okay. Why would females hate the movie particularly, since there are both male and female victims of the crime in the story? Females would still dislike it more?

luckyscars
July 9th, 2020, 08:58 PM
Oh okay. Why would females hate the movie particularly, since there are both male and female victims of the crime in the story? Females would still dislike it more?

Glass House literally answered this. I encourage you to do posters the courtesy of reading their responses to you, as has been requested multiple times in the past.

Originally Posted by Theglasshouse https://www.writingforums.com/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (https://www.writingforums.com/showthread.php?p=2294867#post2294867)
The subject is difficult to make sympathetic to the audience. I think females would not like the movie. They are the biggest victims of rape. That's half your audience.

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 09:08 PM
Oh okay, I see. Thanks. Well I guess I wanted to write a dark story about a dark crime. I thought that since other works of fiction have done it, that it could be done of course.

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 09:14 PM
Oh okay, well I could try to make the character less weird, if that would help? Should she commit the crime in a different way then, if that is what you are saying?

Annoying kid
July 9th, 2020, 09:36 PM
Oh okay. Why would females hate the movie particularly, since there are both male and female victims of the crime in the story? Females would still dislike it more?

Males wouldn't like the story either.

Dude, even your own girlfriend hates it.
https://www.loveshack.org/forums/topic/592623-my-gf-embarrassed-me-in-front-of-my-friend-should-i-have-a-problem-with-this/#comments

By your own words she hated it to such a degree, that she brought it up in a social situation. This is a script about incels and rape and she brought up her hate for it in public in front of you in a social. That is not normal.

Because if your own girlfriend has that reaction, and she presumably likes you and would want to like your creativity if she could -- what do you think other women who don't know you, don't inherently like you - how do you think they will feel about your movie?

(and if anybody doubts this is our ironpony, it is: https://www.loveshack.org/forums/topic/593749-i-feel-that-fate-is-keeping-me-from-reaching-my-goal-but-is-it/page/2/

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 09:44 PM
Well there are other works of fiction that have this kind of crime in that do well, like say Law and Order: SVU, or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc. So I thought it could be done where it would find an audience. So I didn't think that the subject matter was off the table, as far as acceptability goes, since it's been done before successfully.

Annoying kid
July 9th, 2020, 09:56 PM
Well I guess I am just puzzled by it because you see other works of fiction that have this kind of crime in that do well, like say Law and Order: SVU, or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc. So I thought it could be done where it would find an audience.

They're within the realms of believability. You're asking us to believe a gang of Elliot Rodgers - who are psychologically too narcissistic to work in a gang anyway, would not only do so, but would all meet on the dark web and clown law enforcement at every turn to the point where the cop needs to go rogue in order to crack the case (unlike Law and Order). In addition to all this the gang even recruited a woman , even though Elliot Rodger and all his ilk hated women to the point of wanting women in concentration camps - yeah that type of dude is gonna co operate with a woman, and a woman is going to actually want to risk her own life by working with guys like that? Why?

Cos she's ugly and can't get laid? So she's willing to kill others and rape a cop for these guys, but isn't willing to sleep with any of them thus instantly ending her and their inceldom? And these guys would accept her rejection of them? Really?

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 10:01 PM
Well perhaps The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a better example of more than one rapist working together, where the victim also goes somewhat rogue to a degree in the end?

Even if the woman member of the group was willing to sleep with them, they still want to get revenge on society for being rejected by everyone else. They feel that being rejected by everyone else is still a matter of principle, and they do want to throw away that principle, just because one person finally says yes, if that makes sense. The reason why the woman wants to be a member of the group is because she is wanting to strike back at society for the same reason, because of all the rejection from society.

But there have been works of fiction where you have a group of criminals that are after a goal, other than money though, so can it not be done, where it's been done before?

luckyscars
July 9th, 2020, 10:13 PM
Well there are other works of fiction that have this kind of crime in that do well, like say Law and Order: SVU, or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc. So I thought it could be done where it would find an audience. So I didn't think that the subject matter was off the table, as far as acceptability goes, since it's been done before successfully.

I would say it's not even so much about what's believable -- some good stories aren't believable as in, you wouldn't think they could actually happen (like any superhero story, most action movies, most horror, a lot of fantasy and science fiction -- even crime stuff sometimes pushes credibility) but more about consistency and adherence to an internal pattern of logic.

Annoying Kid makes some good points but let's be fair and say that an gang of incels is possible -- it is -- and that they somehow have the ability to elude the police -- also possible. Okay, fair enough, but that doesn't overcome the fact that such an 'incel gang' would absolutely not be charming or charismatic enough to lure a woman into joining them. That IS a problem, because it contradicts the fundamental purpose of this gang existing -- because they hate and want to hurt women.

But, let's pretend she is an outlier, a female incel -- a 'femcel'. Or maybe just nuts. Okay, but that would lead to its own brand of inconsistency. What's in it for her? Even crazy people tend to have some form of self-interest, that's usually the last thing remaining. She is clearly sexually empowered enough to (for whatever reason) want to commit sexual violence...but why? Why would this be her method of punishment?

You don't explain it. You don't give detail other than 'she wants to humiliate him'. But it doesn't make sense. It simply doesn't fit the profile of a sexually isolated woman to want to hurt what she sees as a 'bad man' and doing so...by teaming up with more bad men (the incel gang)? Do you really not see how it makes no sense for somebody to punish men by electing to join forces with men?

If you want to make her role make sense (and good luck) you need some kind of reason that extends towards 'because she wants to humiliate the cop'.

Her antipathy toward the cop is actually irrelevant. What's relevant is that this hypothetical woman is willing to commit a Class A Federal Felony for no reason whatsoever that bears any logic even to a crazed person. Why wouldn't she just kill him, if she hated him so much? If she didn't hate him enough to kill him, there are 9993292 ways that could better serve the humiliation motive. She could hack his computer and have him email some child porn to his fellow cops. She could do so many more things that would (1) Be more believable than her raping him with a penis pump and (2) Be consistent with her contempt and hatred towards men (which is what a female incel would have)

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 10:20 PM
Oh okay. Well my intention was that she would join the gang because she sees that they are having the same problem as her, and are out for revenge for the same problem. So they consider he an exception compared to other women because she is in the same boat as them. She also considers them an exception to most men because they are in the same boat she is. So they accept each other because of the common goal if that makes sense. That was what I was intending anyway. Now I know the idea of a female rapist, joining a gang of male rapists is ironic, but I thought that irony is good in storytelling, and I've always liked when irony has happened in other stories.

Isn't irony a good component of storytelling, especially if the reader wouldn't see it coming? Or what can I do to sell the irony in a good way? Also, if the incel motivation is not the right motivation for them committing these types of crimes, is there a better motivation I should use instead? When it comes to changing the story, I can't really change the crimes, since a lot of the plot and comes out of the crimes. But I could change the motivation for the crime if that's better. But what would be a better motivation for going around committing this crime as a group, if not an incel motivation?

luckyscars
July 9th, 2020, 10:54 PM
Oh okay. Well my intention was that she would join the gang because she sees that they are having the same problem as her, and are out for revenge for the same problem.

But they're obviously not? She hates men, they hate women. That's like having Al Qaeda join forces with the KKK because they both hate liberal, western society. It completely ignores the different beliefs, different cultures, and the fact they HATE each other. It misses absolutely everything about the differences in world view: With incels and women-who-hate men, one hates women for being sluts; the other hates men for treating women like sluts (I mean, it's more complex, but broadly speaking). Explain how this is logically consistent? It's not.


So they consider he an exception compared to other women because she is in the same boat as them. She also considers them an exception to most men because they are in the same boat she is.

What boat is this? The boat of being psychologically distressed? Does that make Roseanne Barr the natural best friend of Vincent Van Gogh? No. You are massively oversimplifying a complicated problem.


So they accept each other because of the common goal if that makes sense. That was what I was intending anyway. Now I know the idea of a female rapist, joining a gang of male rapists is ironic, but I thought that irony is good in storytelling, and I've always liked when irony has happened in other stories. Isn't irony a good component of storytelling, especially if the reader wouldn't see it coming? Or what can I do to sell the irony in a good way?

Ironic is good, moronic is not. Ironic is having a vegetarian shark who chose to be a vegetarian for some convincing moral reason or because they had a broken fin so couldn't catch fish. Moronic is having a vegetarian shark because...no reason.


Also, if the incel motivation is not the right motivation for them committing these types of crimes, is there a better motivation I should use instead? When it comes to changing the story, I can't really change the crimes, since a lot of the plot and comes out of the crimes. But I could change the motivation for the crime if that's better. But what would be a better motivation for going around committing this crime as a group, if not an incel motivation?

You need to figure it out. One of the biggest problems you have is that you are picking some extremely challenging subject matter and probably a pretty complex story but lack either the will or the discipline or the maturity or all three with which to think about it on your own in a deep, thoughtful manner. I wouldn't attempt the story you are trying to write because I don't think I could write it very well. I don't think most writers would. It's not impressive to pick the most controversial idea you can and write it poorly.

The best thing you could do is table it, at least for a time, and write something within your current skill set. Would you be open to considering that?

ironpony
July 9th, 2020, 11:03 PM
Oh okay, well the reason why I thought this was my best story to work on it's just out of all my screenplay ideas, this one can be made for the least amount of money, so I thought I would try to develop the one the most first, that can be made for the least amount of money.

If this whole incel motivation is not the best motivation for a group of rapists to be of a mixed gender, what is a better motivation them for that type of group to work, and want to commit those crimes, while be a mixed gender then? Are there any other motivations? Whenever I ask this, no other motivations are suggested, so are there any?

Annoying kid
July 10th, 2020, 12:02 AM
Oh okay, well the reason why I thought this was my best story to work on it's just out of all my screenplay ideas, this one can be made for the least amount of money, so I thought I would try to develop the one the most first, that can be made for the least amount of money.

If this whole incel motivation is not the best motivation for a group of rapists to be of a mixed gender, what is a better motivation them for that type of group to work, and want to commit those crimes, while be a mixed gender then? Are there any other motivations? Whenever I ask this, no other motivations are suggested, so are there any?

Again, why doesn't she just have sex with them? Thus ending each other's inceldom? Is that really more difficult for her than joining in this rape and murder gang's crimes, raping cops etc? She's willing to look past the fact that these guys loathe women to the point of psychopathy, but isn't willing to sleep with them why...cos they aren't good looking enough?

If you rely completely on the "everybody's crazy" excuse, in order to get out of writing credible motivations, then that makes every character null and void and utterly pointless.

ironpony
July 10th, 2020, 12:09 AM
Well I think that her having sex with them is not how she sees it though. She would see that as a cop out? She feels she wants revenge for all the rejection and just a few guys who have the same problem as her is not enough, and she feels it's copping out, if that makes sense. She can sleep with them to enjoy sex if she wants but she feels that other men is society should still be punished for all the rejection over the years. I think it works that way in all groups of criminals who have extreme beliefs though. If a group of extremists wants to harm society, they are not just going to say we have each other, isn't that enough for us? It's never enough for extremists. Has there ever been a group of extremists throughout history, who stopped wreaking havoc on society because they actually got what they wanted and felt satisfied so they retired?

Annoying kid
July 10th, 2020, 12:20 AM
Well I think that her having sex with them is not how she sees it though. She would see that as a cop out? She feels she wants revenge for all the rejection and just a few guys who have the same problem as her is not enough, and she feels it's copping out, if that makes sense. She can sleep with them to enjoy sex if she wants but she feels that other men is society should still be punished for all the rejection over the years.

So none of them are even incels. But lets assume shes crazy enough to hurt men for the rejection over the years. Why wouldn't she do that alone instead of risking her life by taking up with a gang of men who hate women to the same extent?

That really is like saying a KKK member will help the Black Panthers... because he wants revenge against blacks.

Thats brain meltingly dumb.

ironpony
July 10th, 2020, 12:29 AM
Well she feels that these men are suffering from the same problem as her, constant rejection so she makes an exception for them. As for that KKK analogy I think these are all case by case things, and cannot apply an analogy like that, but that's just me. But if you join a group that is going around getting revenge because of sexual rejection, then that makes your statement more powerful if it's a group.

luckyscars
July 10th, 2020, 12:57 AM
Oh okay, well the reason why I thought this was my best story to work on it's just out of all my screenplay ideas, this one can be made for the least amount of money, so I thought I would try to develop the one the most first, that can be made for the least amount of money.

It was that line of reasoning that led to Cheez Whiz, canned hamburger, and the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. Don't be Cheez Whiz. This idea, as it stands, is Cheez Whiz.

There are plenty of really good movies that were made for almost no money: The Blair Witch Project, Napoleon Dynamite, Paranormal Activity, Clerks.

These are all simple yet creative movies that are highly effective in their genres and are quite possibility well within your capabilities to create. This one, right now, isn't. As demonstrated by the fact it's taken years and you're still trying to figure out 'motivations' regarding penis pumps.

Don't be Cheez Whiz.



If this whole incel motivation is not the best motivation for a group of rapists to be of a mixed gender, what is a better motivation them for that type of group to work, and want to commit those crimes, while be a mixed gender then? Are there any other motivations? Whenever I ask this, no other motivations are suggested, so are there any?

You can't 'suggest motivations' anymore than you can 'suggest' faces or body odor. Motivations are born from various factors to do with a character. Maybe the fact you have trouble coming up with motivations is because your characters are poorly developed? I'd put money on your character depth being extremely minimal.

If your characters are poorly developed, it's impossible to know how and why they would do anything. You might as well ask why a fart wafts a certain direction, you're setting yourself up for frustration.

ironpony
July 10th, 2020, 12:59 AM
Oh okay. I actually didn't have any trouble coming up with motivations and I knew the motivations of the characters. It was other people who suggested that they do not work. But I know the motivations and did not have trouble coming up with any. It's just I have trouble coming up with a new one if I should change the motivation.

Annoying kid
July 10th, 2020, 01:06 AM
Well she feels that these men are suffering from the same problem as her, constant rejection so she makes an exception for them. As for that KKK analogy I think these are all case by case things, and cannot apply an analogy like that, but that's just me. But if you join a group that is going around getting revenge because of sexual rejection, then that makes your statement more powerful if it's a group.

They're not. She believes men are to blame for her problems, they believe women are to blame for theirs. Doesn't matter that they both face rejection. They're going to fundamentally disagree with the causes. And given how violent all parties are, she risks painful death by talking up with them.

So there would have to be an extremely powerful reason for her to do so. Again, she is not YOU. She doesn't know ahead of time they will treat her well for some reason.

ironpony
July 10th, 2020, 01:31 AM
Oh okay, I saw it differently and that they are against rejecters, and not make it about gender to that extreme of a point. I thought they were more against rejectors rather than the the opposite gender as entirety. For example, the guy I know who is incel in real life, who I got research ideas from, he may be frustrated and hate a lot of women, but for example he still likes some women he personally knows and doesn't throw them all under the same bus. Just the ones he doesn't like.

luckyscars
July 10th, 2020, 09:23 AM
Oh okay, I saw it differently and that they are against rejecters, and not make it about gender to that extreme of a point. I thought they were more against rejectors rather than the the opposite gender as entirety.

What is a 'rejector'? Like, what do you think that term means here? It's a genuine question, I have never thought of people who reject things as being any kind of homogeneous group. It's not a word that my dictionary recognizes which suggests it has no real utility in real life. I'm a 'rejector' when it comes to people offering Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise, but that's obviously not the kind of rejection you are talking about.

Are you predicating this theory on the rejection 'involuntarily celibate' women perceive as being the same as the rejection 'involuntarily celibate' men perceive? Because it's not. The reasons why a woman might find herself loathing men would be entirely different from the reasons a man might find himself loathing women.

For one thing, basically any woman is capable of finding somebody who will have sex with them. There are more than a few men out there who have sex with corpses and horses and newborn babies, so obtaining sex is NOT a problem for any woman, no matter how unattractive or terrible a human being she might be. What is more likely to be a problem for a woman is finding a man who will have sex with them who isn't also going to treat them poorly.

Conversely, male incels' problem is finding any woman who will touch them with a ten foot pole. These aren't similar 'rejections' at all.

I don't believe in this theory of yours that there would be common ground or a common purpose.


For example, the guy I know who is incel in real life, who I got research ideas from, he may be frustrated and hate a lot of women, but for example he still likes some women he personally knows and doesn't throw them all under the same bus. Just the ones he doesn't like.

That's called cognitive dissonance. It means he's full of crap. Which is fine to use in a story, but I thought this was some large gang who were profoundly committed to their high ideals of misogyny and rape, not some sexually-frustrated asshole who 'still likes some women'?

Again, it's just all very inconsistent. If they hate women enough to go around raping them en masse, presumably their hate is pretty genuine. The guy you know does NOT sound like he would be a part of that gang. Have you asked him if he would join a rape gang? Maybe you should!

ironpony
July 10th, 2020, 06:33 PM
Oh okay thanks. What if I wrote it so that all the members were men then? Would that be a lot better, or make a lot more sense?

Annoying kid
July 10th, 2020, 08:30 PM
Oh okay thanks. What if I wrote it so that all the members were men then? Would that be a lot better, or make a lot more sense?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-h58RvI7hY

ironpony
July 10th, 2020, 08:37 PM
Oh okay. Well it's just if I make the villains all male, it does the change the theme around a lot from what I was going for though. But if I do, you say the plot holds together better. So does that mean plot is more important than theme then and should always come first, if you have to pick between the two?

Taylor
July 10th, 2020, 10:25 PM
A lot of times I am asked, why did this character make this strange decision, and I will tell the reader, that I just put myself in the characters' shoes and did what I would do if faced with that predicament.

But then reader will react like 'well just because that is what you would do, doesn't mean that that is what others would do, or that character who isn't you'.

So that makes me think, when I write, should I not try to put myself into the characters shoes at all, and write it so they wouldn't do what I would do in that same situation at all then?

Such a great question! I think it totally depends on whether or not you have the insight to write the charcater. If you do, then put yourself in their shoes. If you don't, then you may need to do some research.

For example, it makes me think of another post on this forum a few weeks ago about "writing women." I often watch movies or read books and think...that is not how I or likely any other woman would react. One of the forum posters said they enlisted their wife to help them write women.

I think it is important for the reader to believe the reaction, and it has to be based on the characterization you have set out. You can't just write it "so they wouldn't do what I would do in that same situation at all". There has to be some linkage in the story to their reaction.

It's not easy. I struggle with this myself!

luckyscars
July 11th, 2020, 05:15 AM
Oh okay. Well it's just if I make the villains all male, it does the change the theme around a lot from what I was going for though. But if I do, you say the plot holds together better. So does that mean plot is more important than theme then and should always come first, if you have to pick between the two?

I think you should pick whatever will result in fewer questions being asked to strangers on the internet.

Lovecrafter
July 11th, 2020, 08:32 PM
A lot of times I am asked, why did this character make this strange decision, and I will tell the reader, that I just put myself in the characters' shoes and did what I would do if faced with that predicament.

But then reader will react like 'well just because that is what you would do, doesn't mean that that is what others would do, or that character who isn't you'.

So that makes me think, when I write, should I not try to put myself into the characters shoes at all, and write it so they wouldn't do what I would do in that same situation at all then?

I can only say what I know and how I write.

I find it essential to put myself in my characters shoes, to try and feel what they would feel in the situations I put them in. And, knowing what I know about their personalities, how those feelings would translate to action. The actions of one frightened character could be different from the actions of another, equally frightened, character.

So, yeah, I find it necessary to do that. If I didnít try and relate to them, to put myself in their shoes, I donít think Iíd be able to properly imagine their actions. Also, they wouldnít feel as human, or inhuman, to me if I didnít try and feel what they felt. Iíd feel Iíd be doing them an injustice.

JJBuchholz
July 12th, 2020, 11:20 PM
When I write, should I not try to put myself into the characters shoes at all, and write it so they wouldn't do what I would do in that same situation at all then?

The only way to write your characters to their full potential is to become them. To put yourself in their position is to know them and connect with an important facet of your writing. I have done this time and again, especially with more emotional stories. I have lived and died with characters I have written over the years, sharing in their joy as well as crying with them in their sorrow.

Characters are more than just names on a page. They are an extension of your core being. You created them, and you know them.

They exist because of you.


-JJB

ironpony
July 13th, 2020, 12:32 AM
Oh okay. But if the reader disagrees with the character's decision making and says that is not what they would do, then are the readers incorrect then, if the character exists because of you?