Empress Theresa - what do you do with unlimited power ? - Page 8

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Thread: Empress Theresa - what do you do with unlimited power ?

  1. #71
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    Q: Isn't it more interesting to show a protaganist making mistakes and recovering from them?

    A: Usually, but Theresa's responsibilities are so great, any failure on her part would be a disaster for the whole world. We are in new territory here.

    An interesting corollary to this question, and to the following question too, would be: "Wouldn't it be more dramatic to see Theresa start out a bad girl and end up good after doing all her good works?"

    I can think of only one classic work where a bad person turned good. Scrooge in Dickens's Christmas Carol radically changes for the better. I'm not aware of anybody else using the idea. What's wrong with the idea?

    It sends the wrong message. Do events create the person? I don't think so. This would seem to negate the concept of free will. If a person's character depends on his experiences then "who can be saved?" as it says in the story of the rich man who turned away saddened because he had much. Apparently whether you end up good or bad is a matter of chance.

    This is not the message I wanted to give. Theresa starts out good before the story's events begin. She doesn't change. She has free will and chooses to be as she is. The question of Theresa changing or not changing is brought up in the story.

    When Theresa comes out on the world scene, British Prime Minister Peter Blair assures the House of Commons Theresa is no threat to the old order:
    “I understand your fears. What shall we do if a child leads us? And make no mistake, Theresa is younger than many of the children and grandchildren of the members of this House. Who are we dealing with? Will she change?
    "I say, Theresa’s interests and endeavors may change, but not her heart. It is too well-considered. It is written ‘worse than death is the life of a fool’, but we saw in my talk with her Theresa is no fool. ‘Woe to thee when your king is a child’ says the Good Book, but Theresa shows lack of response to recent ill events. ‘Brutus is at war with Brutus’ said Brutus in Julius Caesar. There is no war in Theresa. She knows what to do and does not struggle with her conscience. A woman who puts her trust in a higher power will be unchanged. Theresa will remain Theresa.”

  2. #72
    Do events create the person? I don't think so.
    At any rate, you need your character's experiences to shape the person they are.

    For example, my protagonist begins very paranoid of what is really going on in the world. When he finds it out, he gets afraid of it and wants to forget about it and lead a normal life. That, of course, doesn't go well.

    Empress Theresa sounds like she might start and end the same. To ensure she doesn't, you want something dramatic to change within her during the story. Perhaps she begins all happy, but the responsibilities of what she has ake her wish she didn't have the power she does makes her more stressed and saddened as the story goes on. Only at the climax does she realise what the true meaning of power is, and how it's agood thing, but only if you see it in a certain way and use it for good.

    Your characters do need to change - that is definite.

    Change sends the right message. People want to feel like the person they are might not be the person they end up as for any number of reasons. Our life irons out our flaws.Thi is a very Christian message as well - God works through the world for our good, so that we better ourselves. He prunes us, as it says in the Word.
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  3. #73
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    I'm not sure I can believe what I'm reading........

    At any rate, you need your character's experiences to shape the person they are.

    etc etc

    Change sends the right message. People want to feel like the person they are might not be the person they end up as for any number of reasons.
    I see.
    So people want to feel that life experiences will change them? What if life experiences make them worse off than before?

    In my story, my last post points out, quite clearly enough I believe, that a person doesn't have to change. A person has free will and can always choose what kind of person he will be.

    You talked about paranoia from bad experiences. Certainly any person can be driven insane, but that's not the same thing as turning a good person into bad, or vice versa. An insane person is not responsible.

    You need to look on a higher plane, Cadence.

  4. #74
    So people want to feel that life experiences will change them? What if life experiences make them worse off than before?
    It makes for an exciting read. Look at Of Mice And Men.

    People know life experiences change them. Believing any differently will only lead to writing less interesting stories.

    You need to look on a higher plane, Cadence.
    I have no idea what the planes of writing are, unless you have some kind of special vision I don't.

    Read a book. Work out how the character changed. Read another. Work out how the character changed. Then another. Work out how the character changed. You'll quickly realise that all characters need to change. Otherwise, they are internally inanimate, and thus boring.
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  5. #75
    Actually, (I'm jumping in off the last few posts here) events do shape a person. I was once a bit of a git in my youth, I didn't like the things I was doing but I did them anyway for a number of reasons. Yes I could stop at any time, but it's differentdifficult to make that reasonable decision at the time. I stopped eventually but it required a move 300 miles north so I could start again without my "friends" nausing it up for me.

    People do things they know they shouldn't for various reasons. I have a character I'm writing about who is a good person and just wants to settle down on a farm and live a quiet life. She ends up killing thousands of people and rips a continent in half because she has been manipulated by evil forces that caught her at an all time low;

    "I know lifes a bit crap, but if you do it our why I promise it will get better."
    "You sure about this?"
    "We also have cake. Only nice people have cake."
    "Deal."

    She doesn't recover from her mistakes until the very end when she realises what she's done (when it's too late) and then sets about trying to mend what she broke.

  6. #76
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    Read a book. Work out how the character changed. Read another. Work out how the character changed. Then another. Work out how the character changed. You'll quickly realise that all characters need to change. Otherwise, they are internally inanimate, and thus boring.
    To Kill a Mockingbird's lawyer hero father Atticus Finch and his children, nine year old daughter Scout, and 13 year old son Jem, don't change, but they're fascinating to watch. Oh sure, they learn something, but THEY don't change.

    Don't think like an auto mechanic who doesn't know how an engine works. ( Hmm, I got to make this character interesting by throwing in change, or making him an alcoholic or something...... )
    Think like an auto engineer who can explain the Carnot heat engine cycle and how it determines efficiency etc ( How does a person work? What can he resist and what can change him if anything? )

    Look at the higher plane. It's not about what's happening. It's why it happens. Who's in control here? From whom or what does a character draw his strength?

    Theresa is under tremendous pressures, and people wonder if she'll lose her mind. But while she's under pressures,they're not personal ! She's not being tortured. She doesn't suffer losses. She's not being blamed for anything and can't be; the situations are not her doing.



    Theresa does change. All she wanted was a quiet life. There she is suddenly the only person who can save the world.
    She had no interest in politics. But there she is fighting OPEC, saving Israel, and going into North Korea to liberate the people.
    But with all that Theresa herself doesn't essentially change. She's still the innocent Theresa we saw before all the chaos began.

  7. #77
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    People do things they know they shouldn't for various reasons. I have a character I'm writing about who is a good person and just wants to settle down on a farm and live a quiet life. She ends up killing thousands of people and rips a continent in half because she has been manipulated by evil forces that caught her at an all time low;

    "I know lifes a bit crap, but if you do it our why I promise it will get better."
    "You sure about this?"
    "We also have cake. Only nice people have cake."
    "Deal."

    She doesn't recover from her mistakes until the very end when she realises what she's done (when it's too late) and then sets about trying to mend what she broke.

    She sounds like a weak person. There is a place for weak persons in literature, I suppose.
    There's also a place for strong persons. Atticus Finch and his children Scout and Jem in Mockingbird are strong people. They're not influenced by the universal racial prejudice around them.

    Theresa is a strong person. If she's not, she will fail, and it's the end of the world. Armegeddon is here. Not much of a story.

  8. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by empresstheresa View Post
    To Kill a Mockingbird's lawyer hero father Atticus Finch and his children, nine year old daughter Scout, and 13 year old son Jem, don't change, but they're fascinating to watch. Oh sure, they learn something, but THEY don't change.
    They all change because of what happened. That's the whole point of that book is how that trial and the surrounding events shaped the lives of the people involved. Change isn't as simple as a good person changing into a bad person, or vice versa. There are no 'all good' or 'all bad' people and if we create one in our writing we are lying to the reader. Worse, we will be boring the reader to death with a cartoon character.
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    But my words like silent raindrops fell
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  9. #79
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    Unlimited Power? Well I'd probably not be very popular, but I would more than likely use it to get laid first then move on to less important stuff like feeding the hungry, creating world peace, and stopping pollution.

  10. #80
    I'm almost afraid to post this, considering how combative this thread is... but:

    Does Theresa have any character development going on?

    I understand your point about her not changing and I think it's a fine enough idea to have someone who stands by their morals no matter what, but something about her has to change to make her an interesting character. If she doesn't change, doesn't have faults, doesn't fail every now and then, then I don't think she is the kind of character I would like to read about. Isn't the best part of fiction the way you can put your characters under extraordinary stresses that are impossible in the real world, and then watch how they change as a result?

    Also, I want to say that I disagree about people not changing because of experiences. Everyone changes because of every experience, even if only in a minute fashion.

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