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Is this character weak in this way, that was pointed out? (1 Viewer)

ironpony

Senior Member
My story is a crime thriller. The main character wants revenge on these villains, who keep getting away with their crimes, and the MC's wife, doesn't want him to do down the revenge path, and doesn't want him to get killed or end up in jail, so she tries to stop him. But her trying to stop him makes things worse as she is also put in danger and the villains are able to use her as bargaining chip later. This causes more consequences for the MC to suffer as a result of his revenge.

However, I was told by a couple of readers that they do not like the MC's wife as a character and think she is poorly written, because as a woman, she has no goals of her own, and everything she does is of a reaction to a male character. But if I were to give her own goals of her own, apart from the main plot, wouldn't it come off as an unneccessary subplot though? Wouldn't readers think what does her having to reach this goal of hers, have anything to do with the MC seeking revenge on the villains?

I want to create a three dimensional character, but at the same time, I don't want to create subplots that do not have anything to do with the main plot. Unless that's not possible? Thanks for any advice on this! I really appreciate it!
 
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NajaNoir

Senior Member
She's your character. You already know how you want to write her. If you go out of your way and add a plotline for her that you don't want to, it'll feel forced, and readers will know.

Better to write her how you see her. Then, once done, you can always tweak things around and add or take away small things. And small suggestions. But, as YOU see fit. Not how others see it.

They can write their own stories.
 
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VRanger

Staff member
Administrator
My advice is that if after SIX PLUS YEARS into this project, you don't even know who your characters are yet, it's time to mark it down to experience and try something new.

Plus, most of your posts indicate you are blown like a leaf in the wind by what this and that person says. You simply CANNOT complete a readable project like that. Write what you want, write THE END, and move on. As I've discussed, should you ever actually sell this screenplay, by the time the director's writer gets through with it, you won't recognize virtually anything you wrote, anyway.
 
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ironpony

Senior Member
Oh well it's just I want the story to be good, so shouldn't I take reader's advice if I want it to be though? Otherwise how do you know if it is or not?
 

JBF

Staff member
Global Moderator
...shouldn't I take reader's advice...

Yes. To a point. But at the end of the day this is still your story. You're the captain. Run the boat.

As it stands (others can correct me if I'm mistaken) none of us have seen word one of this story. That being the case, you aren't getting reader feedback - you're asking us to play a midnight game of lawn darts; nobody can see what's happening, it's all guesswork, and somebody's probably going to the hospital before it's all over.

Otherwise how do you know if it is or not?

1) You figure out the story you want to tell. That's the You you, not the figurative. Your story, your execution, your style.
2) You write the damn thing
3) It sucks
4) You improve until it doesn't suck

Members here are pretty generous with time and advice. But patience is a finite thing, and many take offense (even if they don't voice it) when they feel their time is wasted because:

It isn't their responsibility to plot your story, or establish your characters, or tell you if curtains in the MC's girlfriend's cousin's house are the wrong color, or provide you with accurate technical detail that gets scrubbed in next week's iteration.

Nobody else here can execute your project for you. Either you do it, or it doesn't get done.

You.

YOU.

If YOU don't have the vision and the grit to invest in this thing it's not going to happen. Nobody here is going to nursemaid your genius to its ultimate fruition because we all have projects of our own that require time, research, and commitment. Moreover, some of us have to schedule in between other obligations, and it is a flagrant show of disrespect to expect anybody to burn their own writing time for your project when you yourself can't seem to figure out what's going on.

If you want the story, earn it. Figure it out. Suck it up. Get it done.

Or else let it go.
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
Come on Iron Pony, I know you can do it... unplug the WiFi and JUST write :) .

head feels GIF
 

Mark Twain't

Staff member
Global Moderator
Oh well it's just I want the story to be good, so shouldn't I take reader's advice if I want it to be though? Otherwise how do you know if it is or not?
You could ask 20 different readers and get 20 different answers. The more you ask, the less likely you are ever going to write the damned thing.

To borrow a slogan from a well known sportswear company, JUST DO IT!
 

apple

WF Veterans
I think writing a screenplay or story is to try to make each character you introduce into your story, interesting and important, no matter how large or insignificant the part. That doesn't necessarily mean creating a sub-story or plotline, It helps me visualize them, give me glimpses of the character. action. Written in for flavor. For example, (a finely dressed man steps out of a Limo and spots a penny on the ground, picks it up, and puts it in his pocket.) This action might tell us a lot about this man. The wife in your story could, maybe, be brought to more vibrancy with, color, personality, and life, by showing us who she is from speaking subtleties to personality quirks, (and lots of action verbs.) especially when relating to hubby. lol, I know that when writing a screenplay there should be two, maybe three sub-plotlines going, but not bouncing around all on their own inside the story but leading to the same end.
So, I haven't put my two cents worth of advice on this thread in a long, long time. I hope you can understand what I mean. The wife in your story can be a magnificent character, playing her own part with verve and energy. No need for her life story. My best to you. Keep writing.:)
 

ironpony

Senior Member
That's true, all the opinions are different, but how do you know if it's good though, or if it has an audience? Do you just take the risk and go for it, and that's all you can do without possibly knowing anymore?
 

Ajoy

Senior Member
Do you just take the risk and go for it, and that's all you can do without possibly knowing anymore?
It's not really a risk to write your complete idea without the influence of others. Ask for feedback once you have something complete to share. Until then, you're really not ready to take in the opinions of others. From what I've seen, you've been stuck in an advice seeking loop which seems to be keeping you from progressing on your project. This doesn't surprise me because you are getting tons of different opinions on vague descriptions of your ideas. That would be confusing. Trust yourself enough to write out your first draft. There's no risk to that.
 

Travalgar

Senior Member
My story is a crime thriller. The main character wants revenge on these villains, who keep getting away with their crimes, and the MC's wife, doesn't want him to do down the revenge path, and doesn't want him to get killed or end up in jail, so she tries to stop him. But her trying to stop him makes things worse as she is also put in danger and the villains are able to use her as bargaining chip later. This causes more consequences for the MC to suffer as a result of his revenge.

However, I was told by a couple of readers that they do not like the MC's wife as a character and think she is poorly written, because as a woman, she has no goals of her own, and everything she does is of a reaction to a male character. But if I were to give her own goals of her own, apart from the main plot, wouldn't it come off as an unneccessary subplot though? Wouldn't readers think what does her having to reach this goal of hers, have anything to do with the MC seeking revenge on the villains?

I want to create a three dimensional character, but at the same time, I don't want to create subplots that do not have anything to do with the main plot. Unless that's not possible? Thanks for any advice on this! I really appreciate it!
Everything you write needs to be meaningful. To that end, the characters in your story can be in any number of dimensions as you see fit. What matters is not how the individual components of your story performs in isolation, but how the whole story comes together as the result.

Don't ask for advice on a single part of your incomplete story. Finish your story, and then ask for perspectives on it.
 
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VRanger

Staff member
Administrator
Oh but I thought it was complete though as I have written out the entire story.
Nothing is complete that you wallow in this much anguish about. It SHOULD have been complete years ago.

Unless: You're casting a net for a hypothetical producer who might be browsing through WF looking for a screenplay by a writer who can't make up his mind, can't finish, and spends all his time fretting over trivialities when he should be studying the basics of writing. I refer to my critique of your sample from May 2020.
 

ironpony

Senior Member
Oh but okay but I didn't think they were trivialities if people had a problem with it, unless I am wrong, and people were making too much of it?
 

Travalgar

Senior Member
I think what you need is a beta reader. Someone who could read your whole story in its entirety to be able to give you a more comprehensive critique of it, from the point of view of an average reader.

You don't judge an elephant by having eight blind men touching its eight different body parts.
 

Ajoy

Senior Member
Oh but I thought it was complete though as I have written out the entire story.
I apologize for assuming you were not finished with your draft. It sounds like outside opinions are still pulling you in too many directions to progress to a point where you feel you can call your work finished though.
 

ironpony

Senior Member
Well I was told there are some problems with the story, so I would still like to fix them if possible, but only want to improve. But I don't want to go into too many directions for sure.
 

TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
Oh well it's just I want the story to be good, so shouldn't I take reader's advice if I want it to be though? Otherwise how do you know if it is or not?
Can't you tell the difference between PC, woke nonsense and 'good advice'? Serious question.

And why do you need a subplot to flesh out the wife? Don't the two of them interact? Don't they talk to each other? Doesn't she behave in certain ways? How is their home decorated? What things do they have on the mantelpiece, in display cabinets and the such? What area have they chosen to live in? How does she react to the situation? What words does she use in conveying advice?

Your only job is to make her feel real, not cater to ideologues.
 
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