Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Paradoxical Personality { Characters Who Aren't Hanging Over a Cliff I }

In the series I'm currently working on (A Different Kind of Legacy), I follow the stories of some...humans. With super abilities. I have a sound manipulator, light manipulators, a mindreader, an invisible girl, a guy with Sherlock Holmes type powers, and a girl whose families are trait borrowers.

Ruby Cacera's family are experts in the realm of borrowing personality traits from people they touch. It's like they have this little extra container space in their brain for 'stolen' personality traits. They can pull out any trait at any time and combine it with others to create a whole personality. This is handy for undercover missions. They can become a completely different person from who they really are. Expert actors...and it doesn't really require any hard work. It kind of just happens.

As you might imagine, this can cause conflict between characters who interact with this family. My main protagonist, Darcy Wood la Van, often wonders if Ruby's being completely real with him. She can be anybody she wants...so who is she really? She can easily hide things.

Tragedy happens.

Ruby hides what she's really feeling. Everybody thinks she's doing great. She's laughing, having fun--being her normal weird self. Okay, so she's over the bad stuff. She's moving on. She has God and she's all good. That's what onlookers think.

False.

She's actually really depressed. She isn't eating much of anything. She doesn't know what to do or how to get over this. She would love to just sleep and eat cotton candy. But she pretends for the sake of others.

While Ruby has the superpower to become anybody she wants, whenever she wants, I think we can take away something from this for everyday normal characters.

A person can be scared but brave at the same time. A person can also be humble while proud. Somebody could be a cold-hearted killer...but...still be a warm-hearted parent or friend. Hmm.

Ruby's a naturally brave person. She is, at times ( a LOT of times), reckless. I mean, she goes off into the woods by herself. And at night, no less. She gets hurt all the time, but she takes it all. She's seen worse. She's always seen worse. But...that doesn't mean she isn't scared. Just because she has like 100% bravery, doesn't mean she isn't deathly afraid.

There's tons of things she's afraid of. Maybe she accidentally borrowed fear as a trait...and she just can't shake it. Maybe she's just afraid and can't help it. Maybe it's false fear and there's no need for it. But it's there, nonetheless.

Paradoxical Personality Traits are important to keep in mind while forming a character. It gives depth. Instead of being way over the edge one way, it can add balance.
It's something to think about. What does it mean to have paradoxical personality traits? How will that affect somebody?

Does this make sense? I don't know if I had a plan on where this post was going. Anyway...

I LOVE comments!
So I have a question--do you have any characters with paradoxical personality traits?
What are the traits and how do they come into play?

Picture courtesy of Pinterest and Pixlr...:D And, yes, that is Ruby! (In case you were wondering...)

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