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I'm stumped. I can't come up with anything beyond "You're hurting my feelings" and "I'm not in a good place right now."

Suggestions?

  • Of-topic for reasons stated in the on-hold text; closing. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Jan 3 '16 at 1:04
  • @NeilFein: You're a gentleman and a scholar. – Ricky Jan 3 '16 at 1:08
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Is she meant to be someone the reader/ audience sympathizes with? If no, then try, "You wouldn't understand", and passive aggressive phrases like, "Do whatever/ what you want".

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  • Good one! Can you come up with a few more? She's alternately cute and repulsive, depending on the situation. The audience can sympathize with her, or resent her. The audience's reaction should be more ... uh ... intricate .. than the character's psychology. – Ricky Nov 7 '15 at 7:22
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    Hmm... seems like a complex character. What medium is this going to be in? Theater, poetry, prose, film, so on? Maybe she can toy with a character who is interested in her, as a sort of ego feeding exercise. – Malhar Khushu Nov 7 '15 at 8:33
  • Theatre/film, interchangeable. She's in no position to toy with anyone: she's in what seems to be a life-long exile and being forced to marry a man she disdains. She is not the lead character. Her aunt is. – Ricky Nov 7 '15 at 8:44
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    Oh, that sounds fascinating! She can criticize people, probably the man she is being forced to marry, saying that he wouldn't have been able to marry anyone like her had she not been forced. She could frequently put him down. For inspiration, I would suggest looking at 'Much Ado About Nothing' by Shakespeare, where in the first two acts Benedick and Beatrice have frequent verbal spats. That might be useful. Perhaps even the role of Katherine in 'The Taming of the Shrew' by the same chap. Glad to be of help, and good luck with your play/film! – Malhar Khushu Nov 7 '15 at 8:55
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    Hahahaha I know exactly how you feel. If I anymore phrases come to mind, I'll definitely tell you and if you need any help for any more characters, feel free to ask. – Malhar Khushu Nov 7 '15 at 9:08
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A female character can show that she is self absorbed by her actions. For instance, in my screen play, she takes a cruise with the hero, then decides what the two of them should do and what they should see. She does this while pretending to play "tour guide," but is actually monopolizing the "conversation."

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  • Good thinking. But: in the beginning was the word. – Ricky Nov 8 '15 at 5:00
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"You listen to MY words first; then I'll listen to your words."

"Well, ..." [trailing off]

"But, but, but ..." [until I get my way, I'm just going to stand here muttering]

"Would you prefer to sleep alone?"

Blank stare when being asked a question followed by "Did you say something?"

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  • Very good. Any more of those? – Ricky Nov 9 '15 at 6:23
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body language (as direction maybe if not outright dialog) would be indicative as well -

eye rolling sighing / huffing impatiently if someone else is speaking to them interrupting not listening (either poking at phone or knitting without looking up, simply walking away, etc...)

being generally dismissive / demeaning of other opinions

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This is an interesting subject. I have an idea in my head, but it might come across as sloppy as I try to write it down. Selfishness is a single character trait, which plays off of other traits, so of course there's no specific set of phrases you can use. As adressed by other answers, dialogue should not be the only thing that proves her selfishness. Body language, decision-making, opinions and thought process are all affected by this trait. If this isn't done, her self-centeredness becomes an informed attribute. For dialogue in particular, you should consider what your character is thinking as she speaks. For example, if she thinks her opinion is more important than other people's, she should speak as if her authority is a given. This can result in her being blunt or indignant when people disagree with her. Some of the best things to say are voicing exactly what she's thinking. Extending on that last point, she thinks she's always justified. Her thought process should paint her as the victim when things go awry. Just a few suggestions. I'm sure there's someone out there who can say it better.

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