New answers tagged

1

You need to find a parallel to your character's situation in your own life, so you can see how you would feel and think at the time. For me, this would be someone at work having a computer problem. There is no "risk" to me but I still have a lot of different thoughts about it. I want to help - helping others is a nice thing to do, or I like the praise I ...


-1

Look for Jeff Bridges' character in the movie Fearless (1993). That concept is the motif of the movie. He is a person who survives a plane crash, and he has a life change experience where he is no longer concerned about dying, he is indifferent to death, since he is more concerned about living. He is no sociopath, even though the people around him are ...


2

It might not be suitable for your story and change it to something you don't want, just another idea I want to throw in. I think it would be interesting if your character loses his short-term memory with every death. He doesn't know what happened in his last ~15 seconds or what kills him. He has to be very attentively to his surroundings. This could add some ...


2

The antagonist in Dean Koontz' Intensity does not fear death. He views boring experiences with disdain, and only values the intensity of an experience. And as far as experiences go, death is a pretty intense one. It's stuck in my mind for the 10+ years since I read it, because he was a fun and unique character to read about. I don't even remember the ...


2

I think you might be missing the point of Groundhog Day, and thereby missing a big opportunity. Yes, the main character of Groundhog Day had to learn how to avoid ennui and boredom, but that was part of his character before he entered his repetitious cycle, and what ultimately led him to multiple suicide attempts. What got him out of the suicide cycle was ...


4

He is afraid of Pain. Very afraid. People can have differing tolerance to pain. He is not very tolerant. He judges moderate pain is unbearable. But more important, he has a unusually strong aversion to pain. He is afraid of it just as others are afraid of spiders or snakes. The tolerance level is genetic. The fear can be caused by one or more traumatic ...


6

As many users have pointed out, "rewind abilities" tend to bring about a lack of stakes. Obviously, your character can only succeed if he can reset time at will, however for him to get any sympathy you need to add some cost to that. In Groundhog Day, the cost is that he does get bored. That is our entire stake in the movie, that we want to see what path ...


1

How about when your character gets injured...The injuries follow through her resets. So, it isn’t death, but her injuries could make it interesting...ups her risk, ups her pain levels, but with no death...I would think this would provide a fear level.


4

There are many more interesting things to fear than death. Losing a loved on, being injured or losing a limb, being trapped, phobias, etc. And there are many things that can be done to a character without them ever truly being in mortal danger. Fear of death isn't, or shouldn't be, the only thing that drives a person or character. We want to learn, better ...


0

One of the other answers mentions "Uncontrollable bad thoughts about the object of anger, particularly ones that are not rational". I'd expand on this to put in the suggestion of simple, unreasoning repetition. (E.g. "Damn him. He's wrong. He's wrong. He'd wrong. He's wrong.") It would signify the weakness of a character's reasoning that they can't expand a ...


12

What I suspect you're really asking here is, "How do I make scenes involving this character feel adrenaline-filled and emotional?" To answer that question, you have to realize that portraying this character's emotions is only half the problem; the other half is the lack of stakes. It's one thing for your character to want to prevent injury or death to ...


6

007 doesn't come off as a psychopath, but is singularly unafraid of death. In one movie he dives off a cliff, without a parachute, to intercept and land on the wings of a private plane. He's always got zero fear of heights, fights, guns, speed, whatever. Fearlessness is pretty much his central trait. As Galastel says, you have the wrong notion of "...


12

I would challenge her lack of fear, if her ability can't trigger automatically as stated in comments she should still have some fear of death, things can happen around her that she isn't aware of and there are many things that can happen before she can react to save herself. We see in Edge of Tomorrow that Tom Cruise's character becomes extremely cavalier ...


26

Psychopathy is characterised by persistent antisocial behaviour, impaired empathy and remorse. (source: Wikipedia) Your character needs to care for others. Watching a person get hurt, let alone killed, isn't easy. It should never become easy. That's something your character would respond to. That is what distinguishes them from a psychopath. Now, how does ...


0

Sometimes the character herself doesn't realize her irrationality until later. There's a story in Larry Niven's "Magic Goes Away" universe where they're possessed by a god that devours love and madness, leaving cold rationality behind. They do perfectly reasonable things in the face of character-defining struggles, and don't realize it's out of their own ...


0

I think the answer actually depends on the nature of the first-person narrative. Is the narrator looking back on these events in a self-aware fashion? That is, is this person now aware that they were irrational? Or do they still think their anger was reasonable, even though it wasn't? Or are they intentionally avoiding comment, just describing the events and ...


0

How do you behave when agitated? What do you do. Which little things are done differently? Too much force is used to close a door, answers to people are entirely shorter than they deserve to be, judgements are made too quickly and likely in error. Their temper is simply going off without significant justification and will then begin to spiral out of control. ...


1

Just to add a point related to @Galastel's answer, you can show the character is being irrational by having them defend themselves (in the narrative, dialogue or both) in a way that is, on your part as the author (but not the character's), deliberately bad. Bad how? Here are some options: Their reasons for their feelings are all over the place. This works ...


5

On illustrating the anger via the character's internal monologue: There are many good suggestions here already! I particularly like @Rand 'alThor's point about the tunnel vision one might experience during extreme anger-- your character will react to the trigger out of proportion to normal considerations for the situation, the consequences, the bystanders, ...


1

None of the other answers really acknowledge this, but several can work alongside it: Sometimes irrational anger does not have a target. The person is angry without reason, and is seeking something to blame for their anger. You could even write this experience in a similar way to rational anger... except that the target is constantly changing, unknown, ...


3

I would suggest the following: Uncontrollable bad thoughts about the object of anger, particularly ones that are not rational. A sense of disassociation, where the narrator seems to be observing himself or herself from the outside --and is perhaps surprised by his/her own actions (or feels not able to control them). Physical sensations such as heat, ...


7

Naturally, this is a great opportunity for "show, don't tell". You can't describe a first-person narrator's actions as irrational; you need to show somehow that they're irrational. So, how to do that? I'm going to offer a couple of counterpoints to Galastel's answer which argues that it's not irrational from the narrator's viewpoint. Omit things that the ...


7

Ask yourself (or inquire) what such a person is experiencing. It could be "I remember shaking, and then the next thing I knew was...", and they know how they felt (hot, exhausted?) and are told by others what they did. Could be they had thoughts that they ended up accepting. ("I just had to win. To prove to him that the only sensible way to.drink coffee ...


27

To the person experiencing anger, it won't appear irrational. To them, there's a very good reason why they're angry, why they're infuriated. What you need is to show the reason. Now, the reason might not be what's right in front of them right now, causing the anger to appear irrational to the outsider. It might be that this last event is just the last straw,...


8

Personally, I don't think there IS an internal monologue; irrational anger is all feeling and emotion, perhaps single words, and I would describe those, not try to transcribe those thoughts. The dialogue that goes with these feelings is primitive at best, and cannot capture the depth of feeling associated. I've seen that tried, and it comes off flat to me. ...


1

There are several options. Others have hit on some really good ones, but here's a few more: One, use short, emotionally-heavy words with (im)proper inflection. Two, you could break the scene down into connected vignettes or a montage, as the adrenaline surge of strong emotion can distort our perception of time. Three, as an extreme, you could even break ...


9

A trick I have learned and have been practicing recently is to stop every now and then and observe myself living in the moment instead of just living it. Its hard to do, but gets easier as you practice. When you are in a moment where you are angry, try to stop and take note of what your own inner dialogue is. What are you thinking? What do you wish you ...


18

Well, you can try using short words to display bouts of rage, using really simple words in the speech with a slurry of verbs scattered intermittently. You can also emphasize repetition because people who are angry often can't forget about the past and think the same things over and over again. For example, you can say something like "I remember being on ...


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