Tips for writing emotional dependency

ruby199

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Sup. I'm currently organizing and developing some ideas in order to write a comic book script.
I really want to write a non-antagonistic side character that has a negative character arc. I'm having issues plotting this character's past, I just have some key elements that are essential to his development.

The Lie that the character believes: In order to be whole/happy, he must be loved back.

What the character WANTS: To be together with his girlfriend for the rest of his life (or to be absolutely sure that his partner really loves him)

What the character NEEDS: To understand that the relationship is toxic.

The character's GHOST (something from his past that HAUNTS him, justifying his flaws): This is when it got tricky. Maybe something related to his father, who is a busy researcher on the universe's power system. Or maybe the death of his mother. This should tie in with mental illness and/or his emotional dependency.

For the CHARACTERISTIC MOMENT, I'm unsure if I should make it about his relationship with his father or with his girlfriend.

Also having some problems deciding to make the NORMAL WORLD centred around the girlfriend or the father.



Wood Bridge Publishers
 

Margaret Note Spelling

There's always a bigger fish to fry.
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There are many different ways to justify a character's flaws. Sometimes, yes, it will be via an early defining relationship (as in your examples of the mother or the father contributing the justification), but remember that doesn't have to be confined to family, either--it could have been an early mentor, a schoolyard atmosphere, a group of friends, a sibling. Sometimes you can justify it through a past experience, something they encountered during their first experiences of independent adulthood. Sometimes it can be the overall society he grew up in. Sometimes it can be his individual take on his religious beliefs, or even not so individual if the particular group he belongs to has taught him a set of values that informs the way he thinks. There might be a particular religious leader he idolizes, who taught him this flawed approach to personal relationships. It doesn't even have to be an established in-world religion, it could simply be his own unique worldview informed by an aggregate of several different things from his past, including parents/society/friends/experiences. In which case, you're essentially showing a shift in your character's entire value system, in your process of exposing his flaw--which has definite dramatic potential and is, perhaps, a little more infrequently-explored in stories than the simple past parental/family trauma.

I'm not entirely sure about the meaning of "Characteristic Moment" and "Normal World" in this context, which sounds like you might be using an accepted/recommended template to build your comic book character arc that I'm not familiar with. I can't suggest anything there until I know what those things are. If you could explain the basic meaning of it for people who, like me, aren't familiar with that particular system, you'll probably end up with better answers than this one, going forward. :)
 

Please Be Nice

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May 14, 2022
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Sup. I'm currently organizing and developing some ideas in order to write a comic book script.
I really want to write a non-antagonistic side character that has a negative character arc. I'm having issues plotting this character's past, I just have some key elements that are essential to his development.

The Lie that the character believes: In order to be whole/happy, he must be loved back.

What the character WANTS: To be together with his girlfriend for the rest of his life (or to be absolutely sure that his partner really loves him)

What the character NEEDS: To understand that the relationship is toxic.

The character's GHOST (something from his past that HAUNTS him, justifying his flaws): This is when it got tricky. Maybe something related to his father, who is a busy researcher on the universe's power system. Or maybe the death of his mother. This should tie in with mental illness and/or his emotional dependency.

For the CHARACTERISTIC MOMENT, I'm unsure if I should make it about his relationship with his father or with his girlfriend.

Also having some problems deciding to make the NORMAL WORLD centred around the girlfriend or the father.



Wood Bridge Publishers
I think you are overthinking your character as a concept. A character needs to be a person. IF you were trying to understand a person I don't think it would be wise to try to anaylse them in these sort of terms.

Have you ever read any Jungian works about Shadow work?
 

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