Character Emotions

So, here’s an issue I have which has me, at present, stuck against the proverbial wall:

My character, thus far, has been a butt-kicking, determined and near completely victorious fighter. However, having been raised in slavery and trained as a tracker and finder of traps, he never had a childhood, as such; no playing, no mischief, no games, not even laughter.

After forming a rebellion immediately prior to a successful rescue by other forces, he is taken and trained in other skills, and then his teachers are massacred. He and one of the survivors head to another state/kingdom, and take refuge in a small town. He helps with various chores during the days, but in the evenings, he is introduced to happy, playful children. He finds a fascination with how they so freely laugh and play, and they all form an unspoken bond.

He is called away to hunt down those who ambushed his teachers, and after that task is completed, is taken to the castle for a “victory celebration”. While there, another king, who received news of the battle, calls on him for aid. On the way to the other kingdom, they stop back in the town to get his mentor, and he is faced with having to say goodbye to the children.

Having never had such feelings for anybody before, he has no idea how to tell them he would much rather stay, but responsibilities dictate otherwise. He is assisted by one of the local women, and sadness and tears follow, which he fights within himself to keep hidden from them.

…and that is where I am stuck. I know how it feels to hold back emotions, to try to comfort the youth in their sadness, to want nothing more than to tell responsibility to kiss my butt and do what I want. But how to “voice” this for my Barbarian is a mystery. It seems that no matter how I try to write it, the whole situation sounds flat, uninteresting.

Frustration. That is what I experience, and what I am having trouble letting my character experience. There are, I am sure, many ways to relate the total helplessness which I wish to have him feel. One article I have found is from none other than Writers Digest. (If you have not already, I would strongly recommend signing up for their newsletter. Very informative!)

This update involves letting a character experience frustration. When faced with adversity, how will each character react? An obstacle blocks the path of progress and must be circumvented before moving on, right?

Maybe. I do have two parts of the story going at the same time, and if something happens earlier that changes a little of the later portions, it is possible to change things. I could just bounce to Part 2 and write more there. Or, I could be a bum and allow distractions to rule my life and never amount to anything.

{{I find it frustrating that I cannot figure out a fantastic way to completely reveal how frustrated my Barbarian can get when faced with the frustration of not being in control of getting what he wants. He wants to stay with the children, he wants to complete the task he is about to be offered, he wants to make sure no other children are forced to endure things he faced while growing up. But how to correctly word it into my story without fazing into the “telling” mode, which I am told is detrimental to any novel?}}

Seeing as there are, as stated in previous posts, as many different ways to write as there are writers, each must decide for themselves how to best proceed during a rough spot. As for me, I seem to avoid the problem until I am out of time and have to squeeze with all my “might” in order to get it done, or at least further along.

But that’s just me. I’m nobody’s hero, no role model. Just another slacker trying to get something done.

I will, eventually, break this conundrum. I am determined. Intent, if you will. Once I figure this out, I can move on to the next perplexity, whatever that may be. I know yet because I haven’t gotten there yet. I’m sure the characters will throw me for another loop, they can be counted on for that much, at least.

Feel free to comment if you have something profound to share. Or if you like this or any of my post. Or if you are just bored and want to “scribble” some nonsensical whim.

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