I felt like my older idea couldn't fit into Man v. Man conflict, so I am instead going with another idea, which I have written into a draft.
It's about a man watching another man and a woman talk. He narrates the story, seeing how both the man and the woman really want to have a true conversation, but can't, and therefore resolve not to talk at all.
The outside man views this, and reflects on it.
It's less crazy than my last idea, but it could be okay.
The following is a short sequence that I've written using an unreliable narrator. Feel free to comment.
I’m a bastard.
I thought you should know this before I got into this whole shitty situation, as it may be helpful to figure out what the hell I’m talking about. She, on the other hand, isn’t a bastard, just so you know too.
All I did was tell her how I felt. I figured being honest was the best way to cut it all off, but I guess she didn’t feel the same. When I told her, she started crying, and I calmly asked her to stop. When she didn’t, my inner bastard came out and I flipped some shit and walked out.
Now, three days later, I’m at her goddamn door and she’s not answering. Pisses the fuck out of me… does that sentence make sense? Fuck if it it doesn’t.
Anyway, I wrote her a letter and left. I think it was a nice one, but hell if I know. It could be heinous by your standards, but to mine it seems pretty damn cordial.
I got in my ford escort and got the fuck out of there.
I used a self-criminalizing technique to undermine my narrator. By the narrator admitting that he's unreliable, or at least skewed, it puts doubts in the readers mind. That, combined with an admitted skewing of the narrators perspective, also in turn let the readers know that it is in fact skewed, therefore making him even more unreliable.
Also, by not including any dialogue, I took away all the 'hard evidence' of the situation... giving the reader only the narrators point of view and inner thoughts of the said events, rather than any inkling of their true nature.
Therefore, I think I've mad a pretty unreliable narrator.
Here's what I've got.
I want to do a story where the conflict is between two men. One happens to do most of the talking, where the other talks, say, sparingly.
The conflict esclates, mostly about loniliness, and then is resolved.
The quiet man ends up being a coffee machine.
Hope you dig it.
This question seems to hold a good amount of weight when it comes to Creative Writing. Almost every narrative story has at least one character, and it is in those characters where we relate and remember, forgive and forget, and liken ourselves too.
But any John Doe with a pen and some paper can create a character... but it's only great writer's who create ones that are complex enough to become part of our lives after we put down the book.
What makes a character fully developed?
To me, I believe it lies within the author's ability to write what is not written directly on the page.
What I mean by this is that the some of the greatest characters in literature (Holden Caulfield, Seymour Glass, Zooey Glass, Franny Glass [I apologize for all the Salinger references... I can't help it]) have the majority of their emotions lie below the surface. Great writers (like Salinger) can give a character such complexity that them not writing something makes the character even deeper. Real people don't go around and gloat about their thought processes and problems, do they? No. So when authors try to develop characters in that vein it inevitably fails.
Although I sadly haven't read much of Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises is sitting pretty high on my to-read list), I believe that his iceberg philosophy of writing can be attributed directly into characterization. His characters in "Hills Like White Elephants" show this perfectly. They are so deep and personal but say so little.
Great characters are complex, but realistic characters who people can relate too. So, great characterization comes from achieving those goals.