Question for you. I’m writing a Beast w…

Question for you. I’m writing a Beast who was never meant to be the beast. He pushed his targeted brother out of the way and got hit instead. No good deed goes unpunished, and they lock him away (bc that family is messed up). I’m trying to figure out how to write from the mindset of someone betrayed like that. Would he give up on love? Would he be cynical? What are your thoughts?

Hey Anon!

First off, I am excited for you to write this just so I can read it! Great setup, lots of potential for family strife and betrayal. Unfortunately, I can’t really answer that question for you! Writing is a such a personal thing, especially when it comes to a character’s headspace. 

My advice would be to first look within yourself. Hopefully, you’ve never been betrayed by your brother and locked away to bear his curse, but maybe at some time in your life you have taken the blame for some playground dustup, or gotten stuck doing chores that rightfully should have been someone else’s, or felt wretched in some situation not of your making… This is how I’ve worked through much of my own writing. Taking those everyday situations and feelings and blowing them massively out of proportion. Felt slighted because your cousin is grandma’s favourite? Rewrite it as the horrible family betrayal. You were the new kid at school and a bit uncertain? Rewrite it as the last of your kind in a foreign world. 

OK, but maybe you’re pretty well adjusted. You really can’t get into the mindset of someone in this situation. Now what? Well, now you start stealing from your friends and family. Sort of. Put your sister’s purse down. What I mean is, find someone whose reactions and mannerisms you can borrow, just for the time being. The way your half-brother goes silent and sulky when he can’t win an argument. The desperate backpeddling your classmate does when they think they’ve said the wrong thing. Build from there. Once you have a few patterns of behaviour down that seem to work for your characters, you can start feeling your way through the rest of their personality. What you aren’t doing is writing your friend into the story– you want to disguise this pretty well and get the character to grow and evolve into themselves–but you are borrowing some believable human traits as a starting point. Like growing a plant from a clipping instead of waiting for brand new seeds to sprout.

Now that I’ve fully evaded your actual question, I hope that’s at least a bit helpful to you! I look forward to the story you produce!