25 ways to fuck with your character
As storyteller, you are god. And to be frank, you’re not a particularly nice god — at least, not if you want your story to resonate with readers. A good storyteller is a crass and callous deity who treats the characters under his watchful eye like a series of troubled butt-puppets. From this essential conflict — storyteller versus character — a story is born. (After all, that’s what a plot truly is: a character who strives to get above all the shit the storyteller dumps on his fool head.)
- Put differently, as a storyteller it’s your job to be a dick.
- It’s your job to fuck endlessly with the characters twisting beneath your thumb.
- And here’s 25 ways for you to do just that.
ㄧ個說故事的人, 是上帝, 而且不是ㄧ個善良的上帝 - 至少, 如果你想要你說的故事跟讀者有共鳴的話. 一個會說故事的人, 是一個惡毒, 冷酷的神, 監視著他的角色. 在這樣的衝突底下 - 作者 vs 角色 - 故事誕生了 (畢竟, 劇情的精髓就是: 角色從作者丟給他的屎堆中爬出來的故事)
- 換句話說, 說故事的人就是要機車.
- 以下是 25 個這樣做的方法.
1. Your Proxy: The Antagonist 你的代理人：反派
Gods have avatars, mortal or semi-mortal beings that exist on earth to embody the deity’s agenda. Avatars — be it Krishna, Jesus, or the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man — are the quite literal hand of god within the material plane. And so it is that the antagonist is the avatar of the storyteller, at least in terms of fucking with the other characters. A well-written and fully-realized antagonist is your proxy in the storyworld who steps in and is the hand holding the garden trowel that continues to get shoved up the protagonist’s most indelicate orifice. The antagonist stands actively in the way of the protagonist’s deeds and desires.
神有替身, 是它在人界的左右手. 反派是作者的替身, 是作者在故事世界裡的代理人, 左右手掐著主角的脖子, 積極的擋住主角的理想, 渴望.
2. The Mightiest Burden 最沈重的負擔
The audience and the character must know the stakes on the table — “If you don’t win this poker game, your grandmother will lose her beloved pet orangutan, Orange Julius.” But as the storyteller, you can constantly adjust those stakes, turning up the heat, the fumes, the volume until the character’s carrying an Atlas-like burden on his shoulders. The world’s fate suddenly rests in his hands. Character fails at his task and he loses his wife, his family, and all the nuclear missiles in the world will suddenly launch. In unrelated news: Orange Julius is the best name for an orangutan ever. Go ahead. Prove me wrong. Show your work.
觀眾和角色必須知道桌上還有多少籌碼 - "這副牌不贏, 阿媽會失去她心愛的寵物猩猩, 橘子朱.“ 當說故事的人, 可以隨時提高籌碼, 提高點溫度, 直到角色像亞特拉提斯ㄧ樣, 背負著支撐天地般的重擔在身上. 突然間世界的命運就落在他手上, 輸了會失去ㄧ切, 老婆, 家庭...他自己. 另外, 紅毛猩猩名子取 “橘子汁(朱)" 很屌吧.
3. Never Tell Me The Odds 不要告訴我成功的機率
Impossible odds are a powerful way to fuck with a character. “It’s you versus that whole army of sentient spam-bots, dude. And they’ve got your girlfriend.” It certifies that the task at hand is an epic one, and is the dividing line between hero and zero. Confirming heroism means beating those odds. Confirming mortality means falling to them. Note that a character doesn’t always have to beat the odds. Failure is an option.
給角色ㄧ個不可能達成的事, 是ㄧ個很好 “搞“ 他的方法. 打敗不可能證明他是 [超人] , 被不可能打敗證明他是 [常人]. 切記, 角色不ㄧ定要打敗這些事. 失敗是 OK 的...這樣才是人生.
4. Torn Between Two Horses 兩邊是馬, 左右為難
Drop the character smack dab between two diametrically opposed choices. A character is torn between a love for her country and a love for her family. She’s torn between her obsessive devotion to science and her religious upbringing. She’s torn between saving the life of Orange Julius the genetically-modified super-orangutan or giving all the world’s children infinite ice cream. Okay, maybe not that last one. Point is, tie your character to two (or more!) difficult choices, and let those horses run like motherfuckers.
讓角色有兩個選擇. 要效忠國家, 還是要愛他的家人, 讓他在卡在對科學工作的熱忱, 與家庭宗教背景中排徊不定. 重點是, 把角色綁在兩個決定中間, 然後讓馬兒跑吧
5. Life On The QT, The Low-Down, The No-No-Nuh-Uh 安靜, 低調, 閉嘴
Give the character an untenable secret life: a forbidden romance, a taboo, a transgression. Confirm that the revelation of this secret life will destroy her. “As soon as they find out you’re really an android, Mary, I can no longer protect you.” The character must constantly protect her secret life, must constantly work against revelation. And you as storyteller will constantly threaten that, won’t you? Because you’re evil.
給角色一個秘密身份, ㄧ個禁忌的戀愛, ㄧ個不可告人的事, 揭開這些秘密會毀了他. 角色必須不時保護秘密, 說故事者必須不時威脅角色說出它, 你會吧？ 因為你很邪惡.
6. Deny Success With Speed Bumps, Roadblocks, and Snarling Tigers 用緩速脊, 路障, 老虎擋住成功之路
This one? So easy. Whenever your character reaches for That Thing He Wants (a girl, a cookie, world peace, a leprechaun’s little hat), slap his face. Throw a tiger in his path. Chop off his hand. Thwart his every grope for the brass ring. That said, don’t let your story become torture porn. A character needs smaller iterative successes to match the longer, larger failures. “I didn’t get the leprechaun’s hat, but I got one of his little shoes. We can use it to track him.”
這個? 太簡單了. 每當你的角色去爭取他想要的東西時 (心愛的女生, 一個餅乾, 世界和平, 妖精的帽子) 甩他一巴掌, 用老虎擋他的路, 剁了他的手. 但不要讓故事變成性虐待片. 可以安排ㄧ些小成功, 讓角色在失掉的大局中, 取得平衡. "沒奪得妖精帽, 沒關係, 搶了他的鞋, 可以用來追蹤他."
7. Go Down the “Do Not Want Checklist” “不想要清單”
You frequently hear that a character is defined in part by what he wants, but you will find it useful to take the opposite tack, too. Take your character. Dangle that poor fucker by the ears. Give him a good look-over and pick, mmm, say, five things he does not want. Outcomes he fears. He doesn’t want his wife to leave him. He doesn’t want to die young. He doesn’t want to have his penis stolen by wizards. Now, your job, as Storyteller is to constantly put the character in danger of these outcomes coming true.
常聽人說：角色想要的, 奠定了他的個性, 反過來說也可以, 列出角色最不想要的清單. 他怕成真的事情. 老婆離開, 提早離開世界, 小弟弟被巫師偷走. 身為說故事者, 就是要隨時提醒他這些可能會成真.
8. A Victory That Tastes Of Wormwood 苦味的勝利
An old classic: “We finally got the leprechaun’s hat! Ha ha, now we’ve the little basta — OH MY GOD THE HAT IS FILLED WITH BEES.” Die Hard has exquisite false victories. John McClane succeeds in calling the authorities and ultimately ends up causing a bigger shitstorm as a result.
ㄧ個老套劇情：“終於奪得妖精帽了! 哈哈你這個臭...挖哩ㄌㄟ, 帽子裡都是毒蜂." 終極警探也有很棒的假勝利. 布魯斯威利成功的打給警察求救, 卻反而造成更大的災害.
9. Storyteller As Robber Fly 食蟲說書人
Everybody has something they love. Identify those things. Then take one away. Or more than one! “Sorry, dear character, in the fire you lost your house, your husband, and your mystical manrikigusari given to you by your immortal sensei.” You have a choice, here, of paths, a divergence of “lost now” and “lost forever.” Lost now intimates the story can continue, and in fact, the reclamation of lost things is a story unto itself. Lost forever moves the conflict inward, where a character must learn to deal with that loss.
每個人都有他們愛的東西, 找出那些東西, 並一個一個奪走! “對不起, 親愛的主人公, 在大火中, 你失去了房子, 丈夫, 和師父給你的魔幻九節鞭." 你有兩個選擇: "暫時失去" 和 "永遠失去." 暫時失去, 故事仍會繼續, 尋找失物的旅程本身也是個故事. 永遠失去, 會把衝突內化, 角色必須學會面對失去.
10. Tickle Them With A Ticking Clock 用滴答鐘讓他滴血
If you ever wish to squeeze my heart and cause my blood pressure to build so that my brain is smothered by swollen arteries, give me a ticking clock time limit in a video game. Freaks me out. Do that to your character. Throw him, his goals, his story, between the turning gears of a ticking clock. “You have one week to save Orange Julius from the leprechaun cult. After that? He becomes one of them.”
如果你有一天想擠我的心臟, 讓我的血壓升高, 動脈暴腫, 給我一個倒數計時的滴答鐘. 會讓我崩潰. 故事中的角色也可以這樣搞, “你只有一個禮拜的時間, 必須從 “醜妖精“ 手中救出奶奶的紅毛猩猩.“ "不然呢？" "不然 “橘子朱“ 就會變的跟他們ㄧ樣."
11. Beat The Donkey Piss Out Of Them 打成豬頭
Again we call upon John McClane, who ends up basically sticking a gun to his back in his own blood at the end of Die Hard. A simple way of dicking with your character is to hurt them. Again. And again
我們再一次找終極警探 - 布魯斯威利, 他在片尾幾乎是把槍黏在血淋淋的身驅上. 搞角色最簡單的方法就是傷害他, ㄧ次又ㄧ次的傷害.
12. Shot Through The Heart And Your To Blame 哀 莫過於心死
That being said, a broken jaw, shattered foot, or stapled labia has nothing on the betrayal by a loved one. Maybe it comes down to a simple, “I’m leaving you in this, the moment you need me most,” or maybe it’s, “For your own good, I’ve alerted the police. They’re on their way. I’m so sorry. Now hand me the orangutan.” However it shakes out, the treachery of a loved one is a deeply twisting knife.
說到傷害, 脫臼的下巴, 骨折的腳, 釘書機釘過的陰唇, 都比不過愛人的背叛來的痛. - "我就是要在你最需要的時候離開“ “都是為你好啦." “我已打給警察了, 他們在路上, 把猩猩還我.“ - 愛人背叛, 心如刀割.
13. Shattering Lives With Your Story Hammer 把生活打碎
Think about all the pieces of the puzzle that add up to a picture of “you.” Now, do the same for your character. Imagine all those identifiers: lover, father, friend, sheriff, amateur chef, jazz fiend, leprechaun hunter. Now, break the puzzle apart. Throw away most of the pieces. Calamity and cataclysm rob the character of his fundamental identifiers. Force him to question who he even is anymore. What impels him forward? How does he rebuild? What is rebuilt?
想想所有拼湊成 "你" 的拼圖區塊, 再想想你角色的拼圖區塊： 愛人, 父親, 朋友, 警長, 爛廚師, 爵士迷, 妖精獵人. 把拆散拼圖, 丟掉大部份區塊, 當他失去基本身份時, 強破你的角色去思考他到底是誰. 什麼驅動他？ 他如何重建自己?
14. Shatter Their Preconceived Notion 打破既定想法
A deeper, more internal version of the last: take what the character thinks she knows — maybe about her family, her government, her childhood — and throw that paradigm out on its buttbone. The character’s comprehension of events and elements has been all wrong. And not in a good way. The character must respond. Must act. Can’t just go on living like everything’s the same.
這是比上一段更深入, 更內心的版本, 拿角色認為他確定的事情. 可能是她的家庭, 她的政府, 她的童年, 扭曲角色對這些事的認知. 認知錯亂了, 就必須有所反應, 也回不去以前的生活了.
15. Motherfucking Love Triangle 他媽的三角戀
The love triangle. Never a more hackneyed, overwrought device — but, just the same, a device that works like a charm if invoked with skill and nuance. Becky loves Rodrigo and has since they were young. But Orange Julius vies for her attention and Rodrigo is off fighting the Spam-Bots in the Twitter War of 2015. And Orange Julius is one sexy orangutan. Who does she choose? Swoon! You needn’t stop at three participants. What about a love rhombus, aka the “lovetangle?” Point is, this is a more specific version of forcing the character into a difficult choice. Do it right and the audience will be right there with you, wearing their shirts, TEAM RODRIGO or TEAM SEXY ORANGUTAN. Gang wars in the streets.
不管三角戀, 四角戀, 這是一個更具體, 讓角色做艱難決定的方法. 講的好, 就會抓住觀眾的心
16, Scorpion Sting Of Deception 欺騙蠍螫傷
Lies form slippery ground, and by forcing the character to lie — or hear and believe another’s lies — you put that character on treacherous ground. We know their lies run the risk of exposure, and we know that a lie is rarely alone — they’re like cockroaches, you hear one, you know a whole wall full of them waits behind the paint. Further, if forced to believe another’s lies, the character begins to make decisions based on bad info.
謊很危險, 迫使角色不得不撒謊 – 或相信別人的謊 - 就是把他放到危險之地. 我們都知道謊言很有可能被曝光, 也知道謊言不是孤單的, 像蟑螂, 看到ㄧ隻, 牆後肯定有ㄧ群. 如果迫使要相信別人的謊言, 角色會開始用錯誤訊息來作決定
17. Just A Simple Misunderstanding 只是誤會
Speaking of bad info, the “misunderstanding” has been the backbone of the American sitcom for decades, and it’s a trick you can use. “You said Blorp but I thought you said Glurp and now Zorg is coming to dinner! Oh noes! Hilarious awkward calamity ensues!” Note here the power of dramatic irony, which is when the audience knows the score but the character fails to possess such critical information. We know that the character is going to accidentally give her grandmother a set of small-to-large butt-plugs (for proper teaching of sphincter-stretching) when really she thinks it’s a collection of Sandra Bullock DVDs. Ha ha ha! Oh, a funny thing happened on the way to the dildo shop! Comedy gold.
講到錯誤訊息, 誤會ㄧ直是連續劇愛用的把戲, 最經典的諷刺劇情就是, 觀眾知情, 角色確不知情.
18. When Two Goals Meet In the Rye with Swords Drawn 王不見王
Put a character at cross-purposes. Two goals cannot easily be achieved together. The character is supposed to have a date night with his wife and save the world from the leprechaun terrorists? Egads! But how?
兩個目標很難同時達成, 事情很難兩全其美. 要救老婆, 還是救媽媽. 人生就是充滿取捨與感慨.
19. Dear Character You Have Made a Terrible Decision 親愛的角色, 你做錯決定了
The audience feels sympathy and shame for character mistakes because our mind-wires are crossed. We see a character fuck up and some little part of our brain makes us feel like it’s us fucking up — we associate so closely with characters, we unknowingly get all up in their guts and self-identify. So, characters who make mistakes — or even better, willfully choose a bad path — can make your audience squirm in their seats.
觀眾會對角色產生同情心或感到羞愧, 因為當我們看到角色犯錯時, 腦袋的某部份, 會讓我們覺得是自己在犯錯, 觀眾會把角色跟自己聯想在ㄧ起, 所以當角色做錯決定 - 更好的, 當角色執意選錯路時 - 會讓觀眾感到非常不蘇胡.
20. Love At the End of A knife 刺刀下的愛
Putting loved ones in danger is a powerful way to fuck with your characters. “Sorry, Bob — the Latvians have Betty, and if my intel is right, they’ve got a pit full of ravenous honey badgers to convince her to talk.” And of course, saving that loved one is never easy. Danger lurks. Hard choices await. And even after rescue, can Betty ever again trust that her life with Bob won’t be fraught with honey badger peril?
把角色的愛人丟到險境, 是很好搞他的方法, 救人之路ㄧ定不簡單. 就算救回來了, ㄧ切也不會像以前ㄧ樣.
21. A Grim Game of I Never 人生殘酷舞台
A character says, “I never want to become my mother,” but then lo and behold… begins exhibiting the traits of her mother. A cop says, “I’ll never let the job get to me,” and, drum roll please, the job starts getting to him. Everybody has negative identifiers — roles they never want to fill, but roles that have a terrible gravity, a grim inevitability to them. That’s a great way to torque a character’s emotions.
角色說：“我永遠不要變我媽媽那樣” 然後你看喔...開始越變越像媽媽. 警察說：“我不要讓工作打亂我的生活, 然後你瞧喔...工作開始慢慢打亂他的生活. 每個人心中, 都有不想到達的地步, 不希望扮演的角色, 但因人的脆弱, 自私, 不會將心比心, 讓我們被吸引到不想去的地方. 冷酷現實的人生, 是很好搞角色的方法.
22. Poke the Character’s Weakness With a Pointy Stick 用尖物戳角色的弱點
We’ve all got pits and pockmarks in our souls, and characters in fiction doubly so. Flaws and frailties ahoy, and it’s your job as storyteller to exploit those weaknesses. A character might have addictions, anger management problems, a physical debilitation, a soft spot for leprechauns — whatever it is, it’s your job to draw the poison to the surface and let it complicate the story. Because you’re a dick. A super-dick, even.
每個人心中都住一個魔鬼, 每個人都有弱點. 故事中的角色當然也是. 身為一個說故事的人, 就是要把這些弱點抖出來. 角色可能是癮君子, 壞脾氣, 身體虛, 對邪惡妖精有包容心 – 不管是什麼, 你的工作就是要召喚出魔鬼, 把故事搞複雜. 因為你是個機巴, 超級雞八.
23. And at Night, The Night Weasels Come 夜行鼠狼, 夜間出沒
The environment can be a great antagonist. Sub-zero temperatures! Dangerous mountain pass! Wasp tornado! The setting can come alive to bring great misery to good characters.
環境可以是很棒的壞人, 零下溫度! 崎嶇山路! 黃蜂暴! 讓整個場景活起來, 把最賽的事帶給最好的角色!
24. Roosting Chickens With Razor Beaks 尖嘴利牙的雞群
I don’t know why chickens “coming home to roost” is a metaphor for the past returning to haunt a character. I mean, chickens are about as non-threatening as they come. What about owls? Or falcons? Hell, forget birds. The saying should be, “Wait till those ninjas come home to roost.” But I digress. Point is, a character may be running from his past. Just as he thinks he’s escaped it, the past catches up with him — a crazy ex-girlfriend, an ex-partner looking for a last big score, a rogue Terminator. Though, I guess in the case of a Terminator, that’s more the future catching up with you. Whatever. Shut up. Don’t judge me.
不懂為什麼 "雞群回棲息地" 是一個角色過去的陰影又再度籠罩他的比喻. 雞一點都不恐怖阿, 為什麼不是貓頭鷹？ 獵鷹? 鳥類算了吧, 方言應該是： "你就等那些忍者回棲息地吧！" 離題了. 重點是, 每個角色都希望從他過去的陰影中逃出. 當他認為逃出了, 過去的陰影又再度籠罩他 - 瘋婆娘前女友, 想再幹一票的前同事, 魔鬼終結者. 但魔鬼終結者其實是未來的陰影又再度籠罩主角. 幹. 隨便啦. 不要批評我.
25. Opportunistic Hate Crimes Among Beloved Characters 愛之深, 責之切
In the end what it comes down to is a willingness by you, the storyteller, to throw your characters under countless speeding buses. You may, like a parent with a child, want to be the character’s friend — you like the character, you want them to succeed, and that’s all well and good. But story is born of conflict and conflict is born of characters in trouble. That’s not to say you need to cause them ceaseless miseries — again, we’re not looking for torture porn. But you have to be willing to put the irons to their feet – a character’s success is only keenly felt and roundly celebrated when first he had to go through hell to get there.
最後, 最重要的就是你, 說故事的人, 必須願意把你的角色丟到車水馬龍的虎口. 你當然可以, 像父母對待小孩ㄧ樣, 想當他的朋友, 因為你喜歡那個角色, 你想要他成功, 那都很好. 但故事因衝突而生, 衝突因角色處於困境而起. 也不是說要你不斷製造災難. 再一說次, 這不是在搞性虐待. 但你必須願意把熨斗拿到角色腳底燙一燙. ㄧ個人要嘗到成功的甜頭, 誰不是經過一番地獄般的試煉出來的.
原文連結：25 Ways to Fuck with Your Characters
【關於[故事]的25件事 (AKA 為什麼我愛故事)】【J⁺】
【25個方法 - 說故事時, 征服艱深無聊的說明性文字】【J⁺】