forum BETRAYAL! GODS! CHOICES! COMING HOME!
Started by @keighty emoji_events
tune

people_alt 60 followers

@keighty emoji_events

hello good lovely people of notebook AI!
I am in desperate need of help writing a betrayal in my story. For context, a character (let's call them character A) who is close to the protagonist has an internal struggle between loyalty to the protagonist and their desert hometown, which is slowly dying due to lack of water.
The protagonist has the ability to conjure water/rain but does not yet have the power to do so, as he is kind of new to the whole "magic powers" thing. At the point of the betrayal, the protagonist has just been able to conjure up a thunderstorm after a while of practicing in character A's presence on their journey to return to the protagonist's home.
Character A sees that the protagonist is able to do so, and attempts to persuade him into coming back with them to their hometown to give the people water, however the protagonist declines, choosing to return home after a harrowing journey than retrace his steps and go back to the hometown, where the journey began. Character A then tries to persuade the protagonist by force, leading to a betrayal.

any tips on how I'd write this? I'm not very good at writing fight scenes or tortuous betrayals, so help would be very much appreciated. reply to this if you have any questions! love you guys <3

@ScotchTapeWorm

This seems like a really great premise! It gives character A lot of reason to betray the protagonist, while still staying sympathetic (which has its ups and its downs). I guess the only real questions I have is why the protagonist is on their journey at all? If its for something minor it seems petty that they wouldn't go home to help their town so I'm assuming its the fate of the world, or nation? I find that betrayal scenes need to have a lot of weight, building up the bond between the characters beforehand, while also building their motives and goals. If those goals are incompatible, it can lead to conflict and even betrayal if the reason is important enough. It needs to have a lasting impact on your protagonist besides the loss of an ally, especially when a close friend breaks your trust. Would love to hear more of the story, it sounds fascinating! <3

@ninja_violinist

oooh that sounds like a really intense and interesting setup!! from the start, I like how the motivations on both ends are quite complex - I can understand both of the characters, neither feel cartoonishly one-dimensional or evil. I'd have a lot of sympathy for A and them trying to save their hometown, and I can see why it would be a breaking point for them. Tbh, I almost have a harder time understanding the protagonist's decision, but I assume with the length of the journey and the goal of returning to Protagonist's home it would make sense in context.
A few things to consider:

  • how permanent is this betrayal? will these characters ever be friends/allies again? if not, then how bad would the fight need to be to make such a huge break believable? if yes, then how could you leave a door open for a potential future reunion?
  • whose perspective are we getting this in? Is the protagonist also the narrator of the story? If it's in third person, has it been limited to a character's perspective? I think when it comes to this kind of tension, narrative perspective would be key. If it's in A's perspective, the reader would have immediate access to how desperately they care for their hometown and how deeply they feel about it, and presumably how betrayed they would feel by Protagonist's refusal to help. From Protagonist's perspective, there would be a limit to how well the reader understands A, there would be a better understanding of Protagonist's motivations, and you'd be able to focus on the hurt and anger he'd feel at a friend trying to force him into something.
  • how much does Protagonist know/understand about desert hometown? does he know how bad it is and still decide not to go and help?
  • how would their personality types affect how they handle this? Is either of these characters prone to outbursts, anger, or solving things with violence? How much do they usually talk, and how similar/different would this interaction be? How good are they at expressing themselves? Would they process all of their emotions on the spot, or only after they've separated and are thinking about it later?
  • how has this betrayal been foreshadowed? has A's concern about their hometown ever come up, or have they ever shown particular interest in Protagonist's powers? Betrayals can come out of nowhere, but that implies that the reader and Protagonist never fully understood A at all. I think at the end of the day, it's important that the betrayal is consistent with A's character and personality to some extent.

I think considering all of this might help you narrow down an approach - hope this was somewhat helpful!

@keighty emoji_events

This seems like a really great premise! It gives character A lot of reason to betray the protagonist, while still staying sympathetic (which has its ups and its downs). I guess the only real questions I have is why the protagonist is on their journey at all? If its for something minor it seems petty that they wouldn't go home to help their town so I'm assuming its the fate of the world, or nation? I find that betrayal scenes need to have a lot of weight, building up the bond between the characters beforehand, while also building their motives and goals. If those goals are incompatible, it can lead to conflict and even betrayal if the reason is important enough. It needs to have a lasting impact on your protagonist besides the loss of an ally, especially when a close friend breaks your trust. Would love to hear more of the story, it sounds fascinating! <3

thanks :D
to answer your question, Character A's hometown and the protagonist's home are two different places. the protagonist (who happens to be a god) is on their journey home after wanting to see the mortal realm for the first time, but must travel through the mortal realm (because of further complications within the plot). Character A comes along because they think that the protagonist can help them get water for their hometown and also because even though it's considered a bit unusual for their people, they wish to see more of the world than the place they live in. A's struggle revolves around the inability to make the choice between their responsibility to their homeland and their desires to see the mortal realm and travel with the protagonist. The protagonist, on the other hand, has no loyalty to A's hometown other than the fact that their friend, A, cares for it deeply, and the protagonist cares for his friend.

@ScotchTapeWorm

to answer your question, Character A's hometown and the protagonist's home are two different places. the protagonist (who happens to be a god) is on their journey home after wanting to see the mortal realm for the first time, but must travel through the mortal realm (because of further complications within the plot). Character A comes along because they think that the protagonist can help them get water for their hometown and also because even though it's considered a bit unusual for their people, they wish to see more of the world than the place they live in. A's struggle revolves around the inability to make the choice between their responsibility to their homeland and their desires to see the mortal realm and travel with the protagonist. The protagonist, on the other hand, has no loyalty to A's hometown other than the fact that their friend, A, cares for it deeply, and the protagonist cares for his friend.

Oh! now that is interesting! You could definitely play around with the fact that the protagonist is a god, I think! While he's exploring the world I assume he has very different views and priorities than that of humans. While to character A, water for his hometown would be a very pressing goal, gods have different needs and wants, if they even have those! I can see why character A would be trying to convince or more.. Forcibly convince the protagonist to go with him now, duty to your home and family often outweighs personal desires or loyalty to friends. It definitely makes character A more sympathetic and the protagonist a little detached. However, would it be possible, since the protag is a god, for them to simply make it rain in their village when they return home? Or can they not interact with the mortal realm as well when they return to their own?

@keighty emoji_events

Oh! now that is interesting! You could definitely play around with the fact that the protagonist is a god, I think! While he's exploring the world I assume he has very different views and priorities than that of humans. While to character A, water for his hometown would be a very pressing goal, gods have different needs and wants, if they even have those! I can see why character A would be trying to convince or more.. Forcibly convince the protagonist to go with him now, duty to your home and family often outweighs personal desires or loyalty to friends. It definitely makes character A more sympathetic and the protagonist a little detached. However, would it be possible, since the protag is a god, for them to simply make it rain in their village when they return home? Or can they not interact with the mortal realm as well when they return to their own?

ah yes so the protag will not be able to return to the mortal realm once they are home. thanks for catching that!