Building the DUAL-NATURED Character
Let's start this lecture with a HUGE secret:
-- There are Three Essential Characters in every story:
> Adversary The one causing all the trouble.
> Proponent The one trying to keep things the way they are.
> Ally The close companion of one or the other caught in the middle.
In other words, you can tell any story with ONLY these Three Characters; perhaps not with any real detail, but you could still do the entire basic plotline.
And each essential character is governed by one of three SPECIFIC aspects, or Drives:
> MOTIVE - Driven by a REASON to Make something happen, such as Revenge.
> ACTION - Driven by the need to ACT, normally because if they don't they die, but an incentive such as a Reward or Prize works too.
> EMOTION - Driven by emotional impulse to REACT; out of love, out of honor, out of guilt...
There may be any number of side characters, but in traditional Adventures and Romances of every stripe (erotic or not,) the main conflict is always a triangle of these complimentary opposite drives. Just to make things Truly confusing, the Hero, the Ally, and the Villain can be any one of them!
In 'Leon the Professional', Leon is a very Action-driven professional assassin Ally who is pestered into taking in his Motive-driven and Adversarial Heroine who was looking for a safe haven from a very Emotionally-driven and impulsive Proponent Villain cop.
In 'Tomb Raider' Lara Croft is an Action-driven Proponent Heroine with Emotionally-driven impulsive Allies and Adversarial paramours that are usually, if not always, Motive-driven.
In 'Robin Hood Prince of Thieves', the Sheriff of Nottingham plays the impulsive Emotionally-Driven Proponent Villain to Robin Hood's Motive-driven Adversarial Hero. Maid Marian is an Action-driven Ally Heroine.
In 'The Crow', Eric Draven is the very Adversarial and Motive-driven Hero who goes after the Action-driven Proponent Villain trying to keep his little kingdom of crime under control. The little girl Nell, is Eric's impulsive Emotionally-driven Ally Heroine, who gets caught in the cross-fire, like any other side-kick.
Why does a character's 'Drive' matter?
-- A Dual-Natured character possesses TWO DRIVES, one for each side of their nature.
Man against Himself
When a character is at war against his inner-nature, you treat both his likable nature, and his unlikable nature, as separate drives (Motive / Action / Emotion,) separate URGES that are darn near separate entities.
> Outer Man Emotionally Driven to Protect
> Inner Beast Motive Driven to Destroy
Additionally, the other two main characters should Frame, or bring attention to this drive and/or personality split.
> Hero = Divided character
> Ally / Lover = Represents everything the character DESIRES, (and likes about themselves.)
> Villain = Represents everything the character HATES, (and despises about themselves.)
Duality = Main Conflict
In a story where a character's opposing nature (inner-man verses inner-beast,) is heavily pronounced, the character and his battle with his inner nature overpowers the story, and in fact BECOMES the story.
There's nothing you can do about it either because regardless of what you may have intended to write, once you split your main character's nature in Two, your character's "duality" becomes the story's Core Issue = the PREMISE. Resolving that "duality," that division in their nature becomes the story's main conflict.
If you don't, if you leave your character hanging, your readers will LOATHE you.
Hint: The Character assumes the third drive (Action / Motive / Emotion -- the one they Don't have,) to resolve their split! The idea behind it is: Balance.
The CURE -- or not?
What about a fight to find a "cure", for the duel-natured character, like for a werewolf?"
The BIG Secret!
-- A "Dual Nature" in Fiction is symbolic of a Psychological issue not a Physical issue.
Every monster you can think of is in actuality, a symbol of a human Issue from the dark side of the psyche.
> Ghosts = Memories that 'haunt'
> Vampires = Manipulative Male Sexuality
> Witches =Manipulative Female Sexuality
> Sorcerers & Scientists = Control either loss of, or overwhelming
> Werewolves = Passions that Consume
> Faeries = Inability to fit in with the society. This is why Urban Faeries tend to have a 'punk' look to them.
> Monsters in general = Destruction
(What? So, I read a lot of Carl Jung, Wilhelm Riche, Robert Anton Wilson and Timothy Leary )
One does Not CURE a Psychological Issue.
One learns to ADJUST to it.
It is a Proven Fact: There is No Medical Cure for Psychological Issues. Drugs do NOT make psychological issues go away, they merely SUPPRESS their symptoms -- and only temporarily. After enough time, no matter how powerful, ALL Drugs wear off.
There is only ONE satisfactory Answer to a split in Nature / Personality: Acceptance and INTEGRATION. Ahem, Accepting that both sides are valid and important and learning to Adapt to its quirks.
The only other option is madness and death.
In FICTION, the search for a Cure for a dual-natured character (such as a werewolf,) is a symbolic delay tactic; something the character does to Run Away from his ISSUE rather than face it.
A character's "Dual Nature" should be written as two Necessary halves, that need to come together to defeat the bad guy. In fact the two halves of a personality split MUST integrate if you are to have a happy and satisfying ending.
A CURE should be used precisely in the same fashion as a drugs are used for psychological issues: as a Delay Tactic to Avoid the Issue by Suppressing the Issue. In fact, the application of a Cure should be used as symbolic proof of the character's FAILURE to face and deal with their personal Issue.
Failure and the CURE: Van Helsing
In the movie "Van Helsing" the Premise: "Man vs. Monster" demanded that the answer be "self control".
Gabriel was changed into a werewolf, psychological symbol of a complete lack of control over one's temper, (and everything Gabriel suppressed within himself.) He went from Action-Driven hero (paid to do what he does) to Emotion-Driven monster (I am so pissed off...!) which gave him the strength and determination necessary to defeat the Motive-Driven vampire.
Logically, (plot-wise,) Gabriel should have gained self-control over his second nature (becoming Motive-driven to control himself -- attaining he third drive) and thus remained a werewolf, albeit able to transform at will; gaining the prize of Controlled Fury -- and the girl.
However, after his battle, he was unable to come to terms with his "emotional" nature. He failed to gain self-control of his Temper, and Killed his Heroine, symbol of everything he Could have had unconditional acceptance and love. She forgave him, (as a ghost) but that did not change the fact that he had Failed to accept himself.
The movie's writers had no intention of killing off his character, so a remorseful suicidal cliff-dive was right out. Instead, Gabriel was cured. However, this "cure" is a blatant flag that Gabriel will have to face this same issue again, in a later story.
Just to keep things rounded...
Man against Nature
The Old man & the Sea
A "man against nature" tale, is in fact a "man against himself" story. The Nature elements, that the character is in opposition with, are (or Should Be) symbolic representations of the Opposing Drives within the character.
In 'The Old Man and the Sea' by Hemingway...
> Proponent -- Old Man, Motive driven to fish. (He needs the money.)
> Adversary -- Ocean / Weather, Unpredictable and dangerous. This is the symbol of the man's opposing drive of Action. Fishing takes inaction and patience -- something in old man doesn't possess a lot of.
> Ally -- Shark, this is the Symbol of the old man's impulsive Emotional drive to Survive. This is the drive he must adopt to survive the story.
Man against Man
When you have only two characters: Proponent, and Adversary, you give each character an opposing Primary Drive and additionally, opposite aspects of the SAME second drive as a Sub-drive.
The first one to adopt the Third Drive (the one they DON'T have,) Wins!
In the movie "Ravenous"...
Proponent Captain Boyd
> Main drive: Emotion Driven "Why is this Happening to me?"
> Sub-drive: Action Driven in the aspect of Refusal to Act.
> Main drive: Motive Driven "I will Make something Happen."
> Sub-drive: Action Driven in the aspect of Determined to Act.
Circumstances force the "Boyd" to adopt the Third drive of MOTIVE (acquiring Purpose,) while the "Villain" refuses to change to his third drive of EMOTION (to acquire Compassion,) and remains Motive-driven.
The Villain's Inability to Change is why the Villain LOSES to the Hero.
Does this sound a little too planned out?
-- It should because it's Supposed to be. Another name for it is: PLOTTING. :)
Reality is full of Random events, however...
Fiction MUST make Sense.
DISCLAIMER: As with all advice, take what you can use and throw out the rest. As a multi-published author, I have been taught some fairly rigid rules on what is publishable and what is not. If my rather straight-laced (and occasionally snotty,) advice does not suit your creative style, by all means, IGNORE IT.