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 Curses, Foiled Again!

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PostSubject: Curses, Foiled Again!   Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:25 pm

What is a foil? It's a character that has several qualities opposite another (usually the main character), designed to enhance and boost the opposite character's traits. Say you have a brave character that you really want to appear larger than life. You make his sidekick or best friend (or somebody else that he hangs out with a lot) a complete wimp. It makes your brave character look even braver by comparison.

Whether I do it intentionally or not, I have used foils in the past and will likely to continue to use them. There are some times where it just naturally falls into place. I can think of two sets of characters (both from tSotD) right off the top of my head.

Pair one: Valerian and Astra

These are my main characters. Astra is a very angry, intense, fiery, stomp-all-over-things person. Contrasting that, Valerian is level-headed, cautious, guarded, and though he has a temper, he rarely shows it. They foil each other and, to me, it enhances the qualities of both by comparison.

Par two: Adolphus and Bran

Adolphus is the leader of the resistance movement. Bran is second in charge. Adolphus is very structure-oriented, strict, take-charge, temperamental person. Bran is in favor of structure, but also believes in spontaneity and relaxed rules in some cases. He is more laid-back and far more objective than Adolphus. Again, they foil each other.

What about you guys? Do you use foils?

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PostSubject: Re: Curses, Foiled Again!   Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:38 am

Well i've never heard of the term 'foil' so first thanks for the new term Novel Smile

Second, i think that foils are essential to draw contrast and even to provide conflict (even if its as minor as differing opinions). People are and think extremely differently in my opinion.

Both my friend and I did the jung type personality test and she was completely opposite on all types (i was E/INFJ) - one night i had such an insightful conversation with her and my other friend about how we think about others (yes alcohol was involved, don't think you could have that convers sober lol) and it was amazing.

This conversation started cause my friend was giving out that she couldn't have a proper row with her younger sister cause she was too sensitive - she couldn't believe that her sister (and me too) when having an argument would take into account would consider the other person's feelings while arguing and actually avoid conflict as a result. My friend is very upfront and honest (which i love about her) and shoots straight from the hip, and couldn't imagine ever thinking like that lol.

So i think foils exist in real life all the time, and i think that should be reflected in writing

Great post novel Smile

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