How do you create a betrayal so perfectly heart shattering that readers will be crying in their seats?
Well, it all starts with the character who will betray the others.
So today, I’m going to be sharing with you guys 3 ways to make the perfect Betrayal Character so that when the epic betrayal time comes, readers hearts will break.
Let’s get started!
Make Them Care
Let me just get this down right now: If your readers do not care about the betrayal character, then the betrayal is an immediate failure.
I’m going to show you 3 ways to avoid writing a useless betrayal, but rather create a heart-wrenching one:
1. Make Him an Important Character
By “important” I don’t mean that the Betrayal Character (as I’m just going to call him in this post) is a general of an army or something. When I say “important” I mean a character important to your plot.
When this character betrays the other characters, it will affect the plot. You know that your betrayal is not effective if he betrays the other characters and nothing comes of it. But, if your betrayal is done correctly, it will change the plot.
And it all boils down to what kind of a character the Betrayal Character is.
- Your Betrayal Character should be a major character.
The more time spent with this character, the more trust is built. Making him a major character gives the readers more ‘viewing’ time with the Betrayal Character. This builds up a stronger relationship with the readers, as well as a stronger connection between the Betrayal Character and protagonist.
In a nutshell? More trust = Better betrayal.
And trust is all that the Betrayal Character is looking for anyway.
As a side tip, go to such great lengths that you make the Betrayal Character the favorite character. That doesn’t necessarily mean he steals the spotlight from the protagonist, but something – usually something to do with their personality, like being really quirky – can make readers like that character straight away.
2. Make Him Best Friends With the Protagonist
The Betrayal Character either a) betrays the protagonist because of something the protagonist does, or b) is already working for the bad-guys and is double crossing the protagonist.
In situation A, the Betrayal Character is most likely already the protagonist’s best friend, and in situation B, the Betrayal Character will probably want nothing more than to get in good with the protagonist and gain as much trust as possible, therefore becoming his best friend.
Betrayals revolve around trust. It’s pretty much the foundation of any relationship in life anyway, so a Betrayal Character will want to gain as much of it as possible so that they (in situation B) can get as much information as possible out of the protagonist easily.
And, as said before, the more viewing time that the Betrayal Character has, the more the readers will trust/like/get to know him, so the more they’ll become attached to him. That way, when the time finally comes, the betrayal will be heart shattering to both the protagonist (because they’re best friends) and the readers (because they care about him so much).
3. Make Him Want (or Even Need) Something
Why are these characters doing what they’re doing together?
Going on a quest to save the world? Banding together because they’re the misfits in school?
Whatever the case, your Betrayal Character should want something out of this whole affair. Does he want the girl, does he want the job, does he want to save his home and be called a hero? He must want something.
And the readers must want that thing as well.
To make the readers really sympathize with your Betrayal Character, you need them to be sympathetic and onboard with the Betrayal Character’s goal.
Same for the protagonist. He needs to be able to sympathize, feel sorry for, relate, or even help that Betrayal Character in getting what they want.
So basically the protagonist has to be aware that the Betrayal Character wants something, and somewhere in the back of their own adventure they’ll try and help them get it.
Sometimes the Betrayal Character even Needs something. They need to go on a quest to save their village, they need to get that job to save their home, they need to pass the test to pass into their next grade. Whatever the case, the protagonist should at least know of it, and want to help him in some way.
Try to aim for the saddest situations you can, and it’ll make the attachment of the readers and protagonist all the more stronger to the Betrayal Character.
Betrayals are hard to write themselves, but there’s a lot of build-up that needs to happen before it can be written. And it’s all in the character.
So what are you going to do to make that betrayal as impactful on the readers and protagonist as it can be?
Where these tips helpful to you?
What are some of your favorite betrayals?
Do you want me to write a post on creating a heart-shattering betrayal scene?
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I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment down below.
Thanks for reading!