Trickster out of control

Question: OK, it's not quite as urgent as the title sounds, but it is still a problem. In my novel, one of my favorite characters is an androgynous shape-shifter who does not stick to any character type that I know of. He (I'll call him that "he/him" just to speed this up) is purely concerned with his own enjoyment, and nothing else. He loves to toy with peoples' minds and emotions and causes problems for both the protagonist and the antagonist, always avoiding punishment by turning into a wasp or spider and darting into the shadows with a crow of laughter. But halfway through, I really wanted to have him develop romantic feelings for one of the two sides. I can't decide which one would make more sense, or how he would take it; by the way, the protagonist is female and the antagonist is male, if that should make a difference. He is an entity that thrives off of chaos and confusion, so falling in love would obviously shake him up considerably. I can't quite flesh out how such romance would develop or where it would lead. Can you help me out? I seem to have hit a brick wall here... By the way, do you know of any character label that could fit this entity? He really is just out for laughs; his background is a total mystery (even to me at this particular point in development...) and he enjoys childishly teasing people and (psychologically rather than physically) tutoring them at the worst. An amoral trickster. Thanks!

Answer: Well, I can't say for certain, but here's where you may have already given
yourself a clue.

One aspect of gender unique to Dramatica is the idea that there are male brains and female brains (regardless of body, sexual orientation, or gender identity). Basically, the female brain thinks intuitively or holistically while the male brain thinks logically or linearly.

You can have male characters with intuitive brains and female characters with linear brains. They're just less common - and they can still be heterosexual.

Now, the interesting thing is that often the best romantic partnerships are those in which one partner has a linear brain while the other has a holistic brain. The reason is that each partner can offer the other insights they have a hard time seeing themselves.

The same thing is true about Be-ers and Do-ers. Be-ers are people who try to solve problems by changing themselves so they fit in better with their situation, the external world. Do-ers are people who try to solve problems by changing the world around them.

The stereotypical female is a be-er, while the sterotypical male is a do-er, but lots of people are exceptions.

Again, the best romantic relationship is made up of a do-er and a be-er, because different problems call for different solutions and they can help each other.

So, if you want to know who your trickster should be with, ask yourself if he is a be-er or a do-er and if he thinks linearly or holistically.

The best romantic match for him will be a character who is his opposite in respect to these traits. That's the character who will challenge him, intrigue him, and offer him ways of looking at things he can't see himself.

Comments for Trickster out of control

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Wow, never thought of that!
by: Anonymous

That was all news to me. Thanks! That helps, but do you think that could be complicated by the fact that this character literally has no gender? He can look like a man or woman but in reality is neither. And do you have any advice on just how a "wild child" like him could fall in love with somebody? Like I said, he's a loose cannon with no morals to speak of, only concerned with a good laugh. Any ideas on how somebody with the attention span of a squirrel could take any initial notice of something like love? Thanks!

by: Glen

The point I was making is that it doesn't matter what type of body your trickster has. It's how he thinks, his personality, that determines who would make a good romantic partner for him. For instance, if he is a linear thinker, he will be a better partnered with an intuitive thinker - regardless if this person is a man or a woman. The intuitive thinker will be able to make observations or insights or an approach that the trickster has never thought of before, and that is what will intrigue him. This person will offer him something he has never had on his own - a way to see things differently. This person will challenge the trickster in a way he hasn't been challenged before.

If you have a good sense of the personalities of your three characters, then it should be clear who the trickster belongs with. (Unless of course they all have similar personalities, in which case you may need to rethink them.)

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