1. Malice
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    Malice New Member

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    Any Advice?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Malice, Oct 28, 2008.

    Hello, I'm Malice (new here ^^)
    Before I begin I'd like to say that I am a totally unprofessional ameteur writer (I'm a freshman in high school), so I deeply apologize for how stupid I may sound. My apologies to everyone out there who is more educated in the writing field than I am. :)

    I just recently created a random character, a piano prodigy called Wolfgäng Klaviermeister, who wasn't supposed to be associated with anything in particular, but now I feel compelled to put this character into a literary work. My issue is that I have no idea how to get started. I have written short stories before, but for some reason, I'm having touble putting this particular character into a story.
    I was wondering if anybody had any strategies or advice for helping me create a politline using this character as a protagonist... I'm sorry if there is already a thread like this one, or if this is in the wrong place...or if it's just a stupid question XD

    Thank you :)
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Plot comes from characters in conflict or overcoming obstacles to reach a goal. Set up a goal your character needs to achieve, then start tossing obstacles in the way.
     
  3. Iris Reola
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    Iris Reola Member

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    1. Make a list of bulleted plot events. If you know how it starts, put that in first. If you know how it ends, put that in too. In between the two, write down scenes that happen in between.

    2. In conjunction with my first piece of advice, keep in mind your character's goals and what obstacles he has to get around to reach them.

    3. Give the character some careful thought. What time period was he born in? What are his strengths and weaknesses? What does he look like? How does he act around people? Make sure your character is well developed.
     
  4. Malice
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    Malice New Member

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    thanks for your replies, guys.

    I'm pretty sure the character is relitively well-developed, I think I've got that part down, but as far as obsticles/goals go, just how specific do you think it should be? For example, should his goal be to get famous through his music, or should it be something more specific than that? Just to get an idea of how specific the basic goal and obsticle(s) should be.
     
  5. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    It could be as basic or complex as you wish. For example and Herald and Kumar go to White Castle, the simple goal was to go get White Castle hamburgers, because they were stoned, and it sounded really good.

    If you have watched the movie, that task turns out to be very difficult because of how many obstacles got in their way.

    In Lord of the Rings, the goal was to destroy the ring. Simple enough.

    In Goonies it was to find a treasure.

    Your characters goal could be anything like: find love, ask a girl out that he really likes, play at a high end club, or buy a new piano. The goal is not that important really, it is the hard journey to get there that matters. That is where you have to kick your imagination into overdrive and overheat it until steam comes out your ears.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Each goal creates its own plot, and plots can certainly overlap. One goal will certainly be the "defining" plot of the story, though, and that will become the central plot.

    Let's take your goal of becoming famous. How does the character define this? Selling a sonc that makes the top ten list in some music category? A gold record? A recording contract? It needs to be a "measurable" goal so your character can have a climactic moment where the goal is achieved (or slips out of reach forever! Not all goals can or should be achieved to make a good story).

    Once you've defined a measurable goal, what might get in the way? A lack of self confidence? Inspiration for that one song that will top the charts? Money to get into a recording studio to lay down demo tracks?

    Just some thoughts to help you get started.
     
  7. Malice
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    Malice New Member

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    thank you all :)

    that helps a lot, a understand things much better now, so I think I'll be able to start writing soon ^___^
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sounds to me like you need to read more... if you read enough, you should have some idea of what makes a story... read/study some of the best short story writers' work and they should give you some ideas you can use for your own, as well as show you how one is written...
     
  9. Emerald
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    Emerald Contributing Member

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    What happens if a German person reads it and realises his name is 'Piano Master'?
     
  10. Malice
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    Malice New Member

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    hehe I did that on purpose :) :)
     
  11. Malice
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    Malice New Member

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    you're right I do need to read more. that's a good idea :-D
     
  12. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    First off, Hello Malice and welcome to the forums. :)

    As for your issue, to be honest with you, it is no good creating the charector and trying to write a plot around them, it should really be the other way around. I do the same thing, like I had a dream about this house the other night and I really want to write about it, but I have no plot formed about it, so there is nothing to write about as now.

    For now, I would suggest you keep a note of your created charector but put them to the back of your mind for now. You never know, you might think of a plot invloving them later on.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    starting with a character isn't 'wrong' and many writers will get an idea for a character before a plot occurs to them, but going so deeply into the character without having any idea what story will revolve around him/her may be a poor use of your time...
     
  14. Malice
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    Malice New Member

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    Thank you Heather and mammamia. I know exactly what you mean, and I don't usually write that way. I usually think of the plot first and then the characters. But I think this time I could get away with it, seeing as though I've developed a little plot outline already. As for the other characters in the story, I'll think of them once I totally finish my plot outline.
    Thanx for your advice :) :)
     
  15. Malice
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    Malice New Member

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    thank you so much garmar, I don't feel stupid now :) :)

    XD is a type of smiley face ! If you look at it sideways, the D is the mouth and the X is the eyes.
    Like this:
    [​IMG]

    ^___^
     
  16. justjennynow
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    justjennynow New Member

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    Just sit down and start writing. Think about situations from your own life that might inspire you around this character. The story and the character will naturally develope as you go and in the end if you absolutely hate it then start all over...that is the fun part about writing that you can rewrite everything until you yourself love it.
     
  17. Malice
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    Malice New Member

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    thans justjennynow! That's a good idea. I'm going to start writing soon, and if I don't like it I can always start over :) :)
     
  18. Ti Odio E Ti Amo
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    Ti Odio E Ti Amo New Member

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    You have to choose what category you want to write in.

    Literary: What is it that you want the reader to get out of your story?

    Commercial: What interesting problems does the protagonist face, and does it make him/her/it change in the end?

    Literary works use figurative devices. They have symbols, allusions, etc. to try to create a deeper meaning of understanding.

    Commercial works gain the reader's attention and are what many people want to read about.

    Of course some have been in both categories, but it is a good place to start.

    Sometimes it is good to just jump the character right into action if you aren't sure. You may not use this draft or it can be placed somewhere else, but it creates the character in your head or you may realize how you don't want it to be. Who knows, you may be plunged into a sea of inspiration.
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'literary' is a label that only the critics apply to works after they're out in print... it's not something writers can 'choose' like a genre, though they can and often may hope their books will be seen as such...

    fyi, 'literary' works, though they may be critically acclaimed, don't as a rule rack up as many sales or make as much money for the authors as 'commercial' fiction...
     

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