1. steve119
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    steve119 Senior Member

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    Anyone else use this technique for character development

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by steve119, Oct 30, 2012.

    One of the techniques I use to try to develop a character is that when I come up with a Character before I place them into the Larger world of my main story I take a random situation or environment and write a short story of the character in that situation. The idea being I can get into the head of the character and develop how they interact with situations and other characters before putting them in to the larger main story. Kind of like work shopping a character in drama I guess. Does anyone else use this technique for character development and if they do do they find it effective?
     
  2. marktx
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    marktx Contributing Member

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    That's a great technique to use. In my own case, my MC had lived with me for so long that I was ready to put him in the actual story...but even in that case, it was still very similar to what you are describing. The first scene was a little story in itself, and it had a very similar effect.

    But, yeah...anything that gets the character moving around in an environment and responding to situations is a great way to learn your character almost by a process of observation.
     
  3. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    I never use that technique before, but it can be a great way to make a short story teaser for your novel. It is also kind of like prototyping your character. If there are things you don't like what your character does, you can write him or her. Usually I begin writing the novel while pretending I am the main character in that main story. It takes a lot of work to build up your character to fresh him or her out.
     
  4. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    No. I just go with gut feeling on how that particular character behaves within the rules of the story that I have established.
     
  5. steve119
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    steve119 Senior Member

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    that's great if that works for you Selbbin wish I could do that but when ever I have tried that approach my self my characters the characters all end up being me lol thinking like me with my opinions and attitudes as opposed to their own I am quiet envious that you can do it that way
     
  6. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    I've never used that before, but I'll give it a shot. I feel sometimes that one of my weak points is shallow characters.
     
  7. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    That's why there are so many different methods. Luckily for me I can get into many different minds. But not everyone can. Establishing rules for you character may help, even creating a character sheet you can have next to you, and you can use that to limit or guide how your character reacts when you create a situation they need to face. Would he or she do this... check sheet... no, but he/she would probably do this....
     
  8. steve119
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    steve119 Senior Member

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    yeah I done the character sheet thing too lol always stray away from them lol. I guess it is all down to what works for each individual person. perhaps my way works for me because of studying drama at college and am so used to work shopping characters to develop them. do wish i could just sit and write them like you do would save a lot of time lol
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Why not place the character into the story itself? Your exercise adapts the character for a different environment than he or she is intended for.

    Be bold. Don't just dip your toe in, dive in all the way.
     
  10. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I always highly recommend an improv acting class to screenwriters....
     
  11. littleshoe
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    littleshoe Member

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    I love your technique. I will try it. It reminds me of a similar approach for acting (theater).
     
  12. Robinwood
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    Robinwood Member

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    I didn't use that technique before but this is the best and simple way for character development....from now I will start using this technique and also I will recommend to my friends!! Thanks for sharing!!:)
     
  13. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    Because the different perspective might shed light upon the character, I'd imagine. Sometimes I take a heavy rock song I've written and recast it into a jazz mold, for no other reason than to explore the little crevices which might add seasoning detail to the main performance. And then other times, I find that the composition, while written with one thing in mind, turns out to have another and greater life in an entirely different genre.

    If a thousand or two extra words give an author a better grip on his character, I think that's a worthwhile exercise. He may find that the character exercise informs or affects his message. He might find that it simply affects his writing. Or he might discover that this character is, while not suitable for this book, very well-suited for another. A sort of modular approach, perhaps.
     
  14. steve119
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    steve119 Senior Member

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    I do usually base the short stories with in the world of my larger story or novel if you will but some times it maybe that character doing something very mundane and ordinary as how they do these things is info needed at the beginning of a novel to introduce the MC to the reader. The reason I do this before writing them in the larger story is
    1:enable me to understand how a character thinks and acts in a certain type of situation.
    2:make sure that all my different character have different personalities and not my personality
    3: make sure they are believable and relate-able characters that aren't just 1 dimensional copies of other characters in that genre
    and
    4:make sure the character will work in that story or work at all.
    but like I guess character development and how people do it is a individual thing everyone has there own way just cos this works for me doesn't mean it will work for everyone
     

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