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  1. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are there real life people or fictional people....

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Shadow Dragon, Oct 7, 2008.

    ......that have had an influence on your character(s)'s personality? I've always been a bit of a history nerd, and I've recently noticed that some of my characters' personalities are similar to some of my favorite people in history. Ares's personality has some of the same qualities as Alexander the Great and Xare's personality seems to have become similar to Joan of Arc. Also, Chaos seems to have picked up a few habits from the character Near. None of this was done on purpose, but it does seem kinda interesting to have turned out this way.

    So what about some of your characters?
     
  2. TheAdlerian
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    TheAdlerian Senior Member

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    Sure, I use everything but almost everyone I write about is like someone I've met in my personal life. Since I like SF stories I just imagine how the people I know would react in such settings. I'm of a mind that human personalities are pretty consistent across humanity. So, the bagger at the supermarket could easily be just like Alexander, only he hasn't had the opportunity to be. What I like to do is the reverse of that.

    If you notice potentially great characters like Superman never have the human quirks that the rest of us do. That's because they're built from the top down instead of the bottom up like real people.
     
  3. destinationless
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    destinationless Member

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    YES. :D
    A popular saying out there -that I've also adopted- is "Careful, or you'll end up in my novel!"

    I draw inspiration from almost everything, because I think about everything. My characters are often composed of many different people that I know. I've noticed that I take from people I admire (or particularly despise or pity, in a villian's case :p ), take multiple traits from multiple people. However, recently, I have begun to study history with a passion and have noticed similar things, incorporating people I -dont- know as well. ;)

    Strange, huh?
     
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  4. Kylie
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    Kylie Contributing Member

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    Most of my characters portray some characteristics that I've seen in people that I've met or have seen. I get ideas from just about anything I see; I really enjoy just sitting... observing. I've never really thought about using people from history... but generally I like using people I know/seen better. :D
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It seems a pretty obvious question to me. How do you make realistic characters? You base them on your experience, of course. Do you model them after other fictional characters? Only when those fictional characters resonate with you - when they seem believable to you.

    What that comes down to is characteristics you recognixw in yourself and people closest to you. In fact, most writers start out with protagonists that mirror themselves, or at least their self-image. It's a sign of progress when you begin to model characters after other people you know, and still greater progress when you can mold a believable characters out of an assortment of traits from several people at once.
     
  6. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    I usually pick up personality traits and dialogues from real people, dead or alive. Characters in stories, not really. I've tried never to copy a whole person down on paper, but to create a mixture. A little spice, sugar and everything Charisma ;).
     
  7. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    My characters' personalities seem to influence each other. While I don't copy characters between my different storylines (i. e., I don't "borrow" the basic personality of one story's character and recycle it in another), I can't help but notice similarities between characters of different storylines at times. I think something like, "Ah, these two would get along just perfectly--or else freak each other out."

    I don't really tend to base my characters' personalities on real people whatsoever. I just don't feel inspired to do that. The people around me don't inspire me to base characters on them. It'd seem like cheating or laziness to me. Even if I were to base somebody on somebody from history (I use mythological figures a lot, at least), I give them their own personality, seeing as one can't truly know the personality of somebody who died ages ago (or might have never existed at all). *shrug*
     
  8. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    I work in reverse. I write the character then realize that it reminds me of a person.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I often use people I know as framework for characters. It helps me to give my characters a consistent voice.
     
  10. Little Miss Edi
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    Little Miss Edi Contributing Member

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    I don't consciously model characters on people but like Dcoin when I read them back I realise there's a little of people I know in there. The people who pop up the most are my brothers, they've got such distinct personalities, I guess they're my biggest influences.

    I'd be lying if I said I wasn't influenced by characters I'd read though.
     
  11. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    A lot of the personalities that inspire me are on paltalk. It is a free voice chat program. I met a lot of interesting personalities on there. There is no doubt they show up, at least in part, in my stories.
     
  12. Synoran
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    Synoran Member

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    I suppose I subconciously use a lot of characteristics from people I know. And for others, I completely create their personalities from scratch, trying to think how real people, not anyone in particular, would react based on their past and personality.
    For example, one of my characters is based off my seventh grade English teacher. And another is not based off anyone in particular.
     
  13. Ziku
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    Ziku Member

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    Influence can come from anywhere, it all depends on what you WANT your character to feel and what you allow into your life and mind.

    One of my characters for example, Ivan, gets much of his action from the reaction to people around him. Cyrus, for example, is Ivan's uncle and my key antagonist, turns him into a very cold and usually shut out teenager, very like I am often. However, as I discovered via my girlfriend (best young woman in the world by the way) I (and in effect Ivan) really feel the way we do because our lives lack that kind of worldly companionship sometimes, and in effect, I occasionally show a softer side of Ivan.

    I won't say if one is better then the other, because I'm not entierly sure myself, but they are both the difference between whether your characters are JUST characters, or "real people" if that makes sence....
     
  14. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Certainly yes! I'm actually writing a story featuring all my favorite people as main and important characters.
     

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