1. Gheala_InFlacari
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    Gheala_InFlacari Member

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    Are you good friends with your characters?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Gheala_InFlacari, Jul 19, 2009.

    Writing manuals usually advise authors to always picture their characters, talk with them and so on. Can you see your characters? Do you talk with them, fight and argue with them?
    Mine wants to see the one he'll fall in love with.
     
  2. ravin.sawhney
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    ravin.sawhney Member

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    I think you are talking hypnotic writing. It is really working and hard to achieve those skills. I am trying to get this one and so i am here, to improve my writing skills. I am working hard to improve them. cause writing tells about yourselves a lot.
     
  3. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    I've talked with a few of my characters before. Kind of lunatic when I did it, but someday I hope to talk to more of them, rather be like some omnipotent god to them.

    When I did talk to my character, anyhow, he did help me sort out a few things here and there.
     
  4. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    Yep. I talk to my characters...though I have to wonder if that equates to talking back to the voices in my head...making me crazy. Oh well. crazy is as crazy does.
     
  5. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    Well, good. Then at least you know what he wants. Your job is to put roadblocks in his way so that attaining his objectives becomes a struggle--something he must overcome. Maybe he'll succeed in some way that's a little unexpected, or maybe at the end of your story he'll be headed squarely into the realm of uncertainty. Whether your story has a more happy outcome or one that's more tragic or ambiguous will probably have something to do with the kind of story you envision as complete. But, yes, I do think it's helpful for the author to understand ALL his characters--their motivations and (mis)understandings, hopes, dreams, and vices.
     
  6. Seppuku
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    Seppuku Member

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    It depends on the character. On the piece I did for my NaNoWriMo last year, I thought I'd do a chapter as meta-fiction, it works because the main character is suffering from a series of delusions that mixes dreams with reality. So my character came to speak to me, upon realising that I was her writer and that I had basically written her life, she was not pleased, after all I had given her a rough time. But I had it my way, after all, I'm the writer. So you could say that we didn't exactly get along.
     
  7. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you kidding? My character is an arse. Well, the only one I'd have any reason to talk to, I know the others. I wouldn't talk to him unless I was paid.
     
  8. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    I prefer to keep a healthy objective distance away from my characters. This doesn't prevent me from knowing them or understanding their needs, but actually gives me complete control, which I believe the writer must have.
     
  9. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow this is kinda amusing. I was considering posting a very similar thing today, instead I made it a blog entry.

    I have not actually talked to my character. But when I think about my character and their current situation, I get these revelations. Sometime its useful about the situation they are in, or will be in, or its just a new detail about them. Last night I had such a revelation. Well I guess I would have to call this a 're-revelation' I had created this character for NaNoWriMo. I had quickly discovered that she was bisexual and had feelings, well actually it was more sexual attraction, to her student.(this is a fantasy story and both are adults) But I somehow had slipped my mind until I was reminded last night. Maybe it was my character trying to remind me of this. Then she showed me a scene where she and an opponent are locked and out of impulse she sorta gives her a quick kiss, for old time sake I guess. Anyways it basicly gave me a general idea of how the end battle will be like.


    Either way I may not be at the stage where I can easily talk to them. But I believe there is some sort of communication going on. :p
     
  10. Necromortis
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    Necromortis Member

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    ^I agree with the above (Cheeno).

    I never really understood this 'get to know your characters' mentality. Maybe there's some disconnect here, but these are fictional...well, characters...that you have created. I do let my characters grow with the story, and I guess in that sense they 'surprise' me (in that I actually surprise myself by coming up with something I didn't expect would happen earlier in the story).

    But talk to my characters? Give them voices and personalities outside of what I create? I don't understand that. These are people I've created in my own head...they don't exist. Everything I need to know about them I know because I own them.

    ~Christian
     
  11. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    Never, looks like i should try it tho :p
     
  12. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, I am not friends with my characters and I don't talk or interact with them. They're made up individuals.

    While writing I do strive to focus and see the situations and events through their perspective, and understand what this made up individual's motivations and responses would be, but nothing more than that.

    Terry
     
  13. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    It's sort of like dreaming. Everyone has talked to "fake people" in their dreams. They indeed talked with themselves. The brain is able to talk to itself, to make up characters and interact with them. If you dream, you do this.

    You can learn to do it while awake, too.
     
  14. UnknownBearing
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    UnknownBearing Contributing Member

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    no i've never really sat down and carried out a conversation with my characters, mostly because it'd be boring. in a manner seconds i can play any single topic of conversation in my head and already know how my character would react and respond, what topics of conversation he/she would bring up. because... i made them.

    to answer the question though, i would really only be friends with a few of my characters. they usually have too many problems with themselves for them to be any fun. whether it's an obssession of the past, megalomania, fear of losing control, or just overall moodiness over being a second-rate leader, i'm fairly sure i would, in fact, not enjoy talking to my characters.

    i already killed the only character i would enjoy being around had he been real.
     
  15. Gheala_InFlacari
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    Gheala_InFlacari Member

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    I only talk to the protagonist. He also helped me with some things in my life, so I hate to think of him as fictional. No, he exists but only not in physical image.
    Lol Bluebell, I used to have the same problem, but I finally got to understand his mentality, which is completely different from mine. So, it's easy to tell whether it was me or him. >.< I'm rather more reckless and clumsy.
    You know, I once heard about an author who believed in his characters so much, to the extent that he was used to seeing them sitting down and telling their stories. A famous author, but I can't remember who exactly. Now, that would be fun and absolutely mental, if it happened to me!
     
  16. Elistara
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    Elistara Member

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    As long as you enjoy your method, that is all that counts, right?
    I have never been able to have a conversationw ith my characters... or drag them outside of their fantasy novel.. but I would say I am good friends with mine, yes. They do seem to have minds of their own, and can surprise me with what they say when I am writing - though conversing with them directly is a little too far out of my imaginations ability right now. Like, I have heard it suggested that you interview them to find out more about them.. but that hasn't ever worked for me - I tend to just know anyway.
     
  17. Seppuku
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    Seppuku Member

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    Yes, it's the results that count and not how you got there. ;)
     
  18. Seppuku
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    Seppuku Member

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    Yes, it's the results that count and not how you got there. ;)
     
  19. Evelyanin
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    Evelyanin Senior Member

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    I based my main character on myself, with perhaps a few extra skills which I don't have. She also has a different life, but overall it is easy to write about her because I know how she thinks and feels. Then again, it isn't first person, and that makes it a little different. As to talking with other characters, if my character does it, it makes it feel like I'm talking to them, though I usually stay inside the story.
     
  20. JGraham
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    JGraham Senior Member

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    I have always had a connection with my characters, which is obvious, i mean in a way they are all a part of you. I would not say i am a friend and have conversations, it is much more like a parent relationship. I watch them evolve with the story and i surprise myself with what i have them do, but for the most part i observe their personalities and add parts of myself into them.
     
  21. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    I've never really talked to them, but I've experienced random revelations like some others have.

    If I need to figure out something in the plot then I will wait til I'm in a quiet place (like my bed before I fall asleep) and then I allow myself to slip into a state of thinking where I watch the scene as I want it to unfold and see where it leads me. A lot of scenes in my current novel have been born like this.

    Sometimes, though, I feel like my male MC is practically telling me he wants to go through such and such a hardship instead of me being the one that chooses how to torture him next (I'm a mean writer).

    Although if I could directly talk to any of my characters, I'd be talking to my villain. All this time and I STILL don't know the guy's name >____<.
     
  22. Gheala_InFlacari
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    Gheala_InFlacari Member

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    Lol. Kirvee, you don't have to know the name now, leave it until you finish the novel. But talking with the villian? >.< I haven't met my villian yet, but I hate him too much to do more than knowing how he looks like.
     
  23. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    My villain is way more important in my story, though, since he has ties to a lot of stuff and characters. I need to sit down and have a long conversation with him, because otherwise all I know is what he wants to accomplish, how he's gonna do it, what he's going to do to get what he wants and how he'll fight. And I know his past relationship and why he's so evil right now.

    I may not need his name right now, but I eventually will need it. I've searched around so many name sites and looked through a ton of names with a lot of different meanings and nothing seems to fit him as far as a name goes. But he needs to be called something because there are times in the story where he is addressed by something other than his title (in this case, his name).
     
  24. mistressoftheflies
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    mistressoftheflies Member

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    I'm not friends with my characters yet as I'm still in the planning stages of my story. Hopefully I'll get to know them intimately as the writing process starts! I've never held conversations with them though. Haha.

    However, I always think "Would I be friends with this character in real life? Why or why not?" while I write and that helps me a lot, especially with the protagonist. :D
     
  25. Rowley
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    Rowley Member

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    I can say that I have talked with my characters. Normally I do this when no one is around or when I have nothing to do, more because people will probably think I'm psychotic otherwise which wouldn't be a very new label anyway. I actually find it quite fun at times... so yeah ^^;
     

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