1. Croga
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    Croga Member

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    Character Question.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Croga, Sep 8, 2011.

    Thinking of writing a story involving an Irish crook named Jack Carragan.
    Was just wondering if that name made you make any assumptions when you first read it?
    or Did you make any assumptions because of the way Irish characters are often portrayed?

    So far I want to Avoid as many Irish Cliches as possible, so the best scene will not be in a bar, he is not a bare knuckle boxer, his Father is not a traveler and he is not so hard he will always get back up no matter how hard the baiting or beating he takes.
    He will not be particularly religious either and he will be from the inner city of dublin and will speak like that and not with the purple speech of the country people.
    Just wondering if there is anymore cliches that your sick of seeing if any and if you taught of any at all when you seen that he was Irish?
     
  2. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    For some reason I assumed that he was from the 1800s and immigrated to America (or was the children of such immigrants) and grew up in a big city in an ethnic neighborhood.

    Although at this point just giving us the name doesn't really make the cliches so much as reveal what cliches are already ingrained into the reader. I mean if I had a Chinese martial artist named Ling Cho everyone would automatically assume he's some really old dude who spits out random nonsequiturs of wisdom, either that or some Bruce Lee clone. When you write the story, that's when the reader will see if there are cliches or not.
     
  3. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I didn't think of any of that - and my ex was Irish and is: (a) strongly religious, (b) is at the bar any opportunity he gets (although he doesn't drink), and (c) is involved in combat sport. :p

    I had no image in my head when you started his name and his nationality - no appearance, no personality, no social class, no nothing. A blank slate. How am I supposed to form an opinion when you've only told us what he's not rather than what he is?
     
  4. Croga
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    Croga Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys.
    I'm Irish myself and I just yak when ever I see Irish in non Irish films and that, but your right ruling out what he is not does not make what he is ha.
    I asked about the name because some people can read a-lot into names.
    Carragan family are Irish royalty from 500 A.D and they came from Northern Ireland which would implies that they were odds on to have been in the troubles, but some of the family moved to the east coast so they could of been in the rising or the civil war. The carragans emigrated to America so good call cybrxkhan although irrelevant to my character, Jacks Popularity as a name would hit to Irish,English, Scottish or Australian roots for our character now though and the names rebirth came in the early 90's meaning Jack is odds on to be Under 25 or over 40.
    Now I just wanted that kind of information in terms of manly name, feminine name and what not that some people would absorb, because while this is a logical fallacy it makes my point a man called Cindy is almost non redeemable as a man's man.
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    If you are Irish yourself, then trust that you have a greater sense of Irish authenticity than others who are not. I'm second generation Irish (my grandmother came over from Dublin in 1912), and I despise the kind of charicature that you're trying to avoid. But cybrxkhan was right - the cliches, if there are to be any, will come from the story you tell, not just the name. Your instinct about character names giving an insight into the kind of character he might be is true to a point, but you do have leeway.
     
  6. Excise
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    Excise Member

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    Unfortunately my first impression was possibly tainted by mentioning he was a crook, and so I'm envisioning a somewhat short, but wide looking guy. Something of a thug with a none-too-pretty mook who fights first and asks questions never. I also envision him wearing one of those Andy Capp hats, and being kind of Olde Timey.

    Stereotypes ahoy :)
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Forget cliches. Forget character profiles. Write a character as you would see an individual - not an Irishman, or a drunk, or a red-haired freckled Catholic - an individual, inconsistent, hard to pin down, exasperating, endearing, etc.
     
  8. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    May have made more sense to post the name with no context and ask us what we thought of it to get *proper* impressions of what the name meant to us. :) You gave away spoilers before you even got to the name!
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the name itself says nothing to me other than that the character is probably a male... and could have irish forebears...
     
  10. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    I agree with Cogito,
    Figure out the character,
    Take traits from people you know, good and bad.

    I think the anti-cliche would be just as unreal.

    An Irish atheist, that has never tasted liquor, is a pacifist, doesn't have an accent, dark haired/skinned, grumpy, etc.

    You didn't specify location, Ireland or other?
    If set in America how far back does his American roots go? 2nd generation on can lose most of the Irish accent. (Maybe picking up American accent of location)
    If set in England or Australia the persons accent would change to their accents.
     

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