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  1. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Characters' Feelings

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Cacian, Jan 16, 2012.

    How do you write about characters feelings and thoughts?
    Are they as easy to express as in reality?
    For example do you tend to express male characters feelings different from female's ones?
    To demonstrate here are few statetemenst I wrote.
    Are they credible?

    a) He was in tears and could not hold it any more.

    b) she was as cold as ice towards him and did not express any remorse whatsoever.
     
  2. akexodia
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    akexodia Member

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    Well, those statements generally occur while writing, considering males as stony, heartless creatures. That's the general tendency (Tendency in bold! I donot mean to infer that this is what everyone thinks.) That should not ideally be.
    Honestly, I do tend to describe the girl's state of mind with a tad delicacy in the first draft. But as i revise, I discover that and polish the guy's emotions too.
     
  3. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Interesting stuff you posted there akexodia.
    Being a female myself I tend to understand the opposite sex better and know my same sex too well.
    I would safely say that I do find men more in touch with their softer feelings then women.
    I find the opposite more approachable and warmer as I get to know thembetter, that is at least my own experience.
    Women tend to be, not all, more calculating, cleverer at hidding their feelings then men.
    So when I write I say it as it is without worrying about what reality tells us it is.
    I think it is important that we do because writing is more then what we know but more about how we feel and our instincts.
     
  4. CH878
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    CH878 Active Member

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    In society, we generally view men and women differently; men are seen as independent, less emotional and their language referential whereas women are seen as more emotional and their language more affective. There's a debate as to whether language influences these opinions or it's the other way round. I agree with the Sapir Wharf hypothesis which states, basically, that language influences thought. So the two examples you've given are credible, but might not sit well with the values that most of society holds. When writing, the character themselves dictates the way I describe their thoughts more than their gender, but it is worth baring in mind that there is evidence to suggest men and women's thought processes and language is different, so if I'm writing a first person narrative from a male perspective, I will probably not spend so much time on emotions as with a female character. This is to ensure I get a male 'voice' when writing.
     
  5. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    yes and no because the more advance we become the more equalities of men and women close in.
    Women are seen to be as active and as present as men and therefore not much difference should be had between the too other then the physiological side of it although that is now being distracted throuhg sport and body building( which is quite unsettling for me).

    The more effective your language is has nothing to do with feelings.
    Language can be learned to be effective because of the experiences you have but feelings are totally separate.
    Feelings are actions and warmth and expressions as in writing and poetry and other little acts and touches that shows you to be in touch with your feelings.
    Just because your express yourself better does not make you any less colder or warmer or in touch with your feelings.
    Women are better trained because they tend to juggle many things, and talking a lot is one thing they do best because of their primary role in society such as bearing children for example.
    Somehow I will have to disagree.
    Although it might right sometimes it is not always true.
    I tend to think then talk.
    Never the other way when it comes to considering others.
    I am different.
    Because I am female I tend to evoke and express both voices,especially the male voice,simply becasue I am not one.
    The less of something I have the more I wish to express it.
     
  6. CH878
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    CH878 Active Member

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    Affective language means being concerned with the effect your words will have rather than merely the passage of information. For example, complimenting someone is affective language, telling someone the time is referential language. Therefore, affective language has everything to do with feeling, because you are trying to provoke a feeling by using it.

    What I meant was that the way we talk about people or things and the way we hear others talk about them influences the way we think about them, not the actual thought/speech process, that's what the S/W hypothesis states.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i would describe characters as whatever they need to be for the story to work and be believable... not all guys are heartless dolts and not all women are loving and caring, so you should be careful not to stick to stereotypes if you want your stories to reflect reality...
     
  8. Metus
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    Metus Senior Member

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    I agree with this. The sad (or not so sad) truth is that it is impossible to classify the personalities of people based on the groups to which they belong, especially when regarding groups they ended up in by birth. Not all men are tough, not all women are delicate, not all religious people are moral, not all gay males are feminine, not all politicians are corrupt, not all judges are honorable, not all veterans are heroes, not all scientists are smart. . . the list goes on and on.
    So when a person asks how to write Group X, I answer: Don't write a group, write an individual.
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Age and experience also come into it. When I was in my twenties, I was pretty hard, emotionally. I don't think I cried for ten years. I'm 50, now, though, and I'm much more emotional than I used to be. Things that didn't affect me much twenty years ago pierce me to the heart these days. I don't know why. I hope I'm a better writer because of it, though.

    What I'm saying is that it's not just man versus woman. There's at least one more dimension. It can be young man versus older man, young woman versus older woman. And everything in between.
     
  10. elious ranhale
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    elious ranhale New Member

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    It's all in the eyes of the reader.

    The reason reading is so much better than a movie is that, as the reader, you can set the tone of the conversation a bit. As the author, you get to set the stage in which the readers' mind is going to work, but in the end, the book is what the reader makes of it. Emotion can be explained in words, but it can't be truly experieced by simply reading the words. Explanation: When my daughter was born I had all sorts of things explained to me but it wasnt until she was born that I actually understood what I was being told. When a reader picks up a book they can read words like; angry, scared, sarcastic, etc... but they ultimately make the story their own by filling in the blanks that can't be put into words. Consider all sorts of undertones. I mean, you can sound srcastic in a funny way, an angry way or in a silly way and although that stuff can be explained in words, the reader is going to have the final say when it comes to exactly how the conversation in the book took place. My advice is to create the conversation in your mind, put it on paper and tell the stroy how you would want it to be told. Let the reader do their job by filling in the blanks with what would be most entertaing to them.
     
  11. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    what things ? I am not clear on this.
     
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