1. Hero-Jean629
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    Hero-Jean629 Member

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    Characters in need of help!

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Hero-Jean629, Sep 20, 2011.

    Now I have a story that I'm writing, won't reveal the plot yet, but there's two characters that have been changed so many times since I started the story that I can't continue until I have them completely fleshed out like the other four.

    Character #5
    He's about in his early thirties let's say around 34 years old. I based him off an old schoolmate of mine that never really did settle down well with me at all in personality. He has been given at least three different names including Owen, Corey, and Ezekiel "Zeke" (I'm a fan of old fashioned, vintage names since it's my signature) but for now his name is 5. 5, despite his age, is an irascible man and shows his emotions with an 'easy come, easy go' type of air. Is generally annoyed by many things and often uses his semi-abusive language to put down people which in turn makes him feel better. Immature and slightly paranoid, he's always looking out for himself though he does have a few possibly redeeming qualities...some of which I can't list because I truly don't know what what they are. His past is not the best one, a rather alcohol lovin' and workaholic father with a beautiful but emotional and impatient mother lead to a rather unhappy childhood. He is a drug addict but has a high paying job to pay for it courtesy of his father.
    Any ideas on a name or to some extent some positive personality traits? I was thinking that he could have a soft side for animals, soap operas, and can't stand anyone when they cry (he acts gruffly comforting).

    Now Character #6 is one that I debated about for a very long time but I know the age is in the early 50's stage but the first three ideas I had for him were:
    -First he was a college history professor named Monroe
    -Then he became a veteran of the Vietnam war, missing a finger, and likes to chew on cigars but doesn't smoke them usually in the form of Mac. I had contemplated making him gay (and I don't mean flamboyantly gay-no offense to those who are)
    -And now, I was wondering of making him a character I never wrote about before, a Muslim. I mean no offense to people who take this personally but I wanted to add some diversity to my characters and I became curious about Islam. He came from Iraq to America in order to get a better education on a student's visa but when he fell in love with America, he worked on getting a citizenship. When I think of his personality, I think about my grandfather: a man without a single mean bone in his body, he is an eccentric but amusing man with tons of wisdom hidden behind that big goofy smile of his. Down-to-earth, he's very patient and understanding how society and people are. For some reason I can't get the name Methuselah out of my head when I think of this character.

    My trouble is choosing which of the three that I listed above to write him as.

    Any ideas, suggestions, anything would be wonderful.
     
  2. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I know EXACTLY how this feels.

    I like Ezekiel/Zeke for Character #5. Very Biblical. I think he could do all of that. He can't stand soap operas, has a soft spot for animals, and can't stand to see someone cry.

    Character #6, you could split into two seperate characters. Monroe is a gay college history professor who's a Vietnam veteran. The other one is Methuselah.
     
  3. Hero-Jean629
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    Hero-Jean629 Member

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    Thanks for replying :)
    The thing is...I don't know if I want to go past 6 characters, it'd jumble everything up and people would be too overwhelmed and so would I. Besides, we all need someone that we don't like in the book.
    I was thinking that 6 could be a college history professor after some sort of war and be Muslim but then again I'd have to do more research >.< I just want to get the perfect feel for these two characters and just be done with.
     
  4. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    If you're not familiar with Islam, yes, you need to research it.

    Another thing you could do is simply have some (or one) of those characters be in a completely different book in a completely different setting and situation. Monroe, for instance, could very easily have a whole novel dedicated just to him.
     
  5. Hero-Jean629
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    Hero-Jean629 Member

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    I've done some research on Islam but I want to get a person who actually practices Islam before I write anything about it, first hand accounts are always the best.
    Maybe but I don't know what I'd give to Monroe, an entire story line just for him? I'm already working on four already counting this one too. Perhaps, or perhaps he'd be a minor character.

    What do you think of 5? Anything you can suggest? I've been antagonizing over his character for nearly a year now.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    My suggestion is to scrap the profile sheet and just write people. They will take shape as you write them.

    Lists of attributes tend to result in flat characters. Real people aren't that consistent, and they evolve as they react and interact.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I think, for the most part, characters can't be hammered down into a neat little package and Mr. 5 may be one of them. He's a person with a weird outlook on life, and the reason you're struggling so hard with him is because he's resisting you. He doesn't want to be a neat little package. He just wants to be himself. He's a disgruntled old man who hates soap operas, is an animal lover, and can't stand to see people cry. That may be enough for him right now. He sounds interesting to me already.

    As for Mr. Monroe, its kinda the same thing. Listen to what he wants. If he wants to be either gay or a Vietnam veteran, why not both? Maybe he's trying to hint to you that he'd like to be both? I know it sounds crazy, but trust me. I've tormented myself for years with my characters until I decided to just let them tell the story, let them tell me who they are. It's gotten so much easier since I did that.
     
  8. Hero-Jean629
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    Hero-Jean629 Member

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    Maybe your both right, *sigh* even though I've been writing for years I've never had my characters resist so much, wonder why they started now?
     
  9. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    It happens. I guess it just goes with maturity. As you grow, so do your characters. Just as you've learned to stand up for yourself, they have as well. It's just frustrating because we still see them as our "children" and want them to do what we say.

    In a weird way...we've become our own parents. xD
     
  10. Hero-Jean629
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    Weird is good :) Thanks for the help you two.
     

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