1. DerpyDoo
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    DerpyDoo Member

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    Creating new characters, need ideas.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by DerpyDoo, Nov 17, 2013.

    Hey there! i'm hoping to write up my very first novel but before i can work on it i need some characters, i have an idea for two but i need more.

    So for the two i have:

    Servare and Purus.

    Servare. (Latin for To protect/guard)
    An incubus demon.
    History:

    Servare was brought up with a family of angels, he was taught how to fight and to be righteous in everything he does.

    When he was 16 the war between angels and demons commenced, he fought and killed many demons before he was forced to his knees on the brink of death, as he witnessed the demons murder his family he went into a rage and tore every demon limb from limb.

    he was confronted with the king of the demons who told him about his true self, he was an incubus - a demon and should side with the king of demons.

    Servare was torn between identities, he was a demon and had a lust for blood and destruction but his late family showed him how a life of happiness and love can bring such things to more people than just himself.

    He struck the king and made a break for it, he left the realm of the angels and went down to the planet bellow to hide with the mortals, he came across a monk monastery who thought he was a sign from the gods, he was allowed to spend the next two years with them before the war between the angels and demons started to engulf the planet.

    Servare traveled far and wide to find out how to defeat either race so peace can befall the land once more.

    After a month of searching he came across trixy (her backstory is separate) and they became partners, servare had his sword training and destruction magic while trixy had her intellect and stealth training.

    they now live together with purus who servare saved when his city was destroyed by a huge demon.

    Character Description:
    Servare is a gold and white kitsune incubus, he was raised by angels but was actually a demon, when the war started between the angels and demons he was torn between the two.

    he is the gardian of Purus, a newcomer to the scene.

    he lives with Trixy and purus on a remote island hidden from the rest of the world.
    Personality
    Servare is a fun loving and feminine male who is extremely protective about the ones he loves, going as far as to put his life on the line to keep them out of danger.

    he is always trying to make people smile and laugh, being known to bring any mood from depressing to Elated.

    he is also very good at speeches and is great at raising morale.

    Likes/Dislikes
    He loves his little gang (Trixy and Purus) and loves spending time with them, his favourite colour is blue, his likes cool days and spring rain.

    Purus. (Latin for pure)
    Anthropomorphic Bat.
    History:


    Purus grew up in a city with his mother and father, he was their only child and never really had friends so his parents were the only ones he trusted and cared about which came crashing down when his city was destroyed and his parents killed but servare saved him.

    feeling somewhat responsible for the death of the childs parents servare took purus to live with him and trixy, teaching him how to fend for himself and to become servare's sidekick.

    Character Description
    Purus is a black and white bat with a multicoloured fringe and blue eyes.

    his arms, legs and top half of his head are black, the front section of his torso, groin and bottom half of his head bellow the nose is white.

    he has 2 wings which when folded go up to the midway point of his head, when stretched outwards they are three times the width of him.

    Personality
    Purus is the definition of pure and innocent.
    He has the mind of a young child, always wanting to play and have fun, he is adventurous and knows nothing about right or wrong but when given a choice he will chose whatever makes people happy.

    he knows nothing about mature subjects like sex and when faced with such a thing is blank and unresponsive.

    Relatives/Family
    Casey and Drew (His Mother and Father) are his only immediate relatives but they had always spoke about one day going to see his Uncle and Aunt (John and Bliss) but never did and purus doesn't know where they live.

    If you have any ideas for more characters let me know, it will need to fit the setting which is a sword and sorcery fantasy setting with modern elements like cars, houses, machinery and modern clothing.
     
  2. Laze
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    Laze Active Member

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    To me, all you're doing is throwing these fancy titles how some guy is the descendant of some super demon god killer overseer of the entire universes son, or something like that.

    It's all about their psyche in my opinion. What makes them tick? Did something traumatic happen to them at an early age to give them a specific trait? You have to think about all the things that make a human being an individual. Not their family history, the meaning of their name or boring physical details. Even if you're writing about mythical creatures like gods and demons, if your reader can't relate to them on an emotional level, it won't work.
     
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  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know. You need to write some scenes with those two characters that you have and see who else shows up. No one else can do this for you.
     
  4. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    tl;dr
    Why? Cause I don't care where your characters come from or their fancy names.
    Neither will your readers.

    Your characters should reflect three things; the world you built, their immediate social and spatial environment, and lastly their goal.
    Your story will suffer otherwise as the characters will be bland and shallow.

    First, ask yourself WHY you even want these characters.
    Authors don't throw in characters willy nilly or on a whim.
    They have a reason and purpose to existing and generally are closely tied to the events.

    If you need a character to act as a defender of another, maybe work on them from a loyalty point of view or maybe a high sense of duty.
    But he won't exist because "That's so cool!" but because he's there to deal with a certain situation that he will be needed.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You don't need our help. Start writing your story, As you proceed, you will discover where you need additional characters, and you will know what characteristics they require.

    We don't know your story, so any recommendations we could offer would be strictly vanity.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Hi @DerpyDoo, welcome to the forum.

    As you can see there's a consensus that telling us your ideas for plots (or storylines ;) ) and characters isn't the place to start. While the idea and the characters matter, it's growing the story where you will discover them. Think about the story you want to tell then color it in.
     
  7. DerpyDoo
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    DerpyDoo Member

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    Well when i wrote the history i spoke about their childhood and what they went through, in servare's history i explained why he is how he is today. plus their names reflect their personalities and what their role is in this world. because Servare translates as "to protect/guard" it shows what his role is in this world, to protect someone or something, to guard them for some reason.

    in that regard i think i explained those things pretty well but i'll try to come up with more detail either way as it's obvious my point isn't getting across the way i want it to.

    ...How many books have you read? to be exact: how many Fantasy books have you read? while i understand that the reader will use their imagination to create the world we write they cannot do so without backstory or descriptive writing. why are the characters doing this? what drives them to carry on? what is their goal? all these things are written here for all to know, in the actual novel it will be more subtle; i will feed the information to the reader slowly during all the twists and turns of the story.

    as i stated above and i quote "Well when i wrote the history i spoke about their childhood and what they went through, in servare's history i explained why he is how he is today. plus their names reflect their personalities and what their role is in this world. because Servare translates as "to protect/guard" it shows what his role is in this world, to protect someone or something, to guard them for some reason."

    i hope that explains why i used such detail and why detail in a fantasy setting is so important.

    Plus the way you worded that was incredibly rude, i'm guessing you are not an experienced writer or a gentleman, since when someone creates constructive criticism that is laced with such atrocities as "internet speak" and worded in a rude way you only come across as a "troll".

    Hmmm that does make sense, thank you. I am the type of person who likes to plan everything out as best i can before actually starting a project but it would make sense, that as ideas come to me i would create characters for said ideas.

    that is some sound advice. many authors i know started with a character or plot and then worked around it but everyone is different. when i was writing short stories for fan-bases around the internet i had everything i needed at the start, i had the characters and the setting and sometimes an idea of what the story will hold (such as mystery, murder and cross-overs (Pokemon and MLP for example)) so when i decided i wanted to write a story with my own characters, the first thing i did was come up with ideas for characters and plots/settings.

    maybe i should bunker down and think about what kind of story i want to tell.

    again thank you for the advice.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
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  8. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    I understand that you're asking help for new characters, but I don't even know the characters you have. Yes, you've given me descriptors and back story. However, they don't match up to me. The demon's back story is that he was raised by Angels and forced to watch his family be killed, and yet someone he's a happy, fun loving guy? He's an incubus, who lives with a complete virgin, and the virgin's only response to sexual things is to go blank? Even after living with an incubus?

    See, you're the only one who knows your characters. And the story that you want to write. Characters will appear as you write, and will come into the story as needed. But a thing with the names... I understand where you're coming from, but a mother doesn't know her child's fate or temperament upon birth. To name your characters after their current personalities is a bit offsetting as a reader. And then you have Trixy, Drew, Bliss and Carey... the names are all over the place. Plus, a reader isn't going to know what their name means, unless you explicitly tell us. Which, I've never come across a person who said "My name is Phil, and it means running with horses."

    Just food for thought!
     
  9. DerpyDoo
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    DerpyDoo Member

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    Ah yes i can see how someone would be confused by this... i will take what you said into consideration but all the same i would like to explain to you the reasoning behind this, simply because i hate leaving people ignorant to my creations.

    I will answer in the order of what you said.

    Characters not matching up: Because servare was raised by angels, (a species that devote themselves to all things good and pure) he is always looking for the bright side of life and by the end of the history description it has been 2 and a half years since his family's murder, he has had a lot of time to meditate and come to terms with what had happened and to choose a new goal in life.

    An incubus is a demon of emotion, they are fueled by other peoples emotions, while some used sex to get strong emotions from their victims it was not the only means of doing so, making someone laugh or cry will also create strong emotions which they can feed off of. the whole "incubus and succubus are sex demons" is not entirely correct in this sense.
    This also explains why he has not done anything with the virgin child, he also feels a great sense of guilt for the death of the childs parents (Mentioned in the history).

    Their names: A common name in real life is "Hope" as well as "Angel" they are names that the parents simply liked. The childs name is Pure which is no more far fetched than Hope or Angel
    as for Servare, he was raised by angels, beings that many consider to be all knowing so it is likely they would be able to see a glimpse of someones future and name them appropriately, Thus servare.

    as for how i would show what their meaning is? through little things in the story, say someone googles Servare's name and notices the latin description, perhaps someone will already know, like a scholar or monk. as for Purus: it's from the same language as servares name so he would know what it means and may think of it or mention it "Purus... pure. Well it suits you"
    That or we use nicknames, such as servare faces off against a demon and is called "Protector" or "Guardian" at which point one of his companions will ask why the demon called him that and servare will say "It's my name, it means 'to protect and guard'"

    END

    I hope that made sense.
     
  10. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think part of the problem with your descriptions etc is that it's like reading a laundry list. It's just a bunch of facts about "people" we (the readers) don't know and, as was mentioned above, don't really care about. You said you're a planner, so I would get the story planned first, and as you work through the outline, you'll discover which characters you're going to need and why. Then you can do your list thing (personally, I never use these devices but many writers do find them useful). But you do have to figure it out for yourself - otherwise you could just as well go to some tropes list and grab a handful of characters there to toss into the story.
     
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  11. DerpyDoo
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    DerpyDoo Member

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    obviously when writing the story it will not be a "Laundry list" but because this is just to describe the characters i have, then it is essential in just pointing out the facts. this isn't a story that i have written, it's like a police report: "State the facts and don't waffle."

    Bullet points and all that.
     
  12. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    I think when you create a character you need to start with a very small sheet and let it develop from there. Most of the things you described actually have to do with plot not character, so we can't evaluate them until they're actually in motion in the story.
     
  13. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    So the readers are going to miss the entire transformation and growth of Servare? And that's a bit confusing, you changing up the mythological foundation of an incubus. I would maybe leave out 'incubus' as it carries sexual connotations, and simply refer to him as a fox demon that feeds off of emotion. Just my two cents, but as a reader I would constantly be expecting his sexy side to show if he was an 'incubus'.

    That whole 'well it's because that's the meaning of my name' is pretty overused. If you feel the readers must know the meaning behind his name, you should try to come up with a more original way than that. I would say even a demon mocking him about his name and his history would be a better way... show vs tell and all that jazz. Also... Purus is a rather far fetched human name compared to Angel and Hope. These are names that have religious background, have history, and we ALL know someone who was named one, the other, or even both. Purus? Well, that's a bit intense, especially for a boy.

    Again, this is only my perception as a reader. Of course, as a writer you may be able to turn it around and make it work, but it would take me out the story and wrinkle my eyebrows. All fantasy names I can accept a lot quicker than I can accept fantasy names sprinkled in with normal names.
     
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  14. DerpyDoo
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    DerpyDoo Member

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    that's... a good point... while trying to describe the characters i did end up dumping a lot of exposition into it to try and back up their personalities.

    how would you write it? as in an example.
     
  15. DerpyDoo
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    DerpyDoo Member

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    His origin story isn't in a novel but it was in a comic book, what i planned on doing in this story was to have him answer questions asked by Purus such as "Servare... what are you?" and stuff like that, servare would answer and describe his history.

    And actually i'm not changing the mythology, i'm using it's "true" mythology, people associated it with sex simply because it was the easiest way to describe what they did.

    i agree with having his name be announced in a more exciting and original way, i was simply trying to describe what i could do more so than what i would do. and as for Purus, the name being latin is to symbolize his connection with servare, and remember in todays society someone being called something in a different language would be considered odd but a child called "Pure" wouldn't be as bad, i was thinking of having some character arc where we find out Purus's aunt and uncle knew Servare as a child, this would explain how the family knew latin (or whatever i call it in the story) and why they would have chosen such a name.

    However, this early in development i cannot make concrete reasons but i do plan on making it all link up in some way.

    As for everyone having fantasy names... i haven't given that much thought, perhaps this will be the case but as i was asking for character ideas i wasn't too sure.
    All if not most of the main Party/Group will have interesting and fantastical names, as for the public or minor characters? probably not.

    EDIT: here are some links to what they look like:
    Servare: https://inkbunny.net/submissionview.php?id=499049
    Purus: https://inkbunny.net/submissionview.php?id=503123
     
  16. Albirich
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    Albirich Active Member

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    TL;DR
    If other people create your characters then you are dodging one of the most important duties in writing your story / novel. Only you know what or how your characters should be, fit to the story. Don't be lazy.

    Another tip, google up common cliches and such, cause I bet you got a bunch. Names should be more original than looking up definitions for words in latin, because that is by far the least imaginative. Of course all this depends on the seriousness of your story / novel.
    Do everything yourself, except if you need guidance on some matters (not having people create stuff for you), or if you need help with grammar or research.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
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  17. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    Again, you're telling rather than showing. If you just have a giant Q & A with your characters, your readers are going to get bored. A little bit is fine, but in order to understand his back story, not so much.

    I'm not really sure where you're getting your mythology sources, but Wikipedia at least disagrees with your incubus definition, as does Occultopedia, Paranormal-Encyclopedia, the Mythical Creature Guide, and Dictionary.com. Again, it doesn't matter what your intention will be. As a reader, I would expect him to whip out his 'sexy' at any point because 'incubus' was mentioned, and incubuses (incubi?) are normally sexual in nature.

    You can explain how you name him any way you desire to, however, as a reader, I would scoff. I tell you this not to upset you or to convince you to change your names. I'm telling you what I would tell you as a beta-reader: It's a strange name, it would kick me out of the story, and I would scoff that his name describes his character. It's unrealistic, unless you have a fantasy setting where every character is named after their destiny or some such thing.
     
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  18. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    What does it matter how they look like?
    You already described them to us in the first post.

    You wanted help creating new characters and to get ideas.
    So, that doesn't really help.

    What we need to know is who you're trying to create and for what.
    We can give you all the random ideas you want but they won't be worth much if they're without something we can build upon.
    You don't build characters upon characters but characters upon the story.
     
  19. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    Strictly speaking... My MC is a nymph whose element is "life". She can heal at a fast rate and can control and summon plants. She's an analytical mind but extremely insecure due to having used her powers to kill people accidentally when she was a child. Vulnerable to people who appear seductive. Likes cherries. That's... pretty much it?

    Her name has a meaning, but it's not very clear. Her surname is Mendel, after the scientist who first did genetic experiments with plants.

    I tried to provide you with a description that was as plot-free as possible. I may have utterly failed in that.

    However, even though I told you these things, you still don't know much about her, because some things come to you as you build the story. Sometimes I'm writing and I realize, hmmm, this wasn't according to my mental "sheet". Maybe I fix them, maybe not. Spontaneous writing is actually a good thing IMO, because it's the character wanting to take a life of its own and not being stuck to the details you impose on them.
     
  20. DerpyDoo
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    DerpyDoo Member

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    Yeah well wikipedia is not a good source, i have found far too many incorrect articles there and i have never even heard of these other sources so i somehow doubt they are completely reliable. besides i never get my information from the internet, too many people lying or not understand true meanings, i generally go by professionals.

    it's difficult to explain without creating paragraphs of text. basically all angels call their kids by their future. no other species does but the angels.

    it was simply because the person i was quoting asked about a characters origins, i said his origins are in a comic. thus the links. it wasn't meant for anyone else unless they wanted to click on them.

    and i did give directions at the bottom of my original post, i said that the setting was of sword and sorcery but in modern day. so cars, modern houses, mobile phones that sort of thing.
    As for what to create? well since all i have so far is two protagonists and 3 characters that may never be seen or even heard of then that leaves the antagonist, support characters, obstacle characters and anyone in between.

    Characters upon characters? while i'll admit servare was the first character to be created (almost 10 years ago to be exact) Purus wasn't created from servare, but from an idea of servare failing, in every story, comic and animation servare has been in he has never failed, he has gotten close and almost died several times but he always won in the end. this time i wanted him to fail and to show his human side, show how he copes with his failure and to atone for it. and that's where Purus came in, he would be the glue that held the story together.

    hmm... it's strange how each person works differently... i would personally say that was not enough to go by and even with all that i have typed up i am still being asked for more and more information, i must have typed up two pages of details about the characters and people are still confused.

    though there is some wisdom in what you say and it's always worth a shot to try something new. i'll give it a go.
     
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  21. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    There's really no need to be rude or defensive.

    The bottom line is if we give you characters it is no longer your novel. The only thing worse than pulling character out of thin air because you need more than two characters is getting someone else to do it for you. If we come up with character ideas for you how will they all link together? You need to come up with your own characters.
    Just because you haven't heard of something doesn't immediately make it nonexistent or unreliable. The thing about wikipedia is it is written by people. Since plenty people have read the article and not changed it there seems a good indicator that people agree with what's up there. And since professionals don't make up the majority of people who read books readers will be more accepting of a common misconception than a 'truth' no one has ever heard of.
    Only you know the story well enough to come up with the characters. We cannot populate the world of your novel for you. It seems to me like you don't have much of a story. What does the antagonist do? why is he an antagonist? What is the MC trying to overcome? Characters are not created to fill the blanks but for the story. You're wasting your time giving us more information, we are not going to come up with your characters for you.
     
  22. DerpyDoo
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    DerpyDoo Member

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    *Ehem* looks like i have a lot to type.

    Well to go in order: I was notified by an admin/moderator that what he said to me was also extremely rude, so yeah i believe my reaction was hardly unjustified. i could have been far meaner.
    Though yes when faced with uncivilized trolls it is better to just ignore them.

    it's quite easy to link characters together. i didn't ask for a story i just asked for some ideas, i didn't ask for people to create entire character sheets or make them fit, re-read what i posted up top "If you have any ideas for more characters let me know" is what i asked. just someone saying "a dog as a pet" would have been absolutely fine.

    Wikipedia no longer allows anyone to edit it. i had found many wrong articles but when i attempted to change them i was refused. anyone with common sense knows that when you allow people to write what they want then there will always be people who make up stories or use stereotypes because it's easier than teaching people the truth. here's an example:

    A few years back i used wikipedia to search up "furries" as i wanted to know what they were, wikipedia called them fetishists who do nothing but have sex in mascot costumes and hold conventions. also stating that furries were created through one man and his comic book.

    All false. i haven't checked that article since but i doubt it has changed. and the same goes with all "pedias" i used wookieepedia to search up some characters from one of my favourite games "KOTOR" but the information they gave was wrong. it was corrected in the end but it just shows that you cannot trust publicly written content.

    and that thing about readers rejecting what is not the norm? incorrect. i know of many books and authors who are doing very well for themselves even though they completely re-made certain stereotypes. heres an example: DMFA a series on the internet completely changed mythical creatures, all demons are nice and all angels & heroes are pure evil, and it has a massive fanbase

    like i said before, i never asked for people to create characters for me. i asked for ideas. i have already written what you asked: "What does the antagonist do? why is he an antagonist? What is the MC trying to overcome?"

    for future reference i had a quick look around and it didn't take me longer than a couple of minutes to find this:

    "This custom of incubation was carried into Christianity. It became known as "watching" or "keeping the vigil." It was recommended in times of troublesome decision making that one should "watch and pray" in a church overnight in order to court a vision of guidance. Eventually the incubus was diabolized; and no longer regarded as a guiding angel. The cause for his fall from grace was tales of ancient tradition midnight sexual relationships between incubating women and priests, or incubating men and priestesses. This caused the incubi to be known as spirits of lust. The concept that sexual activity could possess a spiritual nature was completely negated."

    as you can see there are still people out there who know of their true origins. this is just a segment from the full article.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  23. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    deleted
     
  24. DerpyDoo
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    DerpyDoo Member

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    deleted?
     
  25. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    Scotland, UK
    I wrote something, then changed my mind about posting it.
     

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