1. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    Do we have to?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Neoaptt, Feb 19, 2010.

    Hey, i was reading some of these things in here and most of them have prewritten characters that they use. Character sheets and all the jazz aswell.

    But, do we have to? Does it require one of these to make the story go along? Or could we just start writing and have a character unfold infront of us?

    Most likely both have their pros and cons. I'm just wondering what your opinon about it is? And what well known authors do? Like edgar allen poe and Steven King.
     
  2. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    Do what works for you. Everyone works differently.
     
  3. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    Owh. Well what does Steven King do? I'm courious!
     
  4. whiskeyjameson
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    whiskeyjameson Senior Member

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    Bingo.

    I haven't ever used a character sheet. Sometimes I'll scribble notes on something I want to remember to add but that's it. Plotting and character sheets can be as in depth as you want them to be.


    Best, Whiskey
     
  5. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    Agreed! Though i still don't know what steven king does.
     
  6. whiskeyjameson
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    whiskeyjameson Senior Member

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    Check out his book, On Writing. It helped me a lot. Stephen King firmly believes in writing by the seat of your pants. In his book he mentions how plotting can make the story stale. Though just because he does it one way doesn't mean it will work for you.




    Best, Whiskey
     
  7. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    If I told you that I have it on good authority that S. King or Edgar Allan Poe wrote best with a flatulent pelican on their head and alligator clamps attached to their nipples, what on earth difference would that make?
    Would you want to try it?
     
  8. whiskeyjameson
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    whiskeyjameson Senior Member

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    You've discovered some sort of formula. I did this and just sold a book. :D


    Best, Whiskey
     
  9. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Didn't work for me. Damn! It'll leave scars on my nipples... :(
     
  10. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    No way! I have only tried the penguin hat and zombie shorts. I'll have to try this one instead! (i'm serouis i have a penguin hat)
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'd be willing to bet that next to no successful authors use 'character sheets' or any of that stuff...

    and king provided his own answer to your question, via whiskey...
     
  12. cboatsman
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    cboatsman Senior Member

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    Character sheets are useful for what they were intended to be: a reference guide for consistency.

    They should never be used to define your character and flesh him or her out before she even sets foot in your story.

    Caleb
     
  13. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Create a character that augments your story, then let the story augment them. Prefabricating characters is pointless usually. you'll be luck if they fit into your story the way a gradually developed char would.

    there's all different methods & techniques tho, obviously.
     
  14. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    True true. I think that i just don't find the heart is creating a more dinamic character. Wich i should find out how to do.
     
  15. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Characters are dynamic when interacting w/ ea/o & reacting to situation. again, the best piece of advice i can give anyone about character creation, is to create a char that naturally serves your intentions for your story, who naturally reacts to your situations the way you want, & who is changed by said sitch's in a way that advances the story. i said almost this same exact thing on another thread.

    Create characters for your story. not vice verse. general advice n all
     
  16. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    You sound about right on! Though most people that play RPG will see it vise versa. But i get that!
     
  17. thinking
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    character sheets are nothing more than ways to organize information about characters. There's nothing magical about them. They just ask basic questions and give you a place to answer them.

    I have never used a character sheet per se, but when I write a story I write down everything I know about a character onto looseleaf. Could I have used a pre-made sheet? Sure. But there's nothing special about the sheet itself.

    I personally swim against the tide in this issue; I tend to create characters before I start writing the story, rather than the other way around. Is this the "right" way to do it? Frankly, that's a discussion for another thread (and one we've had already. Just search for character chart!) Do you have to use character sheets? No! But you don't have to avoid them either. Write whatever way works for YOU.
     
  18. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    I wonder if there really IS a magical character sheet. That changes with your characters age and situation. That would be awesome!
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It would be awful. Dumbing down writing is the last thing we need.
     
  20. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    You don't have to shoot down my dreams...
     
  21. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    You certainly don't have to use a character sheet. Some do and some don't. I prefer to write my charactures naturally throught he course of the book. I do not use sheets.
     
  22. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thank you and AMEN!!!!!!!!
     
  23. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Okay, get a pen and paper and take notes:
    Edgar Allen Poe used opiates and alcohol.
    Stephen King uses an overinflated ego and thinks he's good - and his agent and publisher have duped too many readers into believing it, too.

    So what difference does that make to you? Are you going to start smoking poppies and drinking cinnamon flavored morphine (aka laudenum (good luck finding that at your local pharmacy!))? And, if you don't think you walk on water, the Stephen King approach won't work either. Of course that one wouldn't work anyway because you don't have a library of mediocre books and a couple of pretty decent ones on a shelf along with an established name as a writer.

    An old Chinese saying (roughly translated) says, "It is a fool who puts burning hot soup in his mouth and will not spit it out and be thought a fool".
    In other words ... Do you want to LOOK foolish or BE foolish?
    Same theory, different saying (Love those "ancient Chinese secrets")
    "If you stand across the street and see two men fighting, you don't know which one is right and which one is wrong. You only see two fools fighting."

    The question here is, which fool are you? The one who admits he is wrong (or at least taking the wrong approach or perspective) or the one who pretends to be taking the right path even though he knows he is not?

    In the end, this is just a long-winded, roundabout, (I'm really at a brick wall with my latest ms and killing time until I can properly work on it again) way of saying, "Don't worry about what the other guy is doing. That's not you." So, how does it matter what King, Poe, or even Po (Chinese writer) or ... WhiskeyJameson, for that matter use as a muse? If what you're doing ain't workin' quit doing it!
     
  24. Furbie
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    Furbie New Member

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    I used to use character sheets all the time when I started writing in junior high. Usually I didn't get much actual work done because I was filling questions that didn't even relate to the story I was trying to tell. They might work for some people, but I say leave character sheets to your dungeons and dragons games and try to focus on writing. Sometimes the best characters aren't planned.
    (I also notice that using sheets tends to result in Mary Sues or completely sterotyped characters. Just sayin'.)
     
  25. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    Have you ever wrote something. Then you have used what other people have used. If you haven't then nothing you wrote would be interesting. The fool isn't the one that makes the mistake. It's the one who folows him. Thats why you look at success and not failures. And to not make yourself foolish you look at your failures and not your success. This is how the world turns. And it will always be like this.
     

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