1. Rebecca_Jayne
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    Rebecca_Jayne New Member

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    Do you connect with your characters?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Rebecca_Jayne, Aug 29, 2014.

    Hello all!

    Basically the question above. Do you ever find yourself talking to them? I do it quite a lot. I am quite a lonely person so they are company for me. They are always there, always making conversation about something. It is not all of them, just some and not even all from the same story! It is great - I get to know them better, have company, I guess they are like a second family. I usually just describe their appearance, give them a brief personality and they just come alive and shape themselves.

    I really come to love my characters! Is anyone else the same?
    Rebecca :)
     
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  2. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    a.k.a. imaginary friends.
     
  3. Rebecca_Jayne
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    Rebecca_Jayne New Member

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    No that is not at all what I mean. I mean that characters become the characters they are from the outline I come up with. It's difficult to explain but it makes sense in my mind.
     
  4. the Sídhe's Writer
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    the Sídhe's Writer Member

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    My characters tend to shape themselves as well. I'll give them a goal and from that, it's like they build themselves and all I'm doing is tweaking the finer points. I don't necessarily talk to them, but I do find random pieces of dialogue filtering through my mind between two characters. Character A and B discussing something as I sweep the floor, etc.
     
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  5. Bjørnar Munkerud
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    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

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    I talk to myself about my characters a lot, but I do that about others' characters and about all sorts of stuff in general, so that's not unsual in my case. I don't talk to them though, though I have been known to pretend to be them to better understand a scene I'm writing or even just for fun. I am, however, emotionally connected to my characters, but I cry just as much when a character die in someone else's book as when it happens in mine.
     
  6. Jaro
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    Jaro Active Member

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    Oh definitely. I was recently 10,000 or so words into a story when I decided to start over at around the 2,000 word mark. I found it almost hard to do that since the character I was writing had gone through so many things and is now basically starting over fresh, yet in my mind she was almost a complete person by the time I started over. That was the first time I really had that kind of connection to a character. It was very interesting, for sure.
     
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  7. elynne
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    elynne Active Member

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    um--without getting too much into how freakin' strange the inside of my skull is: yes, my characters tend to develop as nearly independent agents, and I do have conversations with them. and sometimes arguments. the most fun is when they argue with each other in my head about what they're doing in the story. :p
     
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  8. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    I chat to my charactes yes. If I cant get a scene or plot part right I sit down and have a dialogue with them on paper, asking them to help me nut it out. What I learn about my characters is astounding in those dialogues. I completely rewrote my main character after one such conversation. She was not the person I was writing her to be. But once I allowed her full voice and expression to come out, the scene flowed much more easily and the story arc changed into something a lot more interesting.
     
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  9. Rebecca_Jayne
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    Rebecca_Jayne New Member

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    Glad it's not just me! Haha yes arguments between two characters is really amusing! :D
     
  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, Henry is tired of my manipulating the world for him and Emily, so he's not speaking to me any more. Emily keeps trying to calm him down on that point.

    My other characters haven't noticed I'm there.
     
  11. Joe_
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    Joe_ Member

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    I do in my mind. I try to think of how they perceive things in situations I put them in. Is this a scary place? Do I feel safe here? Should I be scared here? Things like that. A lot of times I do it after the scene is written to see if I catch anything I did not see before the scene opened.
    It would lend to description, "she looked over her shoulder although she heard nothing "; thought, "he stared at the young girl wondering how she could of possibly gotten in that shape".
    It helps me paint a better picture.
     
  12. Sheriff Woody
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    Sheriff Woody Active Member

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    My characters won't talk to me. I'm too mean to them.
     
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  13. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    yes, well, the small group of main characters anyway, ive spent the past 250,000 words with then and i still have a long way to go with them, they do almost feel like friends now... i tend to spend a lot of time alone, and they tend to babble about stuff in my head as im doing stuff like work and that.
     
  14. Empty Bird
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    Empty Bird Member

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    They talk to each other, often. I put them into different situations and scenarios when I'm going something, like: "Wouldn't it be funny if so-and-so had to do this?" then I picture them doing it.

    But's I've never sat down and had a full on conversation with them personally.

    It's kinda more like a ... stalker and stalked relationship, yeah? Or some evil creator who enjoys prodding at them with sticks from the shadows.
     
  15. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    My characters live in a entirely different reality, they have no idea I exist and I don't exist when it comes to my stories. I connect with them by mentally putting myself in their shoes and empathizing. They're my characters, not schizophrenic auditory hallucinations or something. Their voice is what I believe they would say, not what they say to me.
     
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  16. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    one thing i will say, is that it is the Dwarf MC that i am connecting with more, probably because he is the one that ive been working on the most of the characters, and i have managed to get to know him enough to be the most well rounded of characters
     
  17. Swiveltaffy
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    Swiveltaffy Contributing Member Contributor

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    I find that whether one is aware or not, a character (at least a large one) is often a part of the self; and an expression of some aspect of one's own person. I feel this, and by consequence, as I am forever in my own head, so is my "character."
     
  18. CastleEra
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    CastleEra Member

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    In my mind I see myself as the director and my characters all as actors who embody their roles to the fullest. I walk among them and give direction, watch them in their everyday actions, and tweak their performances to best suit the scene. But they are still independents with their own desires, goals and motivations. I can start out writing a scene with a character in one way, but because of his personality it will end up differently. The only way to convincingly emote an emotion is to have felt it yourself. Nothing is potentially stronger than a writer with a broken heart writing about heart break. He knows first hand how it feels and so his character's emotionas are just a mirror of his own.

    In this way our characters are not only individuals, but also representations of us and the people in our lives one way or another. If you take the time to flesh a characters past, modivations, scars, wounds, emotional trama, and their reason to press on everyday it is impossible to not be connected. Not only are you creating an unique identity, but you are creating another version of yourself, friend, or loved one. By connecting with these characters, we as writers can essential walk in their shoes. When something tragic happens we can write how this character would respond because we are seeing it through their eyes, past experiences, current dilemmas.

    For all of you thinking it might be weird to talk to your characters, dialogue with them and almost treat them as living; I would argue that it would be a detriment to your writing and even stranger if you didn't.
     
  19. khawlaazwar
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    khawlaazwar Member

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    Never try to take them seriously. It pains a lot. I'm quite like you, It helps me as drugs. Really!

    I ask help from my character, I talk to them, sometime I sit beside him/her. Mostly one character at one time only. No two characters came simultaneously.

    But, when I look back my past many colors of my past come at a time.

    I feel the strength of my character, I cry and people see me in quite amusing way. Like crying in Bus with a background of some music. In short, psychologically they affect our life very much. That feeling offers words so I like this sometime words do not come then I cry. Because no writer can describe the silence of the character.

    I do not have the names to it. It gives me pain. It makes me to keep distance from people, society and reality sometime from parents also. But, I think if you are writer then it worths to take these pains.

    One nice advice, if that pain is rewarding you then take the pain otherwise life is very amazing even in night also.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
  20. Rebecca_Jayne
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    Rebecca_Jayne New Member

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    Same here! My characters appear whenever they feel like it. For example, when I go down to the stables, my character Emma and her four-year-old daughter Daniella appear because Ella (tells people off for calling her Dani because she thinks it's a boy's name! xD) loves animals. When I'm listening to music my character Hope appears because she loves a sing-song and knows every word to every song from every musical! Mel has something sarcastic to say in every situation and Hannah often turns up because she's fed up of her two sisters being at each other's throats 24/7. Luke usually comes with her unless he's working. When they all turn up at once it really gets mental and I can't write! :L

    That all sounds quite mad!
     
  21. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Lol at last, someone like me! I often catch myself wondering if I'm doing something wrong because I've never had this "My character's talking to me" experience. I don't understand what people mean when they say their characters are talking to them. I don't get the whole "my characters won't talk to me so I can't write." And sometimes because it's seems like such a common thing to have characters talk to you (nearly everyone on this forum claims so) and I even get asked, "Don't your characters talk to you? What's your character telling you?" - because of all this, I feel like I must be missing something, not doing something right.

    Anyway to answer the question, but I suppose the OP can guess my answer by now - no, I don't talk to my characters and they don't talk to me. I write according to how I feel they would react and what's the most logical thing to happen given certain circumstances/perimeters that I've set up, and off I go. It is true that if I don't follow my gut, my characters start going out of character - so there's definitely a point where me writing isn't the same as writing true to the character - but I'm not sure that's the same as "talking" with them.
     
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  22. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    @Mckk @AlannaHart interesting thought! i never really thought about it that way.

    although when the dwarf MC of my novels goes "hey you writing anything today" i realise maybe i havent written in a while.... im normally like "its kinda hard to with my tight schedule of things if you care to see for yourself.

    i never openly talk to them as speak aloud, but in my head i respond, because well, a one sided conversation that no one can hear the other side to would be pretty weird
     
  23. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't take it too seriously when authors exaggerate about their inner communications with their characters. If they really had distinct personalities talking to them like a lot of them claim, there's a name for it and you'll find it in a mental health textbook. I read "my characters talk to me" as "I feel inspired by a strong grasp on my invented characters' identity" because otherwise I'd be worried for a lot of people.
    I see it in more of a metaphorical sense as I believe that's what's really going on. Of course we are in charge of the characters we create, but when 'they talk to you' we've built up their personality in such a way that their voices seem natural to us, something we almost hear, rather than actively generate.
    Believe me, not having schizophrenia doesn't mean you're not doing it right.
     
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  24. khawlaazwar
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    khawlaazwar Member

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    Wow! too much characters!


    Hey quite amused by knowing that we (humans) have same problems no matter from where we are.

    Just listen what these characters want to say you. What they really want to say to you. Their narration style will be very different. But they have some reason to tell the story.

    Do not forget that you are writer, and you have to write your feelings. Just try to pick the pen, choose the random words that come into mind and re-write when emotions are not at peak.

    This really helps.

    Do you feel your characters outside you or inside you? (You visualize them but emotions come from our mind).
     
  25. Empty Bird
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    Empty Bird Member

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    Wait...I don't get it... Do you mean you go to the shops whilst talking to one of your characters? Like...they're stood next to you and you're talking to them?
     

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