1. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    Does logic get in your way?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by bluebell80, Jul 12, 2009.

    This may seem like an odd question, I know. But, I've been struggling with it for a while now.

    As the years have past, it seems my emotional status tends to be very even-keeled. I don't get highly emotional about things, I don't overreact, and I tend to examine things with an analyzing, logical point of view.

    The problem lies within my seeming lack of ability to create characters who emotional wrecks. It sometimes annoys me to do so. I guess since that part of my life is over with, it is hard to recapture the thought processes of an irrational person and generate them back onto the page.

    I find myself saying, "This character is flat, because I am leaving out the thought processes that create these emotions that I want my reader to feel."

    But then I have to ask myself, "Am I just writing the wrong types of characters?" Maybe I should be writing no-nonsense types of characters who are emotionally calm and very logically collected.

    Are there possibly people out there who are totally opposite of me, them being highly emotional trying to write logical characters?

    Or have I finally just gone nuts?

    I need to go ponder this some more.
     
  2. Anders Backlund
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    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

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    I think you are using the word logic wrong here. You're talking about composure. Being logical isn't necessarily the same thing as being calm or balanced.

    That said, are you sure the character is flat? Does he or she appear flat to other people who've read the story? Maybe you are getting worked up over nothing.

    I wouldn't recommend sticking to only calm and collected characters, at any rate. Restricting oneself to only writing a single type of character is never a good idea.
     
  3. JavaMan
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    JavaMan Senior Member

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    If logic is your strong point, it would be very good to understand that there are different forms of logic. Did you know, according to one particular system, a person can prove that 1 plus 1 equals 3?

    Some people would say that logic need not be only rational. Making love could have it's own form of logic - just not an overly mental one.

    Another example is that certain sciences end with -ology or -ological but, again there is not one form of clear reasoning. Very often, logic is much more than premise, premise, conclusion and/or mathematical cohesiveness.

    I mean think about it - the greatest discoveries in physics within the last 100 years seem to be anything but logical in the ordinary sense of the word - except to either the madman or the religious.
     
  4. Ferb
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    Ferb Member

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    Logic gets in my way in that I can no longer write stuff about flying chairs, magic powder, or other bizarre things I'd happily write about as a kid. I've been trying to revive my imagination, but so far no good. I'd feel so compelled to explain the logic behind everything I'd end up screwing myself over.

    As for your problem, I think it's just something you have to work on. For the most part I'm logical in that I use my head rather than my heart. However, I recognize that not everyone is like me, and not everyone approaches a problem the same way that I do - and I'm thusly able to come up with characters who are the exact opposite of me. I think writing is about empathizing; it's about understanding how different people react to different things. You don't have to be an emotional person to understand how one is like, and I think it's perfectly logical to be emotional - if you know what I mean.
     
  5. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    I think the problem here is not so much that you can't write more, er, emotional characters, it's that you're feeling uncomfortable about writing characters that are too similar to you and to each other.

    In my opinion, there's no problem with having characters that are similar to you - in fact, it can be rather (deceptively) easy in the sense that you understand yourself more so than someone opposite your personality. However, even if all these characters were similar - like in your case being calm and composed - that doesn't mean they can't have their individual differences.

    After all, if you think about it, there are many types of "calm" and "logical" personalities. Are they calm in the sense that they will never fight back, no matter what, and that they are the ultimate pacifist? Or does that mean that they just smile slightly, and then do some insane twisted manipulation to achieve their ends? Or are they just really bored with everyone, cynical and misanthropic?

    For example, the main characters from my two big projects right now are remarkably similar - they're gentle, considerate, but indecisive and confused adolescents. But even if they're pretty much archetypical "nice guys", there's quite some important differences. One guy is chivalrous because he is desperate to regain his lost innocence, since it seems that his world is going down the drain way too fast. The other guy is nice because he always feels like a complete jerk, so he wants people to have a good impression of him - i.e., he has a problem with self-image more so than the other guy.

    Basically, in my opinion, the outside attitude is not as important as the reasons behind it, and by giving your characters different reasons for doing things, different backgrounds for why they may act "logical" and "calm", they become much deeper and realistic characters.

    So I guess the point here is that don't worry about whether your characters' personalities as so much as the reasons behind them. That way, though normally your "logical" and "calm" character may not seem so interesting, by letting the reader know why the character is the way they are, it allows you to garner sympathy and understanding of that character - for instance, if your character is only composed and analytical because he was once reckless and that recklessness caused a big disaster and now he wants to reform himself, that makes him more interesting.
     
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  6. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    Cybrx,

    You hit the nail on the head. That's what I'm having issues with, for the most part. I think I'm having an issue getting to the root issues my character's have...like their darkest fears kind of thing. I know what mine are...like dying of a heart attack (had several relatives die lately and the fear grew out of that), or fear of failure, not so much that I will fail at any one thing, but that I will fail in general in life. (you know?)

    I need to focus more on the deeper aspects of my characters...

    Thank you very much for your posts.
     

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