1. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Does your character baffle you?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by funkybassmannick, Apr 19, 2011.

    I've been working on this re-write, and interestingly this particular side character keeps saying and doing things that are unlike what I had written for her before. She used to be very kind and empathetic, but now she has little patience for things. Every time her dialogue comes up, it surprises me the way she says things, but this new persona is very distinct and very congruent. I like it, but I'm baffled by it.

    Anyone else with similar strange happenings with their characters?
     
  2. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, happens to me all the time.
     
  3. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Oh yes. I don't plan my characters out, with the exception of one book, so they walk all over me :D I like them though, usually.
     
  4. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    Static characters ones that never swing moods or undergo any transformation makes for cartoon-ish fiction, wait even Wilma Flinstone would get pissed at Fred and smoke would exhaust her ears my correction

    Static characters ones that never swing moods,change minds,have faults or undergo any transformation makes for lousy fiction not matter how well placed the commas may be

    Congrats
     
  5. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    I stole someone else's character and he wildly swung from how I normally write him. (Granted, the way I normally write him includes jokes that his voice actor made in the recording booth.) After dragging him into author-space and cussing him out, I decided to run with this interpretation.
     
  6. DeNile
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    DeNile Senior Member

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    Happens to me all the time. I have characters that like to materialize out of nowhere too. And stupid Lucillia who refuses to tell me anything!
     
  7. J.D. Rand
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    J.D. Rand Member

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    This is something that I sometimes keep running into myself, as my characters develop. There was this one guy who went from an old serial killer to an adolescent techie in a matter of hours.

    Not to mention I have another character who, a few months back, was supposed to be introduced post-mortem - she was going to be the MC's missing mother who was only ever mentioned by other characters. Cut to now, and that barely-mentioned character grew a personality and not only 'demanded' me to be included as a major character in my series, but that the first book I write would be about what she goes through before the events I had planned out previously.

    At this rate, said character may end up hijacking the MC's position entirely, and as I was writing this sentence, I just figured out why. The mother comes from a much more normal background than her daughter and is someone I can relate to better - being a regular adolescent who finds herself, along with a bunch of other people, on the run from a dictatorship of a government hell-bent on having them killed, all because they happen to be descendants of a former ruling family before said dictatorship took power. When I try to figure out how Vera Gatz would react to a particular situation, all I have to do is ask myself, "What would I do if I had to go through that?"

    In other words, characters can be unpredictable. Which I believe is a good thing, since they are growing according to themselves, and not being forced to fit a certain mold. It's what turned a 14 year-old Mary-Sue with streaks of silver hair, high-tech armor, a katana, and psychic powers, into a 34 year-old Special Forces sergeant with nothing but his squad, his gear, and his wits to pull him through the conflicts he faces.
     
  8. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I feel alone. My character's never really baffle me. However, I'm a big planner, and I tend to reuse my characters over and over (I'm not gonna publish any of it anyway) so I know them extremely well. None of the crazy stuff they do seem to surprise me.
     
  9. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    Absolutely.

    Somehow my sweet, patient love interest and short-tempered antagonist switched personalities. Then they fell in love, completely excluding the MC. Even worse? My novel was planned in detail (36k outline) to eliminate surprises and they still somehow changed. Luckily it doesn't effect the plot... until the sequel. :p
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not really but I have long since realised that I am purely here to type the words they want me to type.
     
  11. TheSpiderJoe
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    TheSpiderJoe Senior Member

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    I'm with you on that one. Before I even wrote my novel, I had 20-30k word count worth of history and background information on each character. After getting to know them so well, I'd feel like it would be an injustice to change them in any way.
     
  12. lilix morgan
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    lilix morgan Contributing Member

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    I'm always, always, always surprised by my characters. I do my best to keep nothing set in direct stone, just a general overall sort of direction. I give them names, and let them come into themselves. Remember, just because a character starts as a one-type personality doesn't mean they won't evolve throughout the story.

    Take one of my background characters for example. I originally thought her to be simple, a voice to fill in the gaps, no more or less. Once I finally started writing her, though, she took a definitive turn of her own.
     

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