1. Honeybun
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    Honeybun Active Member

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    Exploring a character through an object or an item

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Honeybun, Jun 9, 2009.

    In what manner could someone describe a character with regards to the things that are important to him/her?

    Associating characters with objects, through which they could be described and given depth. Do you think it's crucial to a story?

    Examples are more than welcome :)
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You would tell by how the person interacts with the object. A man who displaqys a sword on an otherwise bare wall, and takes it down frequently to lovingly hone and oil the blade is likely a skilled swordsman who takes great pride in his skills. On the other hand, it may be a revered heirloom, and the care of the blade may be his way of honoring the person who wielded it.
     
  3. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie is one of the best examples I can think of, off the top of my head.

    I don't know if it's crucial to a story, and if handled badly could actually be detrimental, but when skilfully done, it adds lovely layers.
     
  4. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I don't know that its ever crucial....the glass unicorn in The Glass Menagerie is a perfect example though...that one object and the things that happn to it are basically a metaphor for the character's whole life...Tennessee Williams uses those kinds of things quite often actually (the memory of Belle Reve in A Streetcar Named Desire fulfils almost the same function).

    It is the kind of thing that really depends on what you are writing though. For some characters, associating a particular object with them will allow you to bring out or reinforce aspects of their character, while for others it will just be tacky and unnecessary. If you have a great example already in mind, go with it, but I wouldn't force it if you can't come up with something that is really amazing.
     
  5. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I think little things about a person can build that character.

    Let's say he wears spiky bracelets and mascara.

    What about a guy who always carries his comb in his back pocket? He often runs in through his hair.

    What about a guy who takes a handheld gaming device with him when ever he leaves the house and plays it while he has to wait in lines, or has do wait anywhere for any reason. << That's me. That says a lot about me, right?

    A woman that has a portable makeup kit in her purse, and often checks her make-up.

    A guy that always wears a baseball cap. He's balding.
     
  6. 67Kangaroos
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    67Kangaroos Contributing Member

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    cool thread... nothing to add, really... i'll go lurk now :D
     
  7. Honeybun
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    Honeybun Active Member

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    Thank you guys :)
    architectus, thanks for the examples

    Kangaroos... thanks for passing by lol ;)
     
  8. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    Is it critical to include such items? No. But it certainly adds depth to the inner workings of a character.

    I like idea of including a small personal item in every character's bio. Sometimes its expressed in the story and other times its not.

    Example: pictures work well. It tells a little back story without telling a back story.
     

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