1. Sophie-Jane94
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    Sophie-Jane94 New Member

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    Far too similar?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Sophie-Jane94, May 17, 2011.

    Hi all,
    To my annoyance I've recently realised that the MC's in my story are suspiciously similar to the characters in a series I was reading around the time I started writing. One of them is similar in appearance and personality, the rest in personality. I only just realised this now and now I feel like none of my characters are my own anymore :(
    Should I try and re-invent my characters or simply set my story aside and work on another of my plots?
     
  2. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    I would ask for a neutral review of both your work and this novel. From a trusted reader, of course.
     
  3. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Who knows?

    It might be better to leave your story to one side for a few weeks and then go back to it with an fresh mind and then see how you feel about it.

    In the mean time you could work on something else.
     
  4. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is the plot the same? Because if not there's no reason not to keep on using them... I'm assuming you haven't ripped off massive amounts of character motivation, and to be honest there aren't that many different types of character personality to work with... Writing them yourself makes them yours, so as long as situationally they're different it's not like anyone else will notice too hard.
     
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  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    ^ I agree with that - if the plot is drastically different, your characters will naturally act in different ways. Even if they have similar personality traits, readers won't sense a rip-off unless you have your characters face situations exactly similar to the ones in the series you read. In fact, if all you're talking about is a similarity regarding character looks and personalities, no one is even going to notice. And if you're worried about it, a character's physical appearance is easy to change without changing the story itself.
     
  6. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Your characters might be similar, but they are not the same.

    Example:
    Describe your best friend, then have five other people describe him/her.

    There will be common items, but I bet no two descriptions will be the same.

    We each see the person in a different light, even if only by one or two degrees.
    So a made up character can not be the same as someone else made up, just similiar.

    If you don't like how similiar, then edit in new/changes of quirks or attitudes.

    A 5foot blond is a five foot blonde, but personalities will be different. Even Identical twins are different. The same is true in our imaginations.
     
  7. Sophie-Jane94
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    Sophie-Jane94 New Member

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    The plot isn't drastically different, but it's not drastically similar either. I think I need to do some tweaking on my plot and leave the characters as they are, if not improve them even more.
    Thanks for the help :)
     
  8. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    I'm going to have to disagree with everyone else, apparently.

    Your characters may indeed not be yours. You may be reflecting characters that you've liked, or felt close while you wrote. If you're sure that's what happened, I'd suggest to just forget about them and create other characters.

    The problem is not other people noticing, it's that if the characters aren't yours, you probably don't know them well enough.

    It's like describing a celebrity you admire. It doesn't matter how much you've read about them, your knowledge will always be second-hand and it will be extremely hard to reach the level of reality you'd easily get if you described a close friend.

    Your characters have to be as close to you as yourself. Otherwise, it will be very hard to make them real enough to your readers.

    Just imagine how close are those characters to the writer that created them in the first place.
     
  9. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^This! If even the plot has lots of similarities you might be better off changing at least one of either characteristics, plot or looks.

    I also think thanshin has a point. Maker sure you know why your characters react/behave in a certain way and that it is not because the character you had in mind while creating him/her would. Maybe no one would ever notice the connection but the feeling (for yourself) of them not being 'your' characters isn't nice anyway, right?
     
  10. Sophie-Jane94
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    Sophie-Jane94 New Member

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    Yes I get what you mean.
    The characters aren't completely the same, for example, one of my characters is very cheerful and bubbly, and has a close, sisterly relationship with my central character, which is similar to the series I was reading. How ever in appearance, life experience, speech etc. the characters are completely different. I haven't ripped the characters off, I've just noticed certain similarities seeping into their personalties. I should be able to alter a few things which should hopefully sort things out for me
     
  11. Primequis
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    Primequis New Member

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    The situation you have here is an expy really. It's neither good or bad. With said above about it not being your character, that side does exist, but there is another side to that argument best to consider. Taking inspiration from the works you enjoy is not bad at all. With expies, you can easily guide character into being yours while just using them as the foundation. That way, in the end, they may not even appear to have much in common. It also makes it possible to explore certain traits or aspects of character not in original works inspired them as well.
     

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