1. Del
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    Del Member

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    Fleshing them out?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Del, Mar 30, 2011.

    In my new plot idea (detailed here:http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=39935) has 5 outlaw characters, but I don't think that I've thought about fleshing them out.

    Each is basically just a criminal that uses their own special weapon and metho, but their personalitys haven't been fleshed out, all I have for each are their names and small specifics, listed here:

    Ol' Blind Billy: Blind, but is very accurate, heavy drinker, uses a revolver with extended barrel for accuracy

    One Arm'd Joey: Has one arm but is a master of knife combat, uses a long dagger (basically a machete) and throwing knives, has a short temper.

    Night Hunter: Traditional native american, uses a tomahawk and bow and arrow that is his family's heirlooms, is very respectful to his ancesters and land.

    Gunpowder Amos: Large, tall, strong man, wears a vest covered in dynamite which he uses, as well as 3 double-barreled shotguns that're held together with a mechanism made from a series of ropes, has very little intelligence.

    Black Eye Grey: Calm, calculating and remorseless. Never misses a shot, fast reloader, fast shooter and almost unstoppable. Uses a modified Mauser c96, with extended ammo capacity.

    Each of these characters only have these specifics, no defining personality, just these quirks. Any help fleshing out these character's personality is apprieciated.
     
  2. Daisy215
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    Daisy215 Member

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    Well ask yourself some questions about them:

    How did he get that family heirloom? Where's the family now?
    Why are they outlaws?
    Who do they have in their lives other than themselves?
    How long have they been outlaws? What were they like before that?

    Just a few questions can lead to dozens more to help build backstory.

    Also what mannerisms or skills might a bankrobber or conman need to have?
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I find the following helps me flesh out my characters:

    1) I 'cast' the main character - I have a stable of actors that play a variety of roles and can sing that I use and can stalk round youtube. They allow me to know little details about my characters and I can listen to them sing whilst I work.

    2) Scrapbook with clothes and the actor I have cast them with.

    3) Talk to them and write scenes and short stories with them in.

    4) Word box, words and phrases unique to them that I wouldn't use normally.

    5) Expect them to be a little flat intially nothing fleshes out a character more than writing a story with them.
     
  4. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Just write a short story of their history good and bad things, strengths and weaknesses
     
  5. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    Ol' Blind Billy: Blind, but is very accurate, heavy drinker, uses a revolver with extended barrel for accuracy
    Why does he drink heavy, does he drinking ever spawn dire consequences? Does his drinking affect and/or annoy those around him.

    One Arm'd Joey: Has one arm but is a master of knife combat, uses a long dagger (basically a machete) and throwing knives, has a short temper.

    Is his short temper defective behavior does he throw uncalled for hissy fits.How did he become a master kinfe flinger ?

    Night Hunter: Traditional native american, uses a tomahawk and bow and arrow that is his family's heirlooms, is very respectful to his ancesters and land.
    Does he resent the whiteman ?

    Gunpowder Amos: Large, tall, strong man, wears a vest covered in dynamite which he uses, as well as 3 double-barreled shotguns that're held together with a mechanism made from a series of ropes, has very little intelligence.
    Amos was a college football washout thanks to an injury ? Does Amos have a hard time finding shoes in his size?
    Black Eye Grey: Calm, calculating and remorseless. Never misses a shot, fast reloader, fast shooter and almost unstoppable. Uses a modified Mauser c96, with extended ammo capacity.
    What is the root of his remorse? Where did he grow up? What is his favorite Beatles song ?
     
  6. Del
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    Del Member

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    While everyone has given me great advice, which I am currently working through, using each idea I've been given, in order to see what gives the best result. But I'm going to answer these questions, maybe it'll help others to help me flesh them out.

    Q1: Ol' Blind Billy, drinks heavily to help with the pains in his eyes, his eyes having been gouged out (though his other senses are hightened, due to this), his drinking does take away his great accuracy which would thus spawn dire situations but the only people he's around are his fellow outlaws, who're annoyed by his constant drunken rages, but can't say anything about it.

    Q2: One Arm'd Joey's short temper issn't really defective, as his temper is mainly only when he either misses a target or when his henchmen perform one step outside of his plans, his master knife abilities could come from his past as a street performer, performing great feats using knives.

    Q3:Night Hunter does resent the Whiteman, as they destroyed his family's land and built train tracks, buildings and roads over it, as well as them having killed his entire family.

    Q4: Gunpowder Amos couldn't have been a football player, as this plot takes place in the Wild West era, and Amos doesn't have any trouble finding shoes in his size as he wears boots made by sewing a few boots together.

    Q5: Black Eye Grey has no remorse, which is a result from what he has seen, he claims he stared death right in the eyes and saw suffering in its greatest form, thus removing any bit of humanity he has and again, It's the Wild West era, no Beatles.
     

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