1. MikesterManifest
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    MikesterManifest Member

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    Help developing a perfect character?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by MikesterManifest, Nov 4, 2014.

    I am making a female character who is a cherubin angel. All the angels in my universe are supposed to be perfect beings that protect a not-so-perfect world (Earth and humans.) How does one write a character without any flaws without literally flat-out saying it in the story?
     
  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Through her actions, dialogue, and narrative. Is it from an outside PoV? They can mention how precise or expertly she is or unusually adept.
     
  3. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    You pretty much have to come up with a specific set of standards that define perfection in your story and have your angels follow that.
     
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  4. karmazon
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    karmazon Member

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    It depends on the context of what "perfect" means in the world of your story.
     
  5. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    First and foremost, is this a primary or secondary character? A perfect character might work in a secondary role, but if cast as a main protagonist, I can't think of much that would be more aggravating. Who wants to read about Perfect Pete. What room is there for growth if Pete is already perfect?

    In doing a perfect character you would loose an inherent part of fiction, the evolution or devolution, as the case may be, of the protagonist.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, add another voice to the 'you need to decide what perfection would look like in your universe' side.

    Like, is it 'perfect' to be completely selfless? If so, you could show your character martyring herself for others. But I'm not sure that would be 'perfect' in all worlds.

    Is it 'perfect' to be completely obedient to the will of, I assume, God? Easy to show that, but again, I'm not sure it would be classified as perfect by everyone. You'll need to figure that out.

    I think your real challenge may be how to make this character interesting, assuming you want her to be. If she's perfect, would there be emotion? Certainly no inner struggle... would she just be low-level peaceful all the time, no matter what was happening? Might be kind of hard to make her appear sane, in that case...
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Perfect characters are lackluster.
     
  8. The Monster of Surrealton!
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    The Monster of Surrealton! New Member

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    If you want a perfect character, you should make perfection their flaw.

    Kind of like Superman, who is an ideal symbol of goodness, but is blinded by his self-righteousness and idealism such as in Kingdom Come, ultimately learning from his mistakes.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Not even the Abrahamic mythos of angels (that has changed soooooo much over time) ever paints angels as perfect. They make war on god. Some go down and have sex with humans after being expressly forbidden from touching them. They are consumed by jealousy and indignation at how god put Adam above them. One of them, Lucifer, The Morning Star, is cast into hell to rule the underworld (such an obvious pull from Greek Mythology, Hades). He's not a red horned demon with a pointy tail and trident. That image came much later as Christianity spread up into Europe and appropriated features of the gods already existing in those areas and applied them to Lucifer in order to demonize those images. Lucifer was the most beautiful and beloved of the angels.

    Cherubim have been many things over the ages. The fat little baby angles of Renascence art are not cherubim, as is often thought. Those are putti, innocent souls. Cherubim are fierce, animal headed creatures that to modern eyes look a lot more like what we call demons, than angels. If they are perfect, there is little point to them. In perfection, you introduce, you beg for deus ex machina to enter your story. If they are perfect, they will always do the right thing. They will save those needing saved. There can be no conflict if that safety net is always at the ready. And even if you don't have them do those things, if they save the day even once, you set up the LotR Eagles Conundrum. The Eagles could have saved the day on so many occasions, and even devout lovers of LotR begrudgingly admit this basic flaw in the story.



    I say make them imperfect and conflicted. I would be resentful if I were a fierce-as-fuq, fire shooting, Lion-Eagle-Tiger headed cherub and I was tasked with saving little soft, disposable, stupid, stupid, stupid humans all the time. There's an opening for conflict. ;)
     
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  10. MikesterManifest
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    well the point is i already have established characters with flaws, actions guided by emotions, prideful people, and some selfish people. The way it will make her interesting is, her interacting with them.
     
  11. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    This still doesn't make a whole lost of sense. Are you looking at her as a primary character, or with a secondary supporting role? What you've descrbed above is a run of the mill fictional construct. All characters are inherently flawed, we don't need a list of their flaws. We need to know more about her within the construct of your world's definition of perfect.

    Take a little time to reread some of the recommendations above. Decide whether she's going to be a primary, (main), character, or a secondary, (supporting), character. Look into folklore, too. Because as Wreybies stated, angels are not perfect, the stories from creation Christianity and Judaism, say as much.

    I know I'm being stiffrumped about this, but I think you're doing yourself a disservice by trying to write a perfect character. Perfection is alien, frightening, and as Cogito said, lacklustre. There is no room for developement or enrichment. There is nothing about sheer perfection that is going to lend itself to empathy from a normal reader. The only thing it will do is aggravate most discerning readers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  12. MikesterManifest
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    MikesterManifest Member

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    the story isnt revolving around one character only.
     
  13. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    I gathered that much, and useless you're Hemingway, doing the Old Man and the Sea, it shouldn't. Take into account the questions that have been posed. Where does your character fit into the context of your story? Is she the main character or is she a supporting character? Basicallly, what I'm breaking this down to, is the story told from her point of view or are you following another character's storyline, with interactions with the aforementioned angel?

    Readers need context. Otherwise, read the Book of Virtues. If you need a laundry list of perfect traits, it's a good place to start.

    Also: isn't (You asked for help with grammar on another thread...).
     
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  14. MikesterManifest
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    It's not revolving around her, or anyone for that matter. The story is going to be told in 3rd person omniscient.
     
  15. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Boats passing in the night, here. You're missing the point of the question, so to avoid derailing this thread I'll just leave it at the aforementioned...You've given the POV, but not whose POV. If it is told through multiple characters then your angel would be a secondary character. If you are telling this from one POV, other than this angel, again, it would be a secondary character. However, if in 3rd omni, you're narrating through that angel's interactions with the other characters, then she would be a main character. Give the readers a little context. Vague will not get you anywhere. Context is essential if you want a coherent reply.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014

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