1. Elistara
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    Elistara Member

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    help! I'm addicted! (jk)

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Elistara, Jun 23, 2009.

    Not really addicted, but - has anyone else found they form a relationship with their story, and the characters in it? I haven't been able to write anything for a couple of days now, and have been having fun here on the forums anyways; but I feel like I miss the characters, like I haven't seen them in way too long!


    edit:

    Nobody? Hmm.
     
  2. OrdinaryJoe
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    OrdinaryJoe Member

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    I think to some extent we all feel this way. You miss your own creations. Nothing wrong with that. The one problem that can arise from this situation is you might not allow yourself to be as mean or destructive to those characters.Which they do need you to do. So being connected is good, being addicted to them??? Maybe not so good.
     
  3. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't go as far as saying "addicted", but I do grow attached to some of the characters. Enough that I immaturely sulked for a few hours after having to kill off someone I was really fond of. My friend's suggested bringing him back to life, but that's just daft.
     
  4. Show
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    I do not think the latter half is necessarily true. I am likely as addicted as is healthily possible to many of my characters(admittedly, some more than others). These are my creations, I love them in a sense. I care about them and what happens to them. I think about them so frequently. They are a part of me.

    HOWEVER, my few readers know me as being brutal with my characters. Odds are in every story, at least one major character is going to tragically die. Often times, it ain't pretty. Characters shot, stabbed, tossed out high rise windows, infected. I care about these characters, and thus I want them make their existence MEAN something. And sometimes, that requires me to kill them. Now, perhaps as a firm believer in an afterlife, it's automatically incorporated into my story, so it's not really the end for them. But regardless, I make very bad things happen to these characters I am VERY attached to. And I think it is because I am so attached that I am more in touch with them. I find that characters I am not attached to often don't get treated as memorably as those I do. (A weakness, I know.) But it tells me that caring about my characters makes me want to do whatever it takes to make sure my reader REMEMBERS who this character is. And sometimes that requires a tragedy that places them naked on a slab in the morgue. But it's because I care about them that I do it, not in spite of it.
     
  5. starseed
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    starseed Contributing Member

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    My characters ARE real people, to me. I love them. I definitely miss them so badly if I don't spend time with them. I love writing them and watching them have experiences, laugh, cry, learn, etc. I need them as much as they need me. I'm only on my first novel right now, but when I'm done I'm considering doing my other novels using the some of the same characters. I love them that much, and I don't want to leave the world I've created for them! lol

    I can only hope my future readers feel the same. :D
     
  6. Evelyanin
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    Evelyanin Senior Member

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    For me, the more I write, the more I become attached to the characters. It's when their personalities come out on paper that they become more alive. What I do is kill them off during the planning. I'm at a point where I am not really attached to the characters, so because of that, I am able to kill them off. If you don't mention killing them in the outline, then obviously you shouldn't kill them, because it won't add to the story unless the death of the character advances the plot. The only time you should kill a character that doesn't die in the outline is when you are adding a sub-plot in which the death of that character is relevent. Even in an "end of the world" action story, the death of a main character, whether major or minor, should always be planned out.
    As for missing the characters, so far I've only experienced it when it is the end of the story. Especially when you are reading or writing a series. At the end, you can't help but think, "It's over!"..... *sniff*..... It takes a little while for the fact to finally sink in. You won't be hearing anymore from the characters which you have spend hours getting to know. In the end, I usually get over it, but the moment is still sad. However, unlike you, I don't have that problem during the writing because I know there is still more to come.
     
  7. TheHedgehog
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    TheHedgehog Contributing Member Contributor

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    About a year ago I wrote my first novella and got really attached to the main characters. It was in first person, so one of the characters felt even closer to me. I experienced all of his hardships and turmoil, excitement and bliss, and it felt as if I was telling the story as another person who'd experienced it. When the time came for the story's plot to kill "my" best friend, I almost couldn't bear to write it only because it felt like this friend lived and breathed with his personality.

    Connecting to your characters will definitely make them seem more human and believable if you write true feelings, in most cases. If you don't feel anything when one character dies, chances are, the reader won't, either.
     
  8. Show
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    ^^ I agree. Why just now I wrote the chapter where one of my main characters succumbs to infection in the arms of his loved ones. It killed me to write it, but if I didn't feel so close to the characters, I don't think I could've even written the scene. At least for me, addiction to my characters is essential to my writing.
     
  9. seta
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    seta Contributing Member

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    When reading any story, if you pay attention to what the author does say about the characters as opposed to what he doesn't say, you can generally determine how the author relates to their characters.

    I imagine that by observing what the author does and does not write, you can determine a lot about the psychology of the author. For instance, in one book, rape was a recurring thing and a BIG problem about the MC's past. Therefore, I think it's entirely possible that rape is an important topic to the author.
     
  10. Show
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    Don't necessarily go by that. One of my readers kind of assumed that with my serial and it led to an awkward assumption that wasn't true. It might be sometimes, but not necessarily always.
     
  11. Ragnar
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    Ragnar Contributing Member

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    I call this, falling in love with a story, or a concept even. I miss a lot of stories, stories I read or see (in movie form) and also sometimes the ones of my own creations. But I find myself playing out the stories of my own creation in my mind in moments of quiet, rather than when I'm actually concentrating on writing.
     
  12. Elistara
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    Elistara Member

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    yay! I am happy I finally got some replies, I had started feeling kind of awkward!
    But I know what you mean about babying them too - liking them so much you don't let anything happen to them. I know what's got to happen to mine, in fact, it just came to me, and I don't like it much, but it fits sooooo well with what all else I had planned that I couldn't possibly leave it out. :(

    heh, thanks for the replies! :)
     
  13. Show
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    Do it anyway if you feel it's right. I was in that EXACT same position and I have no regrets about going through with it. Let your love for that character convince you to do it, because as a character that you love, they deserve to receive the best writing you can give to them and if that involves something happening to them that you don't necessarily like but know is the right decision, then so be it.
     
  14. JavaMan
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    JavaMan Senior Member

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    ROFL!!!

    Who says that writers are boring bookworms? It's comforting to know that there are other people who want to, and often do, make a career out of 'willful insanity' besides me. Writers are often very eccentric, I hear :)
     
  15. Elistara
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    Elistara Member

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    lol okay. any advice about how to put away a future bad moment to be able to write about where I am up to in the story? LOL
    Now I know what happens to him, I can't seem to think about anything else. I think I need to take a day or so to recover, because I can't let what happens to him in the future to impact what might have otherwise happened to him on his way there!
    *sniff
     
  16. Show
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    Taking some time off may help.

    Again, this is EXACTLY where I was with poor Danny in my serial. I knew that he'd die at the end of the season at about halfway through and for a while that seemed difficult watching him go through all of this things, knowing that he'd ultimately flatline from a bullet to the stomach.

    I decided, this is a gift. I know what's going to happen. So now I can make his life meaningful. Thus, with his death in mind, I decided to foreshadow it subtlety, and try to make his life meaningful and such by developing him as much as I could and trying to make him a character readers would be devastated over losing.

    So I say, take the chance that you know he's going to meet with a tragic end to properly build to it. Make the journey of the remainder of his life extra special, because you know where he ends up, so since you care about him, use that as motivation to bring meaning to him now.

    Hope I helped some! :)
     
  17. Elistara
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    Elistara Member

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    Thanks! I think I will be better this morning. Just needed the day to recover. And it isn't actually from the characters' death.. although I would imagine death might be traumatic too. My mc is gonna have to be tortured, along with his love, who he still hasn't admitted to himself yet, let alone to her..
    And I can't hold back on anything that happens to him before he gets there.
     
  18. J_F
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    If you grow attached to your characters, then I'd say that's a good sign. The characters I become most attached to in my stories are isolates who appear brash to the exterior world but are sensitive and vulnerable when alone or with those they trust. In the end, their personalities don't change, but they confront themselves and find some sort of happiness.

    I still haven't found the right character that I could possibly use for a novel or a series. Until then, I'll keep cranking out short stories.
     
  19. Show
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    Well, torture isn't all that different a scenario. Just take your love for the character and use it as motivation to not hold back because as a character you love, they deserve everything you've got.
     
  20. JavaMan
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    JavaMan Senior Member

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    Elistara,

    In my opinion, it may be good to look at your art as a (partially, anyhow) theraputic pastime - for you and your readers.

    I mean, what if Stephen King never took up writing? What would his life be like, where would he be employed, if at all?
    S.K. once was asked in an interview why he wrote about such things as he usually does and why. His answer basically was that everyone - some drastically more than others - has an 'alligator pit' deep in his/her mind. Hungry monsters that must be thrown a scrap of meat every now and then, lest they turn to the everyday, sane part of the civilized human.

    My advice is to find the courage to just run with it. When you think of the plotline and theme of any moderatly successful work of fiction, you'll see what I mean.
     
  21. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not feeling emotions for your characters is like having a car without tyres. How do you expect your characters to go anywhere?
     
  22. ChaseRoberts
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    ChaseRoberts Senior Member

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    That's a really good way of describing it!

    I've had one particular novel and it's characters in my head since I was 12. I've written it, gone back to it, gone back to it, and finally, I've got my finger out and I'm doing it properly. It's like being in love almost, there isn't a day goes by where my mind doesn't wander onto them. They're one of the first things I think of when I wake up, one of the last when I go to bed.

    A couple of months ago I did get a bit of a fright. Having had a mental image of my characters in my head, I encountered someone who bore more than just a passing resemblance, physically and mentally to one of my characters. I'd never met them before in my life, I checked and checked with them. But there it was!

    The worst part was, I was sitting there, listening to them talk (well, rant really, they were quite angry at the time) and I was sitting there, thinking to myself "I know you. How do I know you?"

    It wasn't until later, when I got home, I was like :eek:

    Spooky.
     
  23. KurtistheTurtle
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    This happens to me with stories I'm reading. I've never invested myself heavily enough in a story to miss characters I created.

    Are they hawt? ^.~
     
  24. Show
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    Gosh I hope that never happens to me. lol Luckily since I never have a chance of meeting any celebrities, it shouldn't. :rolleyes:
     

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