1. davidflynn
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    davidflynn New Member

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    Help on creating a character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by davidflynn, Dec 20, 2012.

    I need a little help on creating a character.I only have this set for it: his name is Flynn, he wears a mask and is shy and mysterious. I need help on something more like: personality traits, past, ideals and all the stuff a real person has. Oh, and the mask, too.
     
  2. popsprocket
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    popsprocket Member

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    Characters are very much the creations of their authors. No one can 'create' Flynn for you, especially not with such vague information to go on.

    Your best bet is to consider what you need Flynn to be able to do in relation to your plot and then make him capable of those things. If you have a specific theme or idea running throughout the work, you might also make him the embodiment of some idea that you want to convey. This is typically fairly subtle for main characters, but can be less subtle for secondary characters.

    The mask is easy. Ask yourself why he wears it. Hiding a scar? Part of some emotional trauma? A metaphor for something he believes or something you want the reader to understand?
     
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  3. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    First thing I think about when I see the name "In like Flynn". It might be useful to riff on that and see what develops.
     
  4. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Character's come from the author, and really needs to be the author's job to create them. As a wise woman once told me, writing is a solitary endeavor for a reason. The more people get their fingers into the pudding, the more it'll be messed up. (editor's not included in that statement) You created Flynn, and said he wears a mask, now the reasons will have to be drug out.
     
  5. davidflynn
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    davidflynn New Member

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    Yeah, I know, but I need some suggestions. Here's what I have now:
    Flynn- A normal city boy who lost his girlfriend mysteriously, and now wears a mask to hide the pain and suffering of losing the one he loved the most. Nothing is known about his past: where he came from, his real name, family, friends; the only thing known about him is that he lost a loved one, and when asked about it, he changes the subject quickly, using his subtlety, or simply says nothing, leaving a mysterious silence behind... Because that's what he is, mysterious...

    What do you think? I'm open to suggestions ;)
     
  6. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with what's been said, a character is the author's creation.
     
  7. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    You say that nothing is known about the character's past. I presume that's in the story itself. Do you as the author know what the character's past is?
     
  8. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not really correct that nothing is known about him. He knows, even if he chooses not to share. Even if, for some reason, he doesn't know -- i.e. somehow he has amnesia, then at the very least, YOU know. You might not know you know, but you have to find out. All of that stuff you list will influence his personality and what he does and how he reacts to people and events. I suggest you start writing some scenes with him -- even if they are ultimately scenes you would not put into the story. You need to develop this character to see how he will act when whatever happens to him happens.

     
  9. davidflynn
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    davidflynn New Member

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    Now I know how to do with Flynn. Thanks for the suggestions, chicagoliz ;)
     
  10. Jon Deavers
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    Jon Deavers Member

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    If you're looking to just flesh out physical traits, ways in which he moves, description of a physical presence, way of speaking, etc. you could always base him on a favorite celebrity or actor or film/tv character.
     
  11. DDNeal
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    DDNeal Member

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    Try psych profiling him.
     
  12. popsprocket
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    popsprocket Member

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    I'd think an important part of him would be figuring out why on earth he decided to wear a mask as his reaction to a troubled past. Most people become drug/alcohol dependents, so why something as conspicuous as a mask. A mask is bound to draw the question of everybody he meets. So does that mean that he secretly wants to be asked about it? Does it mean that he simply doesn't know how to feign being content to keep people at bay?
     
  13. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    Talk about bare bones...should we write the first draft for you as well? If you want to be a writer then flipping write. You gave us NOTHING.
     
  14. -oz
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    -oz Active Member

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    One more thing nobody's mentioned so far: put just a little bit of yourself into Flynn so that you can relate to him. It doesn't matter if it's a hobby, a mindset, a way of speaking, or an emotional state; so long as you can relate to the character, you can put yourself in his shoes and run with it. I'll second what chicagoliz said, write short stories with him. You'll soon embrace Flynn and your story will pour forth.
     
  15. domenic.p
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    domenic.p Banned

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    moved
     
  16. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Try roleplaying as your character in your story. Think of how you would describe a place and intereact with other characters.
     
  17. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why do you _want_ him to wear a mask and be shy and mysterious? Where did this come from? It sounds like you're looking at this character from the outside, making him look cool and exciting, then trying to make him an actual character. That's fine if you're able to do that, but the fact that you're asking us for advice pretty clearly means that you're not able to do that. So try starting from the inside, not the outside. If he doesn't end up wearing a mask, then so be it; a believable character without a mask is much better than an unconvincing one with a mask.
     
  18. Terry Turton
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    Terry Turton Member

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    I said Roscarch from the Watchmen film.Maybe your c. was burnt in a fire picked on at school decided to man up and take no more crapolla becomes marshal arts expert helps people who are in trouble [google vengence unlimited/the equlizer] the mask well thats up to you but i once saw this ant thought it would make an amazing super hero mask.

    [​IMG]

    Maybe he could respond to various cries for help through an internet site or he could work in some kind of trauma unit or in a police station doing some menial job like cleaning and just hear about various people that have/need help.
     
  19. XIII
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    XIII Member

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    To me, it's kind of sounding like he's one of those people who don't know how to feel. Flynn sounds like that sweet kid that has the dark past, but is too afraid to tell others about it. Perhaps the mask is because he doesn't like others to see the emotion on his face, for a doesn't have much emotion at all. Maybe he tries to get involved in the world around him, but is just too afraid to come out of his shell. But he is your character. To find who he is, you must reach deep inside and ask yourself, "where did the idea of Flynn originate?" And observe others. Watch how people around you walk, talk, and think. Do they crease their brow? Do they use hand gestures? Are they hesitant when it comes to entering a building? All of these can be useful techniques for developing a character's personality.
    But this is how I create characters. The path in which you walk to create Flynn is entirely up to you.
     
  20. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    Flynn could be a former Military man like a Green Beret or Navy SEAL or maybe former law enforcement officer and he has a bad temper that flairs up when he is pushed to far, he could also be some sort of former athlete like a wrestler or boxer and he likes to drink johnny walker red label scotch whiskey, and smokes cigars.
     
  21. Keiti Ryoko
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    Keiti Ryoko Member

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    Flynn. Certainly sounds dangerous. But childish too, like someone had high hopes for him once. The mask could be because most people with masks don't talk much, and he doesn't like to talk. My main question is, what kind of mask? A triangle bandana that goes over his nose, bandana covering half of his face, or an actual mask like to look like and old man? (Just an example.)
    As for creating Flynn entirely, why don't you ask him? Yes I sound absolutely out of my mind, but he knows more than any of us do. If you aren't like me and think you can create a character out of thin air, I suggest taking XIII's advice.
     
  22. Dannabis
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    Dannabis New Member

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    I often find that characters create themselves. There are a lot of people who only vaguely plan their story before writing it leaving it to evolve naturally. I personally conform to this and find that it's quite common for characters to develop themselves.
     

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