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  1. superwriter357
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    superwriter357 New Member

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    help with a character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by superwriter357, Dec 1, 2009.

    im working on a may/december love story between an older woman and a younger man i have the male character figured out perfectly but the woman character im stuck on she is a former military nurse and she became a widow at 38 years old she is now 43 should my female character be tall or short fat or thin busty or not busty blue eyes brown eyes green eyes hazel eyes blonde hair or brunette or redhead ANY AND ALL HELP from my fellow writers would be appreciated sincerely superwriter357
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    My help to you, because I cannot obviously construct this person for you, is to ask yourself what is the purpose of this person in your story.

    What does she need to accomplish?

    What is the change she will experience?

    You cannot just create a person around which to write a story. That only "works" in bad Hollywood sequels.

    First comes the reason for the character. The character will then conform to the shape of the reason.
     
  3. deltaquid
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    deltaquid Member

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    Exactly. If you need her to save the MC's life, she should be more of a tough woman. If she's supposed to help him in hard moments but not get in danger herself, make her a nurse or secretary or something. Then, based on that, make her backstory. Why did she become who she is? How? When? Why/How did she meet the MC?

    Things like this flesh out characters slowly but surely without skipping important parts.
     
  4. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    This

    And this. The advice i would have given you but probably not worded quite as well as these to have put it.

    Fantasy Girl xx
     
  5. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah I agree with the other two/ three if you count it haha.

    I'd need to know what your thinking of doing with the story at least somewhat before I could really give any advice.

    - Steve
     
  6. superwriter357
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    superwriter357 New Member

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    Help with wife character

    dear writing forums i am an amateur writer working on a story about a female Marine Corps Officer and her disabled husband who is in a nursing home i have the husband figured out perfectly but i am not so sure how to describe the wife character tall or short blond brunette redhead busty or not busty any and all help with this would be greatly appreciated sincerely superwriter357 a proud member of the writing forums
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    As you can see, you already asked us this. Are you really expecting different answers now?

    It's six months later. Surely by now you can make a decision.

    She's your character.
     
  8. Arvik
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    Arvik Member

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    I also notice that you're only asking about physical descriptors. Those are only important insofar as they affect the character and the story. Take some time to think and see if that's the case. For instance, is she self-conscious about her height, causing her to be shy around people? Is she the antithesis of the blonde stereotype? Unless it's going to impact either character or plot, I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  9. Tamsin
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    Tamsin Senior Member

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    There is more to a female character than hair colour and breast size, as there is with actual real female humans. If that is all you are focusing on then she will make for a very boring read. If she is an Officer in the Marine Corps I'm assuming she has something about her beyond the shallow aesthetics. Focus on her character rather then what she looks like and you will create a much better story.
     
  10. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I'm very much in agreement with this. ^ Also with what everyone else has said.

    Trust yourself as a writer and don't lean on others to do your writing for you. You won't ever become a better writer if you do that. There is a big difference between brainstorming with fellow writers and asking them to do the work for you. Best of luck.
     
  11. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    Meh, in my opinion, figuring out appearances is a superficial detail and can be figured out on your own. Think of the character. What do you imagine her looking like? If you're really stuck, look at your other characters' (there should probably be more than the ony guy) appearances and pick different traits to add variety. In that horribly laugh-ridden new tween sitcom, Victorious, the director saw that all of his actors had dark brown hair, and asked one to dye (not die o_O). The next day, she walked in with bright red locks that just added more to her ditzy character.

    But, if you don't even have the looks down I suggest you look into her personality. Description can come into play later. If all she is to you is a busty brunette former war-nurse, then you character is well... flat. Not in aesthetics, but in characterization. And we've seen from all those Twilight haters that character roundness/flatness plays a big part in the quality of the story.
     
  12. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    Neil Gaiman manages to do physical description in single phrases for his main characters.

    "American Gods:" Shadow. Described as looking like "don't **** with me." That's all we get. He's also "big," several times, but not particularly often.

    "Neverwhere:" Richard Mayhew. Described once, as "that just woken up look" (or something close) that Richard didn't realise was often considered attractive. Nowhere else do we get description.

    We don't need much to go on when you're talking about a viewpoint character. Secondary characters, pick a small handful of details- wardrobe, facial structure, eye shape- and decide which of them are really important.

    Does it matter that some readers picture the character with blonde hair and some with brunette? Is there a plot detail where hair colour comes into play- a discussion about hair, a bit where the character is spotted because of her hair, a haircut? If not, it probably would be better to leave that particular detail undefined, so as to let readers fill it in with whatever they find attractive.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You may need to give a LITTLE more up front than that. For the first couple chapters, I was picturing Shadow as Michael Clark Duncan, until it was finally clear that Shadow was not black (and in the culture the story was told in, it did make a difference)
     
  14. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Yeah, there has to be a balance. Details about appearance are good. There needs to be a lot more to a character than his/her appearance though. Otherwise they're basically a a mannequin filling up space on pages.
     
  15. superwriter357
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    superwriter357 New Member

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    I need some help!

    dear writing forums im an amateur writer working on a story about a disabled man who is a patient in a nursing home and he is in love with his nurse unfortunately she is a Married Woman. Its a tell of sex passion sin and possible adultery now i have the characters down pat. but i now face another small problem. What should the nurse do? should she have an affair with her patient who loves her dearly. Or should she stay faithful to her husband who ignores her and treats her more like servant than a wife any and all help witht his would be greatly appreciate sincerely superwriter357 a proud member of writing forums
     
  16. BlueWolf
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    BlueWolf Banned

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    Have you written any of this?

    If so, you may already know who she is, and therefore your answer is there.

    If not, then, might I suggest you begin and see where the story itself takes you.

    This is not meant to be rude (far from it), but a story as it is written can often explain things to the writer long before events happen.
     
  17. Fantasy of You
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    Fantasy of You Banned

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    That is very much a decision for you to make. It's your story, after all, and what you say goes. Think about the nurse, play out the conflicts in her mind and maybe she'll reach the decision for you.
     
  18. Donal
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    Donal Contributing Member

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    Not comfortable making any of those calls. The writer unfortunately has to make the tough calls.
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    This is the third and last time you have posted the same question.
     
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