1. Winter_Azaria
    Offline

    Winter_Azaria New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne

    How can I make my character weird or strange?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Winter_Azaria, Oct 11, 2010.

    I have this character, although she is not my MC shes an important supporting character. She's meant to be a strange, heads in the cloud girl. How can i show this 'strangeness' without making her seem like some sort of mad woman. Here are some of her 'different' traits; she always seems distracted, overactive imagination, blatantly truthful, sweet and kind but has a very dark view on the world, believes there is no way to say what right or wrong, dislikes being around people, very low expectations of the human race and seems to have no fixed personality (she goes from happy to paranoid to angry but never goes into extremes).

    She's very hard to explain. How can i make her seem different without making her to hard to relate to. Are there any other ways i can make her seem strange?

    She might also be easy to hate, she does have the best looking man even though he is a douche and from my experience with teenage girls, being one myself, the girl who has the 'Byronic hero' seems to be easy to hate.

    Sorry for the spelling mistakes.
     
  2. Northern Phil
    Offline

    Northern Phil Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    UK
    It really depends on what your story is. From what you've said I'm going to take a guess here and say that its a high school drama.

    What you could do is make your character really good at something like Art or sports. You could then have them constantly going on about this subject to the point where they ignore everything else. Because she is so focused on this one subject she ignores everything else and gets poor grades and can't go to Art school or university of choice, this would give her the dark view of the world that you desire.

    It's just a few opinions, but hopefully that'll give you a few ideas to work with.
     
  3. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Clothing, manner of speaking, does she have a scar, funky glasses, a pendant she touches when scared, carry a cuddlie bunny rabbit etc.

    My characters that I wanted a bit more bonkers than the rest I represented it in their speech I have an Abbot who is verbose and a Housekeeper who panics, tries to talk posh and malaprops around anyone in authority.
     
  4. Tessie
    Offline

    Tessie Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,103
    Likes Received:
    62
    Location:
    Mass
    Also how she walks, carries herself, posture when sitting, and even gestures while talking (or the lack of it, which seems fitting in your girl's case). Those traits may be a bit too detailed, but those are the things I notice about people I meet. I definitely agree with Charlotte about speech. That is probably the most instant way to convey strangeness, weirdness.

    Your post wasn't too long. :) This forum is pretty moderate.
     
  5. HeinleinFan
    Offline

    HeinleinFan Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Messages:
    483
    Likes Received:
    33
    A couple possible strategies:

    A. Write her as reasonably over-the-top, then re-read your passages and cut out things that strike you as "too irrational" or "too crazy-seeming." That way she'll have a strong personality.

    B. If you favor putting in details, then sketch out the scenes involving your supporting character, and add in bits and pieces afterward until she feels fully-formed.

    Note also that a character can act somewhat inconsistently and still feel real to a reader, as long as their core opinions don't change too much. Your supporting character can be grumpy or sad or happy or paranoid, and the reader will buy it as long as the more defining traits (distractability, vivid imagination, sweetness, introvertedness) remain constant.
     
  6. Melzaar the Almighty
    Offline

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    UK
    If she has her head in the clouds, she won't interact fully with conversations - she'll zone in and out of them. I've written characters like this before... And it's also my own personality. If I'm trying to engage in a conversation, I'll often have to ask people to repeat stuff just because I accidentally thought too much about one thing they said and missed the next. Or if she's in a group, then have her only occasionally contribute, and always be the last to comment on a particular topic - sometimes several lines after everyone else has moved on.
     
  7. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,725
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    Just write her as she is, like any other character. Don't go out of your way to tell the reader she's strange. Let the reader decide whether or not she's strange. To some readers, she may be perfectly normal, or at least just like them.

    I think it would be a mistake to try to impose her strangeness on the reader. If I tell the reader that my character Bill is hysterically funny, but the readers don't laugh at him, I look like an idiot. I should let the readers decide if Bill is funny. Same with your character - let the readers make up their own minds about her.
     
  8. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    This character sounds a lot like me, except I"m pretty extraverted and I like the human race. I'm just very "out there" and often more focused on my own imagination and my own way of doing things than I am on my surroundings (except when I'm reporting, that kind of forces me to be in touch with what's going on, but that's something I've got to work at sometimes).

    Give this character her own way of doing things. Maybe she's unconventional, but her way works best for her so she does it that way without any second thoughts. Maybe she distances herself from cliques and stuff because she has no interest in the hive mind.
     
  9. wavodavo
    Offline

    wavodavo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    In trying to fit all of her traits into what I might think of as believably stange character, one thing I struggle with is her ability to have attracted and now hold the attention of school's best looking man. She's likely in hot competition for him with the type of girls that most high school guys yearn for--cheerleaders and rich girls--plus likely every other girl in school wants him too. So, you got some 'splainin' to do about why he sticks around her, especially if she's odd.
     
  10. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Maybe she can be beautiful and he actually likes her? And she knows something about him he couldn't share with anyone else.
     
  11. Zombie_Chinchilla
    Offline

    Zombie_Chinchilla Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ha ha, she sounds like Luna Lovegood. :p

    I'd recommend describing the way she speaks, what she say, her attitude, etc. Do you know someone in real life who acts this way? Non-creepily observe them, and think of how you would maybe describe them.

    If she's up in the clouds a lot, maybe describe that she talks quietly and like she's distracted, or that she says things that don't entirely make sense. I'd make her more of the whimsical kind of weird rather than "she needs to be in a ward" kind of weird.

    I hope this helps. I feel like I was just kind of rambling. :p
     
  12. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Another "strange" character to check out is Ruth from The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.
     
  13. Islander
    Offline

    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,542
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Sweden
    Your character can have a strange perspective on things, even if it makes sense. Eg:

    (looking at the sky) "What a beutiful sunset. It's like you mixed blueberries and oranges and a little gooseberry together."

    (in biology class) "Poor little frog. You'll never get to sing in the rain again."
     
  14. Islander
    Offline

    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,542
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Sweden
    Oh, I like that. Like, they both know the other has an alcoholic parent.
     
  15. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    yep or anything like that he could be gay and she is covering for him because they are good friends. Maybe his parents are abusive etc It depends how serious you want to be with it - it could even be as simple as he wet the bed until he was 12 or is scared of the dark lol
     
  16. Jones6192
    Offline

    Jones6192 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Shoreview, MN
    I usually give my characters quirks that I have. Such as: the comic relief character in one of my stories has a huge crush on actress Amy Adams, because I am really into her. It's actually quite cathartic, writing this character who is really an exaggerated parody of my own eccentricities. What fun!
     
  17. afrodite7
    Offline

    afrodite7 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    2
    -to make your character weird or strange,don't describe them that way.just have the other characters call them strange,let them be themselve.also ,have a reason they are that way.
    -i have characters in my story who are a bit weird.my main character is obsessed with the sticker on her amp-less guitar, and her boyfriend and is extremely detached from people/attached to people in an unhealthy way and a bit of a sadist.
    she doesn't think any thing is wrong with what she does but other people do.

    -thats the key;they're only odd if the other characters believe them to be.
     

Share This Page