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  1. s33point1
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    s33point1 Member

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    How do I get people to care about my characters?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by s33point1, Jun 30, 2012.

    Hi,
    Ive just started writing my first comic book and I would like to know how do I get people to care about my characters? What are something's you've written to make people care about your characters? My story's is focused on two brothers who are both princes and the whole reason I'm writing the comic is too see if I can get people to care about the two main character (the brothers) like ey were there own family. Please any help would be welcome.
    Thank you.
     
  2. Shane Grayson
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    Shane Grayson Member

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    *Sorry if this shows up twice*

    I don't know much about the Graphic Novel genre, but what I would recommend is to try and find a simple plot device to use; such as a love triangle, sibling rivalry, or one brother helping another one out. Make sure to have both brothers go through a state of growth; there are few people who want to see the protagonist digress in character. If you have time, check out Aristotle's Poetics (there are other forms of discourse on plot development, but I usually go with the old school philosophers). I am new to the forums and also have never been published, so please take my advice with a grain of salt.
     
  3. nhope
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    nhope Contributing Member Reviewer

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    The only advice I can give is You have to care about them first b/c if you don't, it will show in your words.
    Find a story line you can write and stay with and write that story.

    And read John Gardner's books on writing. They're the best.
     
  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    The simple answer is to write it well. The answer to how to do that has sparked millions of books, classes and websites.
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Hmm. Never read a graphic novel? Have you got a goal ... everyone loves a character who's going after something , be it a woman , an idea , or to solve a problem.
    I wouldn't heap on just good traits for you princes' either , given them a weakness the reader can relate to. Think about people you know and why you like them - but be honest - not all of them will have traits you like.
     
  6. lallylello
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    lallylello Member

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    What you have to ask yourself is what makes you care about someone? Did they nurse a sick puppy back to health? Help an old lady across the road? Do you sympathise because they had a difficult childhood and are overcoming it? Do they make you laugh when you're feeling sad? Picking up on little things that make you feel for another person should give you some material to work with and build into your characters.
    (Obviously don't use the sick puppy or old lady ones - a bit predictable!)
     
  7. marktx
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    marktx Contributing Member

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    Find something about the characters that you identify with. Remember that empathy and sympathy are not the same thing. "Good" qualities are not what we are talking about here--Human qualities are. What makes them tick? What do they want in life? What are the things (both internal and external) that are preventing them from getting what they want in life?

    Although he is talking about screenplays rather than novels, Robert McKee's book Story is very helpful in understanding some useful dynamics for creating compelling characters and stories.
     
  8. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    Make them realistic and individual. Don't write cliched characters, write real people who just happen not to actually exist.
     
  9. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why do YOU care about them? No. Really. What is it about them that makes you like them and care about them? Do you see your characters as real people or simply as a device to work your words around? Do your characters have real, genuine feelings, needs, goals, problems, etc. like the rest of us shmucks or are they just two-dimensional images?

    Define what it is about them that makes you like them and care about them (aside from the fact that you are their God Creator). Put that on the page and into your story. THAT is what makes them come across as 98.6 warm-blooded human beings and that is what you want to portray - the common thread of humanity in your story.
     
  10. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    To create characters that others care about you have to care about them and their fates. You need to have a quickening of interest as you write about them and their adventures. That excitement and caring you feel will seep into your writing and the reader will feel it.

    I also think it helps to be just crazy enough to talk to your characters in your mind and to have them feel like friends.
     
  11. Subology
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    Subology New Member

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    Perhaps early on in the novel give them a feature that sets them apart from other fictional characters. A distinctive imperfection, or something similar. Other than that, it's going to be down to voice, isn't it?
     
  12. EstherAnn
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    EstherAnn New Member

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    I'm told you have to make them believable. Get to know them very well, let them make mistakes, we all do. They have to be strong characters is another thing I'm told. Just bring them to life.

    But always let them win in the end.
     
  13. vVvRapture
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    vVvRapture Member

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    I actually don't agree with that. I don't think characters need to win every time, especially if they are built up in such a way to become the people's champion or something to that extent.

    I think you just have to build your character in such a way that they are not only believable, but can be related to. Even the most inhuman of characters can still be cared for if they show a weakness or emotion or strive for a goal they may not achieve or will take a lot out of them to do so. You also have to build the world around them to allow the character to be justifiably believable and one that can be related to. If you can get the reader to not only believe in the main character, but also realize that, my lord, the conflict they are going into is indeed a dangerous one, I hope they survive...well, you've done a good job.

    Another point: for a reader to care about a character doesn't mean they have to show sympathy or feel for them or anything like that. Maybe at some points, yeah, but many characters have readers that care about them because they are really damn awesome or something like that. For example, Batman - yeah, there are times when you feel for the guy due to a death or something that happens to him or his childhood or whatever, but most people care about Batman because Batman is amazing and destroys people. So, it goes either way.
     
  14. Annojo
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    Annojo New Member

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    Think about their lives BEFORE you let your story begin. Where did they go to school, was there some rivalry going on between them, what were their girl- (or boy-)friends like, what was/is their favourite food etc, etc. You don't have to bring all that into the story you are about to tell, but this background information does help you to create believable characters. Success!
     
  15. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    The character's motivation to reach their goal is what may get people into caring about your characters.
     
  16. rick_danger
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    rick_danger Member

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    make it like real life people.
     
  17. Darin Peaker
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    Darin Peaker Member

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    It's been said, but care about them yourself. And give them at least one or two redeeming characteristics.
     
  18. maidahl
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    maidahl Banned

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    Wish you were every character. Afterwards, you're the author, not during. Relating to your words can really make the 3D
     
  19. Darin Peaker
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    Darin Peaker Member

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    Oh, and give them a problem or goal that people can relate to. Miserable boss, winning the girl, or simply surviving.
     
  20. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I'd agree with all the rest and add one more thing. Make them in some way someone your readers will identify with. Most people want to see themselves in them. They want to think, now that's what I would do or feel in their situation. If they can't identify with them in some way, then at the best they will be strangers, and we don't care about strangers in the same way that we do about friends.

    As for the graphic side of things, don't know. I don't read comics so what I could tell you would probably be stereotypical and cliched. But I think the same principle sort of applies. Draw them in a way that people would say, I could be like that (even if only in their dreams).

    Cheers Greg.
     
  21. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is probably the only thing that hasn't been said, and that is: You need a story.

    Without a driving plot, you cannot showcase your characters and thus, no one can ever "read" them, let alone care.
     
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  22. MistKestrel
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    MistKestrel Member

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    I think one of the best ways people actually care for the characters is if you can relate with them in one way or another. Even in a Fantasy story, the character should still have some relatable experinces, or traits. This makes you feel more close to the character, therfore caring more about them.
    I have read a few graphic Novels, and I think the same principles apply, yet you may portray them in slightly diffrent ways. E.g make the artwork really emphasize the charaters feelings.
     
  23. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    Mckk said it.. You need a story, before you can make readers care about your characters.. How else will you draw their attention in enough to have them care in the first place? The good news is, you chose the comic book, which, essentially, is dialogue.. one of the best avenues of showing character, imo.

    Now, since comic books, for the most part, rely on dialogue, letting the pictures detail the action, with the occasional expose thrown in, its time to start paying attention to how you speak, how others speak. Start listening in on conversations, recording them even. I have a friend writing a play, and he's been recording his friend's conversations, in an attempt to gain some insight into the rhythm of conversation, and the words used.

    When you have an understanding of conversation, you just created feel and now your readers can relate. Next is word choice, and expressions, that help define the character and give them seperate personalities.

    I hope this helps.. This is the creative process I go through, when forming dialogue for my prose.
     

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