1. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    How do your characters start?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by R-e-n-n-a-t, Nov 12, 2010.

    100% of the time, whenever I try to start writing any fiction, it's the beginning that trips me up the most. The character needs room to grow, but he still needs to be relatable. I'm drawing a blank; I can't seem to make a believable beginning without adding some annoying filler material or making the book start off too fast. Any suggestions for how to create a character's life before the book would be very helpful.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    These are the first bit of my novels if you want to see more let me know don't want to put too much up as larger extracts are for the review room. Because mine is first person I can introduce a dialogue that introduces them lol They are in varying stages of draft and work so please excuse most are really rough.

     
  3. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    Huh... I thought I made up the name Fyren. That's a slightly unusual coincidence; I won't be using that name now.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why not use it unless my work gets published it will be fine and even then. I made it up by tweaking Ryan to go with my fire people his brother is Blayze and his grandfather Ember lol No need to be precious about names.

    Unless yours is a 130+ man who used to be going out with a sparrow but now is trying to have an affair with the Father Abbot Socrates etc he is hardly same character, very few of my characters have I managed to change the name of once given to me it is part of them. I managed to turn Sothy into Ivory and Anya became Alice. He is Fy for most of the book anyway.
     
  5. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    That was just a banked name idea anyway, I wasn't writing anything using it at the moment.

    As for a beginning, these varying accounts of family interaction were pretty helpful. Perhaps the SC can have a mother who was very kind to them, but very evil in the eyes of the rest of the village, basically bitter and malevolent to everyone else. The MC, I think, should be living with the organization he eventually betrays, after learning of an inhumane conspiracy. Thanks for the help.
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    no problem it has taken me lots of writing and rewriting to get a beginning I was happy with for each book. Only the top one for my NaNo came immediatly. I hadn't even intended to have Fy in this book but he is now one of my main characters. I had assumed he would be dead (Angus is) but he is an immortal too.
     
  7. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    Location:
    In the land of writing
    Well normally I outline.
    Name:
    Age:
    Personality:
    Likes:
    Dislikes:
    Gender:
    Others:
    Bio:
    The Bio is a bit tough for me, I can't get over a page long.. But slowly it comes to me. But it help by looking in the likes and dislikes to make the bio longer.
     
  8. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Most of the time my characters start off very vague, and I focus on telling the story a page or two, and learn the characters as they interact with the story. If I find out something that casts them in a new light, I go back and edit, but usually I feel like even though I wasn't giving much away, having built on that it all seems consistent with their later character, though I didn't know it at the time. :p

    It's not a good idea to cram in too much about a character to begin with anyway. One or two details the reader can cling onto in the first few paragraphs should be enough to get you through a first scene, and the more you write them the more will come out anyway, so when you settle back to really explore them, there will be a groundwork. Trust your writing. :)
     
  9. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    My characters emerge in order to deal with the situations that my plot demands. If there is a disaster in my book, for example, then I'd want someone to panic about it. I'd also want somebody to be strong in the face of the disaster and take the lead. This necessity gives birth to two characters. I can fill in details like name, age, etc. after I've thought about them a bit more.

    But in terms of how they start, it's all to do with WHEN they're needed and WHAT they're needed for.
     
  10. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mine form in my head. By the time I start typing them, I have a "relationship" with most already.
     
  11. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Try going for the "annoying filler option". Then when you've finished go back and delete the first chapter.
     
  12. thevelcroninja
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    thevelcroninja New Member

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    I recently came across this particularly difficult character. He didn't seem to have any personality or life goals. He was very uncooperative with the writing and deadened every paragraph I introduced him to.

    So I took him out of the story and flung him in with another character of mine who would never have met him. I told her to make him mad, and she did, in very silly ways.

    Then I could write about him in his story.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you're stuck, try pushing him into situations he wouldn't normally be in. If he's a pirate, stick him in the middle of a high school math classroom-- vice versa if he's the teacher.

    And I'm only saying "he" because my character happened to be male.

    I hope this helps. As to actual question part of this thread... my characters, for the most part, come to me in the early stages of writing, when I'm just freewriting and wondering what the plot will be. A few characters are already formed, in case I need them.
     

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