1. Shadow Dragon
    Offline

    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,483
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    In the land of the gods

    How long have you worked on your mc?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Shadow Dragon, Aug 13, 2008.

    So, how long have you guys worked on the main character of your story. Ares, the mc of my novel, has been in my head since early middle school.
     
  2. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,528
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    For short stories, probably a couple months before I start writing one, I get the main plot idea, and then the character(s) that will be in the story. Then, for the duration of the story they are under development.

    For novels, again, the idea for the story, then the character, and probably a few months before actually writing. And then the character develops throughout the writing process (about a year--give or take a bit).

    Terry
     
  3. Last1Left
    Offline

    Last1Left Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    You know that box next to the Wendy's?
    Hmmm... a long time. Probably about a year. I had to move him from a device that just moves the plot forward to someone who people could be emotionally invested in.

    Just for the record though, I've never wasted more than a minute of my time on those character sheets. My main character's second cousin? How is that relevant again?
     
  4. gigantes
    Offline

    gigantes Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    i've worked on MC about 15 years off and on. i had a decent shot to be lead singer in a reggae band in delaware but my voice couldn't keep up with the strain and it would have been too much of a hike anyway. since then i just do a little public enemy from time-to-time for my own amusement- that's about it.

    two demos are up at my homepage if you're interested.
     
  5. jrs7285
    Offline

    jrs7285 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Springfield, IL
    I'm like you, Shadow Dragon. My MC has been in the works since middle school. I've had the same story-line for a novel I want to write buzzing around in my head that long. Of course, as I've developed as a writer, things have dramatically changed about my MC and the story-line, but that's all part of development.
     
  6. Shadow Dragon
    Offline

    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,483
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    In the land of the gods
    Yeah, my mc has also been through a lot of changes. Though the story line has changed even more.
     
  7. Charisma
    Offline

    Charisma Transposon Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    2,704
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    Lahore, Pakistan
    Since I've thought out many novels, and written almost four (three in progress), I have many MCs to talk about. As a general principle, any character I pick is a part of me. Not that I mold my personality to create a character, but since I think of it, I believe he/she lives in me somewhere. Therefore, they have a complete reality in their own, and they're not like blots on the paper.

    Some of my MCs have been there since I was born, others have popped about recently. The first novel I completed had his MC live with me for about a year, and the novel I'm writing has had him live with me for about two years or more. Of course, I've changed the personality a lot, so if I talk about the personality, then in case of my completed novel, my MC lived with me for 6 months and the other about a year.
     
  8. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I may have a pretty good idea on my main character a few hours, or a few days, before I begin writing. I get to know my characters as I write them.

    But as I've said before, I take a pretty minimalist view of character creation. I don't believe in forming a character's background and appearance down to the last detail in advance. For me, as for the reader, the character begins as somewhat of a stranger and a first impression, just like getting to know a real person.
     
  9. Etan Isar
    Offline

    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,183
    Likes Received:
    32
    I may keep a character in my head a long time, because I'm not exactly diligent getting writing done, but I feel I have grasped enough to write them after no more than a day. I don't do profiles either, except to keep trak of alredy pertinent data, and names and appearance are easy for me.
     
  10. penhobby
    Offline

    penhobby Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    3
    I get to know my MC's as I write them. They become very real people to me, and sometimes they redirect me down another road...even if I don’t want to go there.

    I had a character once that I loved. He was I guess you could say the comic relief of the story. Anyway half way through the book I knew I was going to kill him off. I fought it like crazy, but in the end, I killed him. And I sobbed the entire time. I think spending too much time developing a character takes the heart and soul out of them.

    Suppose I had done an outline or a detailed character development for Drusten, (Dead character) depicting everything about him, all the way down to his death. I just don't think I could have written his death scene with the kind of painful emotion that I was able to give it.

    So that’s my method, which doesn’t have to be anyone else’s. So don’t roast me over it.
     
  11. tehuti88
    Offline

    tehuti88 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Michigan
    I work on my MCs for years. I never stop working on them (mainly through just writing them, rather than filling out profiles and such) or thinking about them, so they're always developing and changing. I don't tend to keep track of how long I "work" on them because it's such a natural process, and I usually lose track of the exact moment when I create a character anyway, they become so close to me, like they've always been around.

    One MC of mine, Damien, has been in progress since around 1989. My other most important MC, Charmian, has been in progress since I created her in 2001. It's the same with all my other characters, whether major or minor. They're always evolving. As long as I keep writing, Damien and Charmian and the rest will keep developing too. As long as one is writing a certain character they should never truly "stop" working on them. A character loses their dynamic quality if they do.
     
  12. Silver Random
    Offline

    Silver Random Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Scotland
    The Main Character in my current work is basically a re-invention of the main character in my first ever novel, which was several years ago, and had one finished and one sequel which is on the back burner, although it is almost finished. Obviously he's not exactly the same, but he is based on the original, with a bit more depth. So quite a long time for him, nearly five years.
     
  13. Scarecrow28
    Offline

    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Messages:
    496
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    That's Classified
    My character originally began as a mirror image of traditional adventure heroes like Indiana Jones as a result of my love for these kinds of movies six years ago or so. As I was exposed to new characters and authors and my experience grew, my character began a gradual evolution into the character he is today. His name, traits, backround and other details have changed, but he has remained the same for two to three years. So he's been around six whole years, although he's gone through some serious development.
     
  14. draciaveil
    Offline

    draciaveil Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    My main character's been in my head for about two years. He was in an adult fantasy story before, and then I put that storyline into my young adult werewolf novel. Since I've been writing it, he really hasn't changed . . . Since it's told in first person, it's always very easy for me to have a clear idea what's going on with him. I have some trouble with all the other characters, though.
     
  15. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    My MC was invented when I started the story and so I worked on my MC for as long as I've been working on my story. I found that it was easier to mold him because I didn't have a preconceived notion of what he was going to be like.
     
  16. Nilfiry
    Offline

    Nilfiry Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Eternal Stream
    Ideas for my main characters come up instantly so I don't work on my MC at all once he/she's been thought up. I immediately know at least 90% of my main character, but I also work on him/her as I write the story as needed.
     
  17. Adelaide
    Offline

    Adelaide Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Cogito. I once did this long character profile that was interesting to read, but in the end never spawned any actual material. I guess characters become real to me as I write them. Thinking about them is static; their movement, their actions make them alive.
     
  18. DeceranPlane
    Offline

    DeceranPlane New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been working on mine for about 3 years now...and I have six in the novel I've been working on so it's actually really fun, but confusing and kind of stressful all the same. It's really embarrassing for me to go back and look at how cliche and 2-D they used to be, but they've grown up so much since then, it's enough to make me cry ;D

    Thank goodness for character charts. They help a lot.
     
  19. Kio
    Offline

    Kio Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Southern Water Tribe
    I've worked on and modified my MC for five years now. By a couple of months, it should turn into six years.
     
  20. Alex_Hartman
    Offline

    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    338
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    At a desk staring at a blank notebook.
    I created Alex when I was in 6th grade (about two years ago). To be honest, she's pretty much the same as I am. I made three versions of her story, the first one in 6th grade. At the time Alex was in sixth grade. Then in 7th grade, I made another version of her story, but she was in seventh grade, had the same classes, and the same locker as I did. Then when I made the third version in 8th grade, she was in 8th grade. You get the idea.

    So I wish I could relate to the people who say that their MC's have changed with the story. Mine has only gotten older.
     
  21. Ore-Sama
    Offline

    Ore-Sama Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    2
    I've ben working on my MC for a little over a year now and it's amazing how much she changes as I write, changes I neve even planned in the first place.
     
  22. CobaltLion
    Offline

    CobaltLion Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Years! Years and years. The basic concept of the MC has been with me since I was about 15. (I'm 28 now.) He started in print back when I was in high school, and has been the MC in a series of short stories that I decided to expand into a full novel and give him some background. He's grown a lot in personality as I've written, and giveing him the "backstory" that I did in my story has really helped me to figure out what he's like.
     
  23. Gladiatus
    Offline

    Gladiatus Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    Well my main character has been in the works for over 2100 years lol.

    Seriously, I spent a few months figuring out everything about him, how things are going to turn out.
     
  24. Tinja
    Offline

    Tinja Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have two MC, from different stories ofcourse, and they have beeb in my head for 5 or 6 years. Meaning; as long as I've been writing.
     

Share This Page