1. Acrimen19
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    Acrimen19 Banned

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    I don't feel emotional enough.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Acrimen19, Apr 18, 2011.

    I've been trying to get into the characters and depth of them. But I just seem to make them boring and uninteresting. Any tips on getting involve in te characters. It seems like I just want to get it over with rather then be interested.
     
  2. -oz
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    -oz Active Member

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    You don't have to be emotionally involved with your characters, in fact, there are multiple ways to develop realistic characters for a story.

    One method often used is to actually base a character off of a person you know in real life. You might base a personality on your best friend, or your girlfriend, or even an old man at church, using their mode of speech, habits, and mannerisms. Don't restrict yourself with just those close to you though; you can use celebrities or people from a news article if you're motivated enough. You can even base a character off of yourself.

    Another method is to put just a little bit of yourself in each character. This character likes a couple of your interests; this character has your moral compass; this character talks like you.

    Best is to merge the two techniques though, creating something new by patching together attributes of others that you know well, held together with the glue of one of your traits. Once you have a person "patched together" as it were, you can create a fake scenario that has nothing to do with your story and put your character through it, writing about how they would react. Your characters will eventually breathe a life of their own, and fit well into any story of that genre.

    Hope this helps. Have fun!
     
  3. Froggy
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    Froggy Member

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    Practise :) - characters tend to get boring if they are too good or too stereotypical.
    stereotypes work fine if you don't have space to explain. A joke for example ;)

    Think about a character trait you don't like. Give it to the character. Any idea why he is behaving this way? Find out, give him reason to behave the way he does, make up memories.

    If you rather like story writing than character development, just write the prequel - the story of your character from birth to the point in life where they stumble into your novel... outlines work fine, but make sure to include how your character feels about having lost her favourite doll when she was dangling it over the polar bear enclosure at the zoo. just an example.

    There is no shortcut (ha don't we all wish) some people develop their characters over the first draft, then fill in the stiff bits the second time around.

    Quirks make people interesting. if you notice people on the street exhibiting interesting behaviour - take a note and refer to it when you have a character that fits...
     
  4. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    While the lovely people before me have given you advice, I have a question. If you feel uninterested and just want to get it over with, how is anyone else supposed to be interested?

    I don't mean to be harsh, but that sentence speaks volumes and I think you need to find something inspiring to write about so you'll actually be interested. Otherwise I don't know how anyone else will be.
     
  5. TheSpiderJoe
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    TheSpiderJoe Senior Member

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    If your not interested in your characters then perhaps it is time to either:

    1) Rethink the characters
    2) Rethink the story
    3) All of the above.

    You characters are what drive the book. People don't read novels just to vision buildings and the weather. I'd honestly suggest stepping away from this individual project and try writing some short stories to get in some good practice. Put them on a blog, have people critique them, ect.
     
  6. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    If your characters feel boring and uninteresting then it's likely your readers are going to sense that you feel that way from your work and receive the same impression. Write characters you enjoy developing and learning about - not only are you the writer, but you're also a reader, so write them in the way you want to see them. Don't expect anyone else to enjoy reading something you've found uninteresting to write.
     
  7. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Characters become interesting because you can relate to them in some way. Surely there are people you love or hate (or both) in real life? What do you love or hate about them?
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe write something fun ? For me writing is a big game - characters are like imaginery friends or playing with dolls - kind of a combination of the two really.

    Try a character/plot generator and try something making it as silly and fun as you can - just make it a quick short story.
     
  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Come up with new characters that actually interest you.
     
  10. The Lorry Driver
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    The Lorry Driver New Member

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    I always assign a relevant song/piece of music to my characters... This usually means that when I hear that music it stirs up an emotional connection between the character and myself. But hey, I've always been a crazy music fanatic!!
     
  11. slyfox
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    slyfox Member

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    characters we empathise with

    I don't remember who said it but the line is "always put your characters where they would least like to be", and this in itself will keep them interesting. Just like in likfe we only know people by how they act in certain situations - for example we learn about our colleagues when we see them under pressure of deadlines at work. The same applies to characters in books. It takes the reader a whole book to get to know your characters (strangely enough it can take the whole book before the writer gets to know the characters too). Put them in diffferent situations and then see how they react.
     
  12. Cthulhu
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    Cthulhu Member

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    I found that deliberately writing a piece that was over the top fixed this problem for me.
     

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