1. Kheaous Amos Destra
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    Kheaous Amos Destra New Member

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    I think therefor i am!

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Kheaous Amos Destra, Feb 15, 2011.

    How human DOES a character HAVE to be can they be 1 dimensional and still feel human or do they have to have all there feelings and thoughts out for the reader to see or could they hint at there feelings and thoughts leaving the reader to feel and think for them?

    In a way the less real a character is the more real we make them, if a robot cries and it isn't explained why OR how it does WE as readers fill in the blanks and feel more for it because we make our own life and reasons for the character.

    "A lone metallic and robotic creature shed's a single tear as i pass by. "

    how does this sentence affect you as a reader and how does it affect the character of
    1. The robot
    And 2. The character passing by ?

    So it begs the point of as writers do we create elaborate characters and make the reader feel or do we ebb on the side of leaving enough blank that our characters are created more by the readers than us! ?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I personally let my characters create themselves they tell me who and what they are.
     
  3. -oz
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    -oz Active Member

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    I'd say it depends on what you're trying to accomplish. If you want people to insert themselves into your creations, leave it open to interpretation. If you want your characters to be viewed as you see them, explain their emotions. Even if you explain their emotions, people will find a way to relate themselves to that character, provided their emotions are rational and "normal."
     
  4. Heather Munn
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    Heather Munn Member

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    I like the robot shedding a tear, but the fact that the other character passes by rather than stopping and staring makes me think the event is not as remarkable as one would normally think it would be.

    And that's meant to imply a yes to your question, that characters' thoughts can be hinted at and that leaves the reader to do the thinking and feeling; yes, to some extent that is the essence of "show don't tell" and as such it's vital. Every little action a character performs (and every big action even more so) hints at their feelings. Whether it's the tear or the passing by. Most writers mix this kind of thing with telling the feelings more directly, but it sounds as if you are exploring the more extreme option and I think that it can work.

    I once wrote a scene where a character gets horrible news; she excuses herself to the bathroom, kneels down by the toilet and opens the lid and stares into the bowl. After a minute she stands up and closes the lid again, washes her face and goes back out. Only her actions are described, I don't even mention the bad news while she's in the bathroom, and she doesn't even end up throwing up, but I think her feelings are fairly well hinted at.
     
  5. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually, it makes me wonder whether the robot is shedding the tear because I am passing by. Why am I being so callous about the robot's (apparent) feelings. I think it would be a wonderful opening line, seriously on a par with "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." It gives an immediate sense that something is wrong (on multiple levels) and raises interesting questions.
     
  6. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    Yes, it is possible to let the readers feel and think for a char without you laying out the feelings and thoughts of the char. This can happen when the char is presented through another char's viewpoint. And chars presented this way are not necessarily one dimensional.

    The sentence is attention grabbing, but without background contexts or further explanations, it makes little sense. It's really about striking a balance, too little is as bad as too much descriptions/elaborations. Making the readers fill in the blanks is fine, but you don't want to confuse them either. The sentence, as I said, is an attention grabber and it immediately makes me think about the world the story is set, and what kind of a robot we are talking here. If I keep reading and if you don't provide me with these information, I sure will be disappointed. You won't be accused of creating elaborate chars if you let me know if the robot is humanoid or not, and that information will make a world of difference as to how I look at the sentence.
     
  7. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    I think a person needs to be as real as possible to get your point across.

    I also let the character develop for me, rather then force something into it. IF it doesn't flow with the rest of the character it will be a cancer on the believablility of the character.
     

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