1. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Is There Such A Things As: The Writer/Character Relationship?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Cacian, Nov 29, 2011.

    There are characters I come across in books that are portrayed to be ''villains' 'punishers' like in the Bible where God is portrayed to be doing or sending punishements to his fellow humans because they failed a task.
    Angels are also portrayed to be scary because they carry a sword and about to inflict punishement on humans.
    The word 'disobedience' comes to mind.
    so I wondered wether when someone about the relationship between the writer and his/her characters in a story.

    Do you feel somehowe related to your characters or are they just characters?
    Do you like your characters?
     
  2. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    There. Now it makes sense. Seriously, what was all that about angels and the Bible there for? That makes no sense in this thread. Also, God doesn't have "fellow humans". God isn't a human.

    Now, to answer the questions. No, I don't feel like I'm related to my characters. I do have relationships with them, however. I love some characters, or I hate others. It's very natural to have feelings about your characters. And, yes, I like my characters. If you don't like your characters, you're doing something wrong. It's kind of necessary to like your own characters, otherwise it gets very, very hard to write scenes about them or from their perspective.

    'nuff said.
     
  3. Jethelin
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    I feel related or attached to a degree since they came from my mind. I will probably be sad when I have to kill one off, or feel bad when they are in some sort of pain in an imaginary sense. If somehow my work burned or got erased from my various computer save options, I would be sad for the loss of work, not the loss of characters. They are important to me, but in a very unreal way. Shaping them and leading them through their written lives does create a bit of connection with me though. It will probably deepen the further I get into the story. I like all of my characters, though some I would most likely hate in the real world.
     
  4. Cacian
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    I am not why you had to remove the introduction I gave about the Bible which actually was why I put up this thread.
    Why not ''Fellow Humans''?
    We people are made to be ''apparently'' to look like God.
    We are a copy or God. If you look at all the pictures/relics and Jesus you will there is an exact resemblance to God therefore using ''Fellow Humans'' appropriate.
    The other thing I have noticed whilst discussing the Bible with some friends is that I noticed that God as ''punishing'' or the word punishement and disobediance is always mentioned .
    In fact Angles are depicted as scary and God is also a punisher.
    So that led me to think that the writers who put down pen to paper and wrote those stories must come cross as Angels and God ''haters''
    because they write about them in this way.
    So I consider introduction as a valid read in order to explain why I posted the thread.
    I personally have no conflicting feelings towards my characters.
    I remain neutral towards for a very good reason.
    I will not have favouritism and prejudice towards any of them because I will need to reuse them again in other stories.
    I could not expect them to oblige to me in other stories if I happen to not like them, hence my disossiation with all characters.
    This is my view on this subject.

    As to ''necessary'' as an expression I either like or I don't I can't make myself like anyhting because it comes to me naturally.
    I do not and will not force myself to do or feel anything towards anything, and if I had to do then I chose NEUTRAL as a setting to my characters.
     
  5. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Is it worth all this saddness do you think?
    Have you tried dissociating yourself from them ?
    And
    Have tried to make them speak your voice for example?
    If you are going to write a story then it is exciting enough but if you are going to feel sorrow and devastation afterwards is it not better to set some kind to distance with them?
     
  6. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    First of all, no. God is not a human. God does not have "fellow humans". I'm an atheist, so I don't believe in God, but if He were to exist, He would transcend humanity. He made humans in his image. That's not the same as us being the same as Him. This is not a point of debate.

    Second of all, I'm not saying that you have to make yourself like your characters. I'm saying that it's necessary to like your characters if you want writing their scenes to be easy, if you want to retain interest in them. That's a pretty universal statement by a very large portion of writers both published and unpublished. So, again, it's not really a point of debate. Jethelin's point on that note was brilliant.
    "I like all of my characters, though some I would most likely hate in the real world."
     
  7. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    First of all, no. God is not a human. God does not have "fellow humans". I'm an atheist, so I don't believe in God, but if He were to exist, He would transcend humanity. He made humans in his image. That's not the same as us being the same as Him. This is not a point of debate.

    Second of all, I'm not saying that you have to make yourself like your characters. I'm saying that it's necessary to like your characters if you want writing their scenes to be easy, if you want to retain interest in them. That's a pretty universal statement by a very large portion of writers both published and unpublished. So, again, it's not really a point of debate. Jethelin's point on that note was brilliant.
    "I like all of my characters, though some I would most likely hate in the real world."
     
  8. FoxPaw
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    FoxPaw Senior Member

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    I like my characters. It'd be hard to write them if I didn't like them, and I just wouldn't use them. True, there are characters I might dislike because of the things I make them do, such as kill villages of people or rob from the poor, but it's not like I completely hate them. I mean, I made them. I made them this way for a reason. It's kind of hard to describe.

    Related to my characters? Not really. They might be a trait similar to mine, or look similar to me, but it's not like they're related. I'm sympathetic to my characters that have to go through something painful, or laugh when I write a particularly funny scene between them, but I'm not related to them. They're my characters, but that's all they are. (Again, this is kind of hard to describe, sorry.) I guess they're my possessions?
     
  9. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Presumably one is allowed to differ for I do not share the same views all the same I do respect your opinions it does not mean I understand them.
     
  10. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    My next idea is:
    Do you SEE or HEAR yourself in any of your characters?
     
  11. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sure, you can have differing views to me, but it's pretty much canon that God is not a human, and therefore He does not have "fellow humans".

    Yes. In some of them, I do. Not in all, but in some. That's also a given, considering that they come out of your mind. They're naturally more likely to take on your mannerisms.
     
  12. Jethelin
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    Jethelin Member

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    Hm the sadness is not really the normal sadness. More like what you would feel when a favorite character in a good book dies. It's sadness, but not really...real...kind of hard to explain. I can feel sad for a character's problems, but then be in just as good of a mood as I was in before my writing session for the day when I'm done writing. I haven't really tried to make them speak my voice exactly, but my perspective and the things that I would possibly say have probably leaked into my character's voices somewhere. I love getting "into" and involved into the story I am writing, so I don't see any problem feeling a bit of unreal sadness on occasion for a character's problem. I can see the potential for unhealthy consequences if someone became too involved, but I would think if they were that sad about their own story they would change it for the better. I would most likely change it if it made a bad impression on my "real life."
     
  13. mammamaia
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    like many [probably most] fiction writers, i do sometimes model a character on myself to some extent... as i do with other characters and people i have known...

    it's been a well-known fact in the literary world since people first started writing fiction, so no biggie...
     
  14. Man in the Box
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    Everyone of my characters has a part of me in them. Some more, some less. Some are mixed with other people, too. I like writing all of them, even the unnamed ones, but of course I also have my favourites, which tend to be the ones with the most secrets behind them.

    I once read that if you modeled a character on yourself too much there was a high risk of it becoming a Mary Sue but I think this is bollocks TBH.
     
  15. Ixloriana
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    I would like to agree with cruciFICTION that God is not a human, and thus can not have "fellow humans" -- technically, since he's like "The One True God" he can't have fellow gods, either. No fellows for God. This might be one of those times when you are not understanding the subtle nuances of the language, Cacian. "Fellow" used in that way implies a group of equals, not just things that are similar. I'm not sure this is a point that people can reasonably disagree on, since it's not really a matter of opinion? If you're going by the Bible, anyway. If this a religious debate, on the other hand, I would like to opt out, as I am Buddhist.

    It's called an author avatar. Basically, a writer writes a story where the main character is an idealized version of herself and lives out the author's own fantasy. It's not so much about basing a character too much on yourself, but rather about inserting yourself into the story and then letting the story become nothing but gratuitous wish-fulfillment.



    ...In an effort to keep this post on-topic: The way that you've said, "Do you feel related to your characters?" sounds like you are asking if we feel like they are our family, like a sibling or a child or something. (Related by blood.) I guess what you're trying to ask is whether it feels like we have a relationship with our characters? I would say not really. Only in the vaguest sense. I created them and their universe, and they wander around my imagination doing and saying things. But I don't interact with them personally, so I can't have a relationship with them. (That would be kind of odd, I think.)

    This sentence does not make sense. I can only assume it's meant to mean, "I wondered about the relationship between the writer and his/her characters in a story." I don't understand what you're talking about about disobedience and God and angels being scary and punishers. I have no idea how that relates.

    What it kind of seems that you're wondering about is whether how a writer casts his characters reflects on the writer's opinion of that character. (For example, you might be wondering if I made a certain character in my story scary and evil because I don't like that character.) To me, this is ridiculous. A character is his role in the story. We don't put our characters into certain roles -- they put themselves there. This sounds like a writer writing about real people, and casting them as villains just because the writer doesn't like them.

    EDIT: So to answer the thread question... no, I do not believe there is such a thing as "the writer/character relationship." You can't have a relationship with someone you don't interact with, and I don't know any author that interacts with his characters. (Aside from like... non-canon character interviews to get to know the character better.) Other than that, I don't have anything new to say on the subject. You don't have to like your characters, but you have to be interested enough in them to write about them.
     
  16. Boomfog
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    I think cruciFICTION had it right. There was no correlation from the first part of your post to the second part, Cacian. Therefore, it made no sense. You could have used a better (or necessary, because I seriously don't see what God and angels have to do with those questions) example, or maybe none at all and just asked the question(s).

    Anyway,

    Do you feel somehow related to your characters or are they just characters? They're just characters I created with a story of their own. They're special in the sense that they were lurking in my mind for a while, but not like...I picture myself in them (if that's what you were driving at).

    Do you like your characters? I can't imagine writing a story about a character I hated. I might create one to either purposefully leave a positive or 'negative' impression on the audience, though.
     
  17. Yoshiko
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    Until my current project I felt I was completely separate from my characters. With this project (started mid-July 2010) there is one character who is particularly alive and refuses to be considered as "just [a] character". He's now a distinct voice in my head, but a right handful: he has a childish mentality, struggles to pronounce certain letters/syllables, scolds me for procrastinating and he argues with my ideas. Although he feels much more alive that my other characters I certainly don't give him any special treatment because of it - I won't change the story just to prevent him getting hurt.

    As characters, yes. However, if they were real people then they certainly wouldn't be my friends.
     
  18. Cacian
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    So you have what I call doublepersonality clash.
    About the 'alive' character I am assuming that this won't go again when the projetc is finished.
    Why dwouldn't you befriend your characters if they came alive as real people?
     
  19. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    It technically finished five months ago with the completion of a 185k manuscript. He stuck around even though I have written 80k+ on other projects since finishing his story. Even when I take long breaks he remains. It is because he refuses to leave that I call it "current". Now that NaNoWriMo is over I am devoting my usual writing time to working out more about him and his world. I have a feeling there is so much more I can do with him and the rest of the cast if I expand outside of the four-month period the project covered. And, for the record, he was not even the main character.

    They're not pleasant characters. I write anti-heroes and my novels often follow characters involved with the black market. I do not intend for them to be "likable" in the sense that you would want to spend time with them. My current cast are uncouth, uneducated swindlers who derive pleasure from watching others fall.
     
  20. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    It is an interesting overview of how you deal with your characters.
    If this character is still around amongst other characters does that mean you do reuse them again and again in other stories?
    Is this the first time you have to deal with such character?
    Or this is just the norme for you?
    I am asking because I have not had dealing as such with any characters and all my characters without exception are to be likeable otherwise I could not write.
    I am the complete opposite of you if that makes sense.
     
  21. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    He sticks around but he doesn't get to interact with characters from other stories - at least not on paper. Inside my head he can do as he pleases. I do have a small number of minor characters who have been reused but I don't make a habit of it. At the moment the majority of my stories are being set in the one area, around the same time, so I don't think it's too weird for the same minor characters to show up in different stories.

    He is the first character to be so aggressive! But it's useful, in a way. If I'm doing something he doesn't think is in-character then he "tells" me. He's definitely an exception from usual characters, so I wouldn't say it is the norm at all.


    I adore my characters but I still wouldn't consider them likeable. I enjoy writing about them but I still wouldn't want to meet anyone like them.
     
  22. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    wow..I must admit I don't have anything like that going on.
    My characters are just that stories.
    The minute I have stopped writing they have gone.
    Then Ican start again as if they were never there and therefore I could never pinpoint one charater from another.
    One of the reasons I like to take abreak from one story ot another or simply pause from writing for quite a bit is that of when I come back tomy stories I had already forgotten about my characters and what they were about.
    I restart ro carry on or modify from where I left it by making up the characters as I go along.
    In other words I never know what my characters are like ever because not only they are the spirit of the moment but they are found again and again in other stories/poetries with different characteristic everytime.
    To sum it up I have no favourite no Main Characters and no definit definition of what my characters are supposed to be like.
    I am like that in life and so this is reflected in the way I write.
     
  23. Cacian
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    wow..I must admit I don't have anything like that going on.
    My characters are just that stories.
    The minute I have stopped writing they have gone.
    Then I can start again as if they were never there and therefore I could never pinpoint one charater from another.
    One of the reasons I like to take a break from one story ot another or simply pause from writing for quite a bit is that I can come back to my stories and I had already forgotten about what my characters and what they were about.
    I can restart , carry on or modify from where I left it by making up the characters as I go along.
    In other words I never know what my characters are like ever because not only they are the spirit of the moment but they are found again and again in other stories/poetries with different characteristic everytime.
    To sum it up I have no favourite no Main Characters and no definit definition of what my characters are supposed to be like. They are what they want to be when they want to be.
    I am like that in life and so this is reflected in the way I write.
     
  24. rjlatrans
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    I am more similar to Yoshiko in how my characters work. I have had characters running piggy-back in my mind waiting for their story to come up so I can write them down. The characters come first for me most of the time (not always, however) and it is my job to figure out their story.

    When I am REALLY deep in a story, I can practically hear them chattering away and commenting on some things in my daily life. Like with one, a snarky and bitter young women, she made sure to make scathing comments about some ridiculous things that were happening in real life. It's because I spend so much time trying to understand their character that my brain put aside some room for them to have their own thoughts.

    Some characters will just be with the story, and die with the end of it, but others hang on. And just when I think I have found the story for most of my characters, some new ones move into my head and go 'Hey, awesome! When is it our turn?'

    One writer once said 'I am all my characters, but none of them are me.' I fully believe this. In my snarky young women is my disappointment and bitterness over the less savory aspects of my relationship with my mother and with friends. I am her in my need to retreat, to protect myself from life, etc. However she is certainly not me since I deal with things much differently, and my outlook on life is very different from her. Not to mention my values, the way I was raised, etc. When she talks about how love is impractical, it is a opinion that I in no way share. It's the same way with my villain. In him is my pride and craving for power, but he holds none of my empathy or my morality which holds me in check.

    In order for me to properly write traits in another character, I must be able to understand them. I would never (for instance) do drugs, but I have characters that do them. In order to connect with them I identify those emotions in me that if they were stronger, or if I was missing some element that held them in check, that would lead me down their path. In doing so I am able to write them as if I was them, because I let myself feel what they would feel in that case. It's like acting, you have to get into the head of the character. You have to find common ground.

    It's one of the reasons I always feel slimy after writing a villain, because in them are the worst aspects of me blown up to ten billion with opinions that I find abhorrent. Urgh. Despite this though, I do love all my characters and my heart breaks for even the villains. Mostly because I see what they could have been if they had chosen good, but that was not their choice.

    ...Honestly, being a author has given me more insight to how God might feel/work then that religion class in college did. You love everyone, they are all aspects of you formed into their own being, but they have their own will darn it and sometimes their will sucks.
     
  25. Yoshiko
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    I can't focus on my stories if I can't "communicate" with my characters. They're all fairly talkative, but it's only this one character that refuses to go away.

    I try not to take breaks with stories because I find it disrupts the flow. In the first draft I write as much as possible as fast as possible for the sake of consistency. Instead, I develop the story for months and write an extensive (30k+) outline before even getting as far as the first draft to ensure that I have everything as accurate as possible before I even begin writing. However, even after finishing the story I have many edits to make to the characters and plot line.

    I have favourites but my favourite from this cast is neither the MC or the "alive" character. In fact, he only shows up a handful of times in the entire story.




    rjlatrans - Hehe, I know what you mean about characters commenting on daily life. The character I've been referring to makes jibes at me when I'm not even writing. Most recently, he told me I misspelled a word in an exam just as I handed in my paper - and my lecturer is incredibly picky about spelling despite it not even being a language or literature course. :rolleyes:
     

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