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  1. Fogfrog
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    Fogfrog New Member

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    Making Characters deep

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Fogfrog, Aug 28, 2011.

    So I have just started writing seriously and my first character is coming along nicely I guess. I've named her, described her physical appearance, but I don't really know where to go from there. She is my protagonist so I want her to be a "Good guy" but I also think it's important to expose her flaws. I just don't know how to make her deep and complicated
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just write the story :) All character development should spring from the story and it's the way a character changes that shows up their depth since they need to draw from emotional depths to react. As long as you give her a variety of things to respond to she will flesh out as you go.

    The worst thing you could do is sit around and try and think up traits and things in her past that will make her "seem" more deep. It's how she uses stuff like that that matters, and the story will help you see what that needs to be, not sitting around trying to plot emotional development. If you decide she needs a dead parent to make her more emotionally dark, but it's not relevant to the plot: ie, it happened 10 years before and nothing to do with the parent/their stuff/old friends etc are relevant to the plot, then there's just no need to bring it up. So shoehorning it in to make the character seem rounded will just come off as trying too hard.
     
  3. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    I agree with Melzaar, you really just need to write the story. When I create a new character I do a basic sketch - just simple things like name, physical appearance, and basic personality traits - and then let the character grow as I write.

    My characters are constantly revealing more of themselves to me as I write them into the story. As you move the plot along you'll find that the character's personalities and back-stories develop themselves. They grow with the plot as you write.

    Trust me, it'll come to you eventually. And the characters will surprise you, too. Some characters that I created a while ago are now completely different, because I started writing with them and they changed into whole new people.

    Just try writing a bit, and see where the characters take you.

    Hope this helped!
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Another vote for "just write the story". Of if you already want her more fleshed out before the story begins, write pre-story - scenes of her ordinary life that may not be interesting enough in the end to be part of your main story, but that will allow you to learn who she is. A scene as prosaic as your character going to a restaurant, getting a botched meal, and deciding if and how to complain, is likely to tell you a great deal about a character.
     
  5. aimlessramblings
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    aimlessramblings Member

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    as its been said, best thing to do is just write the story and it will come along...

    if u feel the need to get into her mind.... Interview Her...
     
  6. Xyphon
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    Xyphon Member

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    One of the worst things you can do IMO is to plan everything out before you start writing. It sounds a little counter-productive, but just let the story and characters write themselves. As long as you have a basic outline, you are good to go in my opinion.
     
  7. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Note: plan the plot as much as you like, by the way. I'm not saying to write that blind. :p But focus on events and stuff, and don't count on character reactions or anything on the way. Unless you control the emotions like an amazing manipulative puppet master who can drop every word into place ahead of time to ensure the exact emotional response you require, reading the novel circumstantially you should always be wary of "is this response necessary". The only reason a character should over-react is if it's plot relevant. People often use illness as a good excuse to help push a character over the edge, because it emotionally weakens them and therefore if they've come down with a bad head cold right before a huge emotional confrontation they're more likely to break down on cue.

    In the 5th Harry Potter book Harry spends a great deal of time flipping out at everyone past even the point of "it's probably just hormones" and it made it pretty rocky reading the first time through and I was actually losing sympathy with him and getting quite freaked out by how angry he was until JK got in the plot point that it was Voldemort making him act that way, which saved him from looking like a huge jerk. But I took it as a pretty big warning about characters overreacting without justification as we did have to go a fairly huge chunk of the novel working on the assumption that "over the summer Harry became a massive arsehole".
     
  8. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I hate hearing about how people want their characters to be "deep and complicated". Not everybody in the world is deep and complicated. You should be aiming for a natural flow in your character, and the best way to achieve that is to write naturally with a flow.

    Trying to force "deepness" onto a character is redundant because it makes them forced and not deep at all.
     
  9. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think flaws are best revealed by showing how someone handles situations, how they treat people/the world around them etc.
     

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