1. Alanabunny
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    Alanabunny New Member

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    My New Idea For Developing My Character?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Alanabunny, Nov 16, 2009.

    I have a lot of trouble starting a story.. I usually jump right into the plot, and the character development is lacking big time. So I've decided to do an exercise of sorts to help me develop a character, by writing about her daily life until I finally come up with some way to use her.. At least at that point I have a fully developed character, whom I know better than the back of my hand. What do you guys think of this method?
     
  2. hoodwinked
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    hoodwinked Member

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    It could work. But, you have to keep in mind that not every character is suitable for every plot. Your character's personality, beliefs, and past fits in snugly with the plot.

    I suggest, unless you had a wonderful character idea and wanted to get it down so you'd have it available for future ideas, that you use your method with a plot in mind.

    You said you jump right into the plot... well, why don't you, once you have the plot in mind, write and write and write about that character and how s/he acts and what s/he believes, etc., until the character is more developed. I do a lot of those sorts of things, and I keep it all in a journal for that specific story. I couldn't tell you how many countless times I consult those things.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's much more than i'd ever need to do in order to develop a character, but if it works for you, i'd say don't rely on anyone else's opinion, as yours is the only one that matters...
     
  4. bruce
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    bruce Active Member

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    If it works for you, fine.
    What really matters is the end result. Is your story good enough?
     
  5. sidtvicious
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    sidtvicious Contributing Member Contributor

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    As for what i personally think of the method: tedious. But everyone else on the forum is right. If it works for you, go for it.
     
  6. Unsavory
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    Unsavory Active Member

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    The most positive thing about that method is that it will also help you to develop plot and you might be able to take off with an originally unplanned short story or other work because of it. So yeah, sounds good.
     
  7. jlauren
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    jlauren Senior Member

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    I have this thing I do which really helps me get inside my character's head - I role play. Either in my head or out loud. I say things that I think they might say, and as soon as I hear it, I know whether it's right or not. A lot of interesting plot ideas come from this....I start thinking about what they would do in this situation or if someone said that to them and it becomes pretty obvious what kind of person they are. It also shows me if an idea I had is going to work or not. It works for me.
     
  8. Phantasmal Reality
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    Phantasmal Reality Contributing Member

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    You can't fully separate character and plot. Sure, some stories are much more about the series of events that constitute the plot, but those events don't exist in a vacuum. They're carried out by characters whose attitudes, past experiences, goals, etc. play a huge role in the series of events and how they're interpreted. (A sadistic pedophile saving a young boy from a burning building vs. the young man next door saving the boy vs. a 40-year-old fireman saving the boy)

    In your case, since you like to come up with your plots first, I would create your characters to suit your plot (instead of the other way around). In other words, ask yourself what kind of story you're trying to write. Let's say you're writing a romance story about a heroine who boldly leaves home and goes on an adventure in a faraway land, where she meets the man of her dreams and overcomes some great evil. Now, what kind of main character do you need for that kind of story to happen? I doubt you just envisioned a weak, mild-mannered girl who's afraid to speak up for herself and prefers to stay at home and read comic books. (Maybe you have an entirely different plot in mind for that character. She could still go on that adventure, but her motivation would be vastly different than a more headstrong woman, as would the events leading up to the outcome, assuming the outcome would even be the same.) What kind of male love interest do you need? That could go a few different ways. He could be the strong, confident type who doesn't say much, or perhaps the wiry, wise-cracking prankster with a heart of gold. Which fits the story you have in mind best? You have plenty of options (infinite, really) so I recommend you initially model your characters to fit your story and get to know them from there.
     

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