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  1. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Need help developing a character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by WriterDude, Jul 9, 2011.

    First the basics: It's a realistic story, in a "Batman realism" sense. I'm thinking Tim Burton-Batman realism. (with the Joker dying in the end of the movie, and ignoring all the comics books that said he survived.) So anyway, in the story, this world is created in the image of Heaven and all that. Or Heaven created in the image of this world, if you prefer. But there is also another world created in the image of Hell. The two worlds are hid from each other, so no one can know about them. If you know your Lovecraft, you know about the Ancient Ones putting a Veil over mankind to hide themselves, as the human brain is too weak to see behind the Veil. If the Veil is liften, humans would go crazy, or something like that.

    Aaaaanyway, we have one Guardian protecting the city. She is made from a the genetically best parents from both worlds. (one from each world, of course.) She has lived alone her entire life to protect the city. In short, her face is more feral than humans, she has yellow eyes and sharp teeth. Not unlike a wolf, in many ways, but no so much that she can't pass for human if she puts on sunglasses and a hat. There's also a Hunter, working very much like the Guardian. The difference is the Hunter travels wherever she's needed, all over the country. Even all over the planet, in theory.

    The one I need help with is a third character. The Guardian and Hunter both go on the hunt for a great evil lurking in the city, and the hunt takes them to a woman called Nyki. She is from the other world, and while she looks human "enough", she is more a reptile (no tail, though) than human. She also have yellow eyes and sharp teeth like the Guardian, but her hands and feet are reptile-like, and her skin can change color like a chameleon. It turns out the great evil the Guardian and Hunter are chasing came from Nyki's world, and she chased it all the way over to our world to try and stop it. But she knows she doesn't belong here, and she knows she can't go back.

    But that's pretty much all I know about her. I could use some advice on how to make her "better". The Guardian use close combat most of the time, and the Hunter is excellent with firearms. There's also a human cop involved, but she's more of a thinker-type. If you know DC Universe or Smallville, she'll evolve and become a Watchtower-type.

    That leaves Nyki. I want her different from the other three, but all four will eventually start a team together. Nyki's ability to alter her skin makes her near-invisible in some situations if she stands still, so I'm thinking she can be a spy, assassin or something like that. Any ideas?
     
  2. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    A question to ask yourself, if no one is supposed to know about the other world to theirs how does Nyki know? Obviously the guardian and the hunter are part of the company you mentioned in the earlier post but how does Nyki know and why does she feel it's her duty to chase the creature across the worlds?

    Also These guardians and hunters. Is it their job to kill anyone that goes into the other world or do they just keep the entrances between worlds under wraps?
     
  3. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Neither world is good or evil, and both worlds have Guardians and Hunters. Nyki is a Hunter from the other world and also work for the company. It's the same company, but a department in the other world. She tried to kill it in her own world and failed (long story), so she followed it all the way over here to try and kill it here instead. Both hunters and guardians are sworn to destroy any threat whatever it takes, and in Nyki's case, going on a one-way trip to another world was what it took.

    As for the portals to the other world... there isn't any. Stuff just "appears", kinda like in the Terminator-movies without all the lighting and stuff. If something appear in the city, the guardian takes care of it if he/she can. But if it's too dangerous, the hunter(s) are called in to assist. Same if the thing leaves the city. The guardian has to remain in the city, so the hunter takes over the hunt. That's why I call them hunters and guardians in the first place. The guardians guard the city, the hunters hunt the threat.

    Edit: If there was a portal, the guardian could simply destroy it and retire. ;)
     
  4. BobLobLaw
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    BobLobLaw Member

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    What I do when I don't know how to develop a character is to write situations for this person. What would [insert name here] do? Would he/she react positively or negatively? Think of them for their actions, not their characteristics.
     
  5. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's usually a good idea, yes. I'm not sure it will work in this case. I mean she's hunting the threat, and that's about it. That's all she cares about. If someone gets in her way, she'll kill them. No exceptions. She has no interest in going to the movies, going to a restaurant, a party or anything like that. Think of her a bit like a Terminator. She's there to kill someone or something. Everything else is unimportant. But I'll give it a try, though. Thanks. :)

    Edit: Come to think of it, maybe that is her personality. She's a human Terminator. She'll join the other characters simply because she agrees they do a better job in numbers, but she doesn't trust them at all. Or like them. :)
     
  6. UnknownBearing
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    UnknownBearing Contributing Member

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    You're having trouble developing your character because you're basing all of your ideas off of pre-existing fiction. Batman, Smallville, Terminator. Instead of crafting a character that grows on their own according to their history and the events of the story, you're cloning things from somewhere else and copy/pasting them into your fantasy. What you're really asking for is more non-original ideas.
     
  7. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sorry, but no, I'm not. I'm using pre-existing examples to show you what I am talking about. If I were to tell you every detail about the story, it would take all day. ;) For instance, the Terminator was a robot from the future that hunted a specific target, and never showed mercy, regret or hesitation. Nyki also hunts a specific target and can't allow herself to show mercy or regret, but she is still human. It has nothing to do with Terminator. That was just an example. The Terminator will always be just a machine. Nyki is human (reptile-human, but still) and struggle with human emotions and all that. They couldn't be more different.
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If Nyki struggles with human emotions, how can you tell me that she doesn't care about anything but her duties? Humans need rest, they need friendship, support, encouragement - they have interests, whether it's boxing or ballet or swimming or a good book - and they'll want to spend time doing these things to recharge or just to have fun. That's human.

    Someone who cares for nothing but her duty (which is to kill someone or something, in your own words) is not human. For a start, they should at least sometimes question whether killing is always right, always necessary. How about mercy and compassion? That's human too. Or perhaps was your plan to develop that?
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Find the humanity in your characters. That is what will elevate them beyond archetypes.

    Focus on personal traits and quirks, and less about traits of the species or race. Of course, the biological and cultural elements of the species are important too, but once you have established those, it is time to set your sights on what distinguishes Nyki from others of her kind.
     
  10. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's exactly what I mean about her struggling with her emotions. Going to another world on a one-way ticket, knowing perfectly well you will become the threat you are trying to hunt down is never an easy choice. As I said, she doesn't belong in our world. Both the hunter and guardian here will try to hunt her down and kill her on sight, and she knew that perfectly well before she went here. Think that was an easy choice? But that's how dedicated she is. She, the guardian and huner are all on the same side. They are doing whatever it takes to protect the two worlds from each other. If one finds the other, a war will be inevitable and billions will die. That's why they kill anyone they think is a threat. We normal humans want to save everyone, but they know they can't allow themselves that luxury. If they have to kill a hundred people to save two hundred, that's a price they are willing to pay. That also means they need to stay 100% focused on the job and never allow themselves to be distracted.

    Plus, as I said, Nyki is a reptile-human. The quick version is the other world is populated by humans, but the humans on our side origin from apes. The ones ones on the other side are also humans, but their ancestors were reptiles. Both the hunter and guardian look mostly like us, but both of them have reptile-features like yellow eyes and all that. The difference with Nyki is she's far more reptile than the others. If the other two are 80% like us, she is 80% like the humans from the other world. (that's how she could stay there in the first place.) So in a way, they are just as big a threat as anything they hunt down. And that's why they are all forced to live in solitude, shut away from the world they will gladly offer their lives to protect.

    This is not an easy lifestyle, and the Guardian in particullar show strong signs that she can't handle it. She's done a great job for 20 years, but that's still 20 years in solitude. It's not easy for any of them, and that's why they end up in a team. That way they have three friends. It's still not much, but it's better than living alone.
     
  11. MissLotty
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    MissLotty Member

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    I personally find that the characters grow with your story. If the situations you put them in are good enough the character will find their own way :) Don’t put too much on a character there isn’t enough information for just yet, they develop in your head. As the plot line thickens your character will get deeper.

    Just let it flow....

    ...if all else fails base them on people you know, give them traits your friends have in subtle ways.

    best of luck with it anyway :)
    L x
     
  12. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks. I would base her on someone I know, but it's so hard to find psychopatic reptile-human assassin's from another world these days, you know? :D Nah, just kidding. The other three characters have grown a lot so far, and I'm sure the last one will too. She's not even in the story yet. :)
     
  13. MissLotty
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    MissLotty Member

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    Hehehe, I can see that being a potential problem :p Well i hope it goes well for you! Good luck :D x
     
  14. LostInFiction
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    LostInFiction Senior Member

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    It sounds like you have a good feel for the character already so maybe she just needs to get into some situations for you to see how she reacts and identify why she reacts that way? If a character seems too flat, or purely undeveloped, you could write something random to help get your head around them, like a section from their diary or a school report (something unrelated to the original story) just as an exercise to think through their quirks, reasoning, background etc. Best of luck with your story. It sounds great :)
     
  15. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hm... that's a good idea. I think I'll write four short stories taking place before the main story and have a different main character in each one. That should help them evolve a bit on their own. :) (it would be especially fun as one of from another world.) ;)
     

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