1. NoaMineo
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    NoaMineo Member

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    Need help with a new character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by NoaMineo, Oct 29, 2010.

    I don't want to go into a whole lot of backstory, but I am working on a fantasy novel and I could use some ideas for a minor character. I had a lot of characters created before I sat down to work on this one, but as the plot evolved I have just come to the conclusion that I need to add another guy. I don't need a name, I will pull one of my rump whenever.

    The character needs to be young and fairly rash, and he needs to come across as sort evil, like he could possibly be a villain in disguise.

    Unfortunately, I am drawing a blank on character traits other than "young, rash, possibly evil"

    Anyone got any ideas? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Er, what is he meant to do? If he's in disguise he'll be trying to hide that he's evil so should have some surface nice characteristics. Assuming he's infiltrating your good guys because of that, would mean he'd probably be a little nervous. Or would he be super-cool about it and hardly care if he gives away a clue that he's not on their side?

    He's YOUR character in the end though. Start writing him and see how you need to use him for the story, and how you find he reacts to the happenings of scenes and learn about him that way.
     
  3. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    For a minor character you have enough there to be going on with. Place him in different situations and see how he evolves.

    sorry, but with so little information, I can't be more helpful.
     
  4. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    A character develops as you need him to. IMHO you can't plan a character before he's part of the story.
     
  5. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    Characters make the story - are there any twists or plot points in your story that could be put down to coincidence? If so, you could try making him the cause; whatever he does to influence the story will hopefully give you some more clues as to what he's like :)
     
  6. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Only you can create your characters!
    [​IMG]


    (Cog, I borrowed this from you, hope you don't mind. Sorry, I just found it hilarious)

    Really though. He'll evolve on his own. Let it flow.
     
  7. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    ^Ha, ha, ha! Reminds me of Uncle Sam's propaganda posters: "I need YOU!"
     
  8. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    One possible way for you to get that spark your imagination need is to go into some online gallery of some kind and look at pictures, settle for some guy that capture you imagination and work from there. (Remember, you can't use the actual picture in anyway without the artist consent, but it defiantly okay to be inspired by anything.)

    That way the character will be 100% sprung from your imagination, but you will still get that kick and outside spark of inspiration you are in need off.
     
  9. NoaMineo
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    NoaMineo Member

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    Well, ok maybe a little backstory. There is actually another character who shows up later in the story who actually IS one of the villains trying to infiltrait the hero's fledgling group. I realized looking at the work so far that it's way to obvious, so I came to the conclusion that I needed to add a whole new character who's purpose in the story is basically to throw off suspician from the actual villain.

    This guy though just needs to look like he's possibly a villain in disguise(when in fact he's not). I've come up with a good description and some backstory, but I'm just short on character traits. At the moment he is very one-dimensional.
     
  10. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    Dude. Seriously, just write the story and see how he develops. Characters cannot be created independetly of the context they exist in.
     
  11. NoaMineo
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    NoaMineo Member

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    Honestly? Having tried that approach many, many, many times, it doesn't work as well. If you just "write the story and see how he develops" sometimes you get gold, more often than not you end up with flat, on-dimensional characters who develop very slowly.

    I've been working on this novel for some time, taking a very careful approach. The characters that I sat down and built "outside" of the story have been very real. They are flawed, complicated individuals, with goals and motivations that are clearly laid out in a handy word document for easy reference. When I go to add them in, I've already got a sound framework to go on.

    I once spent an hour crafting a complete 3-page character biography for a character that showed up for roughly 2 paragraphs in the story. That character still stands out as one of the most realistic and intricate minor characters.

    I can post the biography fill-in sheet I sometimes use, if anyone wants it. It's very helpful.
     
  12. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    What he said.

    If you want, write a scene or two involving your character that won't necessarily be in the final story. Just go through the process of writing this guy doing something - interacting with other characters, or making himself some breakfast, or playing racquetball, or commanding the starship Enterprise, or whatever, to get to know him. But basically just WRITE him. Stop trying to build a list of character traits, WRITE him!
     
  13. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Lets try to help you with your homework.

    The guy can be acting suspicous because he:

    • Have commited some crime.
    • Belong to some harass minority.
    • Is a spy, for some other party that the evil one.
    • Is attracted to some other character, and acts weirdly because of commitment issues.

    He might have traits like this to make him more three dimensional
    • Be a likable dick, dealing though love to the other character, saying what needs to be said.
    • Have strong ethics about something the readers can admire about him.
    • Have a skill that seldom shows but make him more likable, like field medic training and bedside manners.
    • Doubts, mayhap he a mercenary that every now and then considering betraying the other characters, but not doing it.
    • You can have some character fall in love with him, but he does not feel the same but handle the matter respectfully. Or partly like a dick partly respectfully.
     
  14. NoaMineo
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    NoaMineo Member

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    See, now that's actually useful feedback, thankyou. I've made plenty of characters, just once I was blanking on ideas. I knew he wasn't going to be believable without some groundwork, so I thought I'd ask for some advice, instead I got several pages of unhelpfulness.
     

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