1. Areadrill
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    Areadrill Senior Member

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    Opinion on a character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Areadrill, Jul 9, 2012.

    The world this character comes from is filled with magic, and fantastic beings (dragons, centaurs, etc). The story is about a 14 year old boy who recently discovered his talent for magic, which comes from his father, who was once a renowned warlock (something he did not know because his parents were murdered during a village raid when he was younger). The boy always carries his father's old deck of cards, which is all he has left to remind him by. He's also supposed to have a natural aptitude for mathematics, which helps him win at various card games. The boy goes around the world in search of someone who can teach him to master his power.

    Is the character too much of a cliché? Also, what would be a good name for it? I'm thinking Ace (bacause of his father's love for cards)

    Please let me know what you think
     
  2. noodlepower
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    noodlepower Member

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    I really don't know how to answer this question because you've given me a few events that has happened in the character's life but nothing of the character himself. There is so much to consider when creating a character: personality, quirks, looks, dislikes, likes, etc...

    If you like the name Ace, then stick with it. Although, if you're writing a fantasy story then you should mindful of how you name the characters. Fantasy names should look uncommon but still able to pronounce (or come close to a pronunciation) in English (or mother language). I would expect to see an Arwen but not so much a Julia in a fantasy story. Not saying Julia wouldn't work but it'd be a hard sell for me.
     
  3. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    On the first look from what you have given he seems like a cliche, but you know what, it all depends on how you write it.
     
  4. Areadrill
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    Areadrill Senior Member

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    I believe Ace is a good name because even though it isn't completely original, it's not exactly common in our world. And justifying it with the father's attraction for cards makes it, in my opinion, easier to accept by a hypothetical audience
     
  5. Darin Peaker
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    Darin Peaker Member

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    I was just going to say what killbill said. It's all about how you write it. I'm not fond of the name "Ace" though. Sounds like a nickname like "Sport" or "Chief". Maybe you could use it as such?
     
  6. Areadrill
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    Areadrill Senior Member

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    That's actually a pretty good idea... Thanks!
     
  7. Quabajazzi
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    Quabajazzi Member

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    It's hard to decide what is and isn't cliche when you haven't allowed us to consider this characters quirks. Cliche is cliche if you make it cliche. It generally doesn't just happen unless you write without being totally conscious(atleast that's how I find it). Those events can be made into something phenomenal to this story if you can consider every aspect and reaction that would happen. Does this make this character bitter? Does he have a habit of cracking his knuckles before he plays cards? Is this foreshadowing that he might need to do this because magic is somehow involved? For the name I find that when I choose a name for a character they somehow grow into it. Now sometimes that's not what I want or that happening is leading them away from how I needed them to be. I always found it relaxing to do some fun meme activities. Interviews and all that. But it's all about how you write. I'm going out on a limb since I'm a younger writer but that's just how I see it. c;
     
  8. DomTheDoxx
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    DomTheDoxx Member

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    The only thing that seems cliche to me is the "parents killed off" theme.
    Parents can be a valuable part of a story, they can even become some of the motivation to the progression of the novel.
    So make sure that if you're killing them off that its tied into the progression of the MC at least. does he want revenge? or does he just want information?
     
  9. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sounds like a fun teenager's book to read :) Cliche yes, but also interesting.
     
  10. Jamie Senopole
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    Jamie Senopole Member

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    I agree with this. The same topics have been done and redone so many times that if you can put your own flare to it and write it the right way, it won't matter if it derived originally from a cliche!
     
  11. Jamie Senopole
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    Jamie Senopole Member

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    I like this idea too. I think Ace would make a cute nickname for him. Like maybe that's what he was called growing up so he kept it as a way to honor his father or something.
     
  12. Morkonan
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    Morkonan Senior Member

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    Everything has already been written. So, as far as cliche's go, they are not overly dangerous as everyone has already used them. But, unless you "make it your own", then you might run into the severe problem of writing a very predictable and uninteresting story when you choose something like this "Coming of Age" story.

    Yes, your outline is predictable. The kid will meet a mentor, something will happen, another goal will become apparent, an antagonist will appear (hopefully earlier than mentioned here) and the child will have to face the conflict and eventually overcomes the antagonist. Along the way, he will mature and grow into a man. He may even return to his starting village with new power and new information that improves the lives of the villagers. He will finally be recognized by those who scorned him, etc... That's a classic Coming of Age Heroic Journey myth structure. And, your outline includes the traditional symbolism of the Mentor and I'm sure that you will eventually include characters that symbolize the Ally or the Rogue as well as a Love Interest, perhaps.

    But, that doesn't mean that your story can't be interesting and entertaining. It's all about how you write it. But, I would suggest trying to put some interesting twists into your classic story structure. For one, the magic system needs to be interesting. For another, do something interesting with this deck of cards, rather than just it being some magical artifact or something. Your idea of the deck and the boy's skill with mathematics should be expanded and should be kept separate from traditional story elements. Use it to add some spice and show the character you are developing as truly unique in the setting of his own world.

    As far as the name goes, it's terrible. Sorry, that's just the truth. The name has too much modern cultural imagery that surrounds it, much of it negative. Pick another name, preferably something that doesn't have any modern cultural connotations associated with it that detract from the character.
     
  13. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    Please don't go with Ace. If I was reading a book with such a cheesy name in it, I'd likely stop reading.

    Cards, I guess, are okay. You'd have to attach a certain magic to each card. Like a two of diamonds can instantly shine a set of silverware, and the ten of spades can instantly create...I dunno, a tractor or something. Give each suit a different magical ability, and then have the numbers correspond to a power level, with face cards denoting special powers.
     
  14. Morkonan
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    Morkonan Senior Member

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    Just a note: There have been several very good fantasy series that have been written that explicitly use playing cards as magical instruments. One is fairly popular fiction, but a bit dated, and I can't remember it at the moment. But, it's a good seller, nonetheless. Really, seriously.. dang memory.

    The other is, of course, the "The Chronicles of Amber" series, by Zelazny. That is a giant in the genre and one that any fantasy writer should read.
     
  15. Bran
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    Bran Senior Member

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    Don't know much about the character himself, but I like the concept. Is your world's magic, or maybe just a... "school" of magic done by using cards/math?
     
  16. NuttyStuff
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    NuttyStuff Member

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    I think the character has an interesting history, and a good cause as well. It does however need to have to have a neat personality, history isn't everything.
     
  17. Scott Berman
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    Scott Berman Member

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    The story does sound a bit cliche, but cliches are popular because their successful, right? I love the "Wheel of Time" series, but it isn't exactly the most original story I've read. (Maybe it was, but I read it later than others?) People can get over the cliches if your writing style is smooth and easy to read while your characters are compelling.

    I would consider having just one dead parent though, its not so common and could help readers from single parent homes relate.
     
  18. Jack Montalto
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    Jack Montalto New Member

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    I agree with most everyone else's thoughts here. The name Ace does sound more like a nickname and maybe you should produce something else for his main name. The background does sound pretty simple and could go anywhere especially with the parents deaths. Are they really dead? Maybe one of them is alive and ends up mentoring the boy without him knowing who they really are. It's easy to turn it around into something interesting and even more cliche I suppose. You have a good back story though but like others have said you haven't shown the characters personality, which is what makes them who they are.
     
  19. Tolsof
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    Tolsof Member

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    I like the idea of the name, trying to relate it to the cards which I'm guessing will be important in some way... But I feel like it is far to obvious of a connection between the two things. Also as previously mentioned the name is kind of cheesy and is a little odd for a fantasy novel.
     
  20. s33point1
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    s33point1 Member

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    I think the character has potential and that's all it needs. Through you're story telling you should make people care about him, this can only be done through good writing and character/story development.
     

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