1. jo spumoni
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    jo spumoni Active Member

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    "Real" characters

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by jo spumoni, Feb 18, 2011.

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone else find themselves referring to their characters as though they're real people? My mom is a writer and I've written a little fiction lately, and we find ourselves having discussions about our characters as though they are people we know intimately. For instance, I'll comment that my character Johannes thinks he is the center of the universe and my mother will comment that her characters love to talk. Other times, my characters "yell" at me for having written bad scenes or dialog involving them. For instance, Oliver is upset with me because I made his letter sound schmaltzy. Is that normal for writers? Are we really a semi-schizophrenic group? Or should I get my head examined?
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I do that kind of stuff all the time with my friends who write.
     
  3. Dandroid
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    Dandroid Senior Member

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    i suppose so...but it is more like i am discussing a case study...
     
  4. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    No not at all. It normal among actors, writers and other people working with characters. Psychosis (and schizophrenia which simplified can be called a having permant a risk of psychosis), works differently. You are aware that you have very vivid fantasies and impressions of characters that is so develop that they do have opinions of their own. Your self aware about that fact.

    If you had a psychosis you would be drawn into it, completely convinced of it, not self aware and unable to question it. It would greatly impair your every day life.
     
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  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Of course my characters are real :) You suggesting otherwise ? ;)
     
  6. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with w176.

    The characters have to be real to the writer in order for the writer to develop and create the character. If the writer does not know or understand his/her characters nor will their readers.

    The writer has probably lived with their characters going around in their head for a considerable time.

    But, although the writer talks about the characters as if they are real, living, breathing creatures the writer knows they are fictional beings that only exist because they created them.

    Even non-writers in their everyday lives talk about well know fictional character as if they are real people - just listen to your friends and colleagues talking about the TV soap operas.

    As long as you can separate fiction from reality - you have nothing to worry about.
     
  7. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    All the time I'd say.
     
  8. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I should hope you know your character intimately. How else would you know him so well? :)
     
  9. MissPomegranate
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    MissPomegranate Member

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    I do that with my friends who write all the time. Yesterday, my friend and I had an entire conversation about if her MC had a crush on another one of her characters, and people thought we were talking about a girl in our school.
    And my acting friends and I will refer to each other as the characters we are portraying sometimes too, and sometimes we'll do everyday tasks as the characters. Perfectly normal!
     
  10. Jaded Mist
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    Jaded Mist New Member

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    Oh yes, this is quite normal. Being a certifiable lunatic is quite different than being an insane author, I can assure you. I and all my writer friends talk about our characters/talk to our characters as if they were quite real. Which, of course, they are. And they would be highly irritated if told otherwise.
     
  11. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    I actually don't do this, but perhaps that's because I don't talk about my work very much. Or I am better at separating fact and fiction. :cool:
     
  12. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do this with my writer friends. Most of them write fantasy so it can get a bit crazy sometimes.

    I think of my characters as if they're real. ^^; They feel real. They didn't in the very beginning, but once I moved from outlining to writing it began to feel as if I really knew them. Writing an upsetting scene for them will make me sad or I'll smile if they're happy/drunk/excited. I react in the same way to events in their story as I would to something emailed/texted to me from a friend. I also react in the same way to characters I grow attached to in films and books too, so it's nothing personal about my own characters.
     
  13. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    Visualization is the key. The more realistic the better. So I usually picture my characters as if they are playing in a movie. It can be a neighbor, someone random on the street, a movie star, a family member, name it.
     
  14. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    My proofreader and I speak of characters in my books as if they were real.
    If you don't feel they are real, then how can you describe them to make someone think they are real?
    The one she loved, was a creation of a character that only took several minutes to construct, she spoke as a real person, she acted as a real person, and she had emotions like a real person, I only wrote what she did, said, or felt.

    The characters I have made, especially the older characters have been in my head for a long time, I have played them in several different situations, some even in multiple writings.

    The more you write of them, and talk of them as if they are real, the more believable you will write about them. The easier it will be to make decisions as they would, ie to let them decide their future, instead of you dragging them to your conclusion.
     
  15. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    My characters are very real. In fact, it is they, who have collaborated together, to come up with a fictional persona named "Lothgar", through which they post to these very forums.
     
  16. Mystic_snowfang
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    Mystic_snowfang Member

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    If you don't see characters as real, wouldn't it be harder to make then three dimentional?
     
  17. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    How dare you infer otherwise ...of course my characters are real
     

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