1. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Stupid Characters

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by MilesTro, Sep 19, 2007.

    In comedy, if you make your characters stupid, how would your readers relate to them? How stupid can you make your characters stupid? Really stupid, or not too stupid. :D
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    My suggestion, don't make your characters stupid. Make them as smart or smarter than average people you know, but let them make the same kinds of stupid mistakes as all us mortals do.

    Then your readers will relate.
     
  3. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    What if they act stupid, but they are very smart. Like tricksters?
     
  4. Karpi
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    Karpi Member

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    my characters i use with this i go with smart but lazy
    people tell me these are their favorites usually
     
  5. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    I have one smart character, the others are not so intelligent.
     
  6. Karpi
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    Karpi Member

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    that could be difficult.
    i would just treat them ilke normal people, but the one says intellegent stuff
     
  7. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Okay. They're animal type characters.
     
  8. Karpi
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    Karpi Member

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    like dont make them say anything smart, besides the one
     
  9. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Okay.
     
  10. Funny Bunny
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    Funny Bunny Contributing Member

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    I like smart but lazy
     
  11. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Well he's also a comedian.
     
  12. crashbang
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    crashbang Active Member

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    you could have your characters think they know what theyre talking about when the average reader know they're talking complete twoddle. that way its like a 'the audience is in on the joke' type thing.
     
  13. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    That sounds good.
     
  14. crs
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    crs Member

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    I don't think there's anything wrong with stupid characters, stupid plots (by that I mean the situation is stupid, becuase the character is dumb enough to get himself into it), or even stupid, unreliable narrators.
    Stupidity and comedy have always gone hand and hand. Dumb is funny because it's non threatening. It's something we all fear, and unlike jokes about Y2K, or the cold war, it's something that will never go away.
     
  15. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    If you make your characters dumb--you will fail as a writer.
     
  16. crs
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    crs Member

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    Of Mice and Men? Granted I understand that people don't want to hear the prespective of people who aren't as intelligent as they are, and I can see the difficulty in writing an entire novel about an idiot as the main character. But I think even than a skilled writer could pull it off by conveying the message in the environment.
    I think anyone who manages to pull it off,will attract a lot of attention as well. It's not something writers often do, so orginality would not be difficult.
     
  17. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    I think it depends on how you write the story.
     
  18. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Being dumb and being mentally handicapped are two different things.
     
  19. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Very true Eyez.
    When I see a dumb person make a fool of themselves (sometimes with my help) I have a good laugh over it. When I see someone who's mentally handicapped make a fool of themselves (on tv, or places I can't intervene) I feel very sorry for them. Use this carefully.
     
  20. crs
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    crs Member

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    I wasn't saying anything about the handicap being funny, just that unintelligent characters can be used effectively.
     
  21. Anthony James Barnett
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    Anthony James Barnett Contributing Member

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    I agree with Domoviye (where did you get that name?). I also think that when a 'clever' person makes a fool of themselves, it's even more funny.

    Anthony - Profile of an Author
     
  22. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Yah it's not funny if a person born with a disability. But a normal person becoming retarted is funny.
     
  23. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    I think that having any character just be stupid for the sake of being stupid is a strech. Make them more like oblivious or arogant assholes to make somebody stupid that's more real as we all know people like that. Unless it's like Vash from Trigun who purposely acts dumb so people don't suspect he's the infamous wanted criminal he really is.
     
  24. B-Gas
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    There's one character in a book called the Ghost Road that's actually stupid- and it makes it all the scarier because it's set in the First World War and he's part of the War Office. If you can get your stupid character to drive home a plot point, then it works well; otherwise, you're probably better off making some other character make a couple of the mistakes that he/she/it/etc. was meant to make.
     

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