1. grant_mcchesney
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    grant_mcchesney New Member

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    The Mystery Man

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by grant_mcchesney, Jan 3, 2009.

    I am currently planning a short story, but I hit a major snag right off. My main character has to be semi-anonymous. By this I mean, other characters around him know some things about him, but not his past, or his motivation, and his enemies don't know anything at all about him. I have this personality strong in my head, but I just can't give it a name or appearance. I know that it is a man of average physique, slightly muscular. Any ideas?
     
  2. zorell
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    zorell Contributing Member

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    It sounds like you have two options:

    Take time to flesh this character out before writing about him in the story,

    or

    Write with what you have and allow his circumstances to guide you.

    I've had a character like that before, where his peers weren't supposed to truly know him, his name included. If you will be writing from this particular character's point of view, then maybe he should have observations about his peers not picking up or seeing something. It may be easier to write from the other characters', or a specific, key character's point of view so that you can show the character's conflict with this enigmatic character and how things develop as more of the character is revealed.
     
  3. Hetroclite
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    Hetroclite Member

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    I agree. Take time to develope the characters before writing the story. So when you're writing the story, you know how these characters will play off of one another. No author just writes a story from beginning to end, as you read them. They write character notes, notes on scenes & settings, diaglogues, narratives; everything they want the story to do. Then when they run out of things to write, they start putting all that together as a puzzle, writing the ending first then working their way backward, building the story up to that ending, writing the beginning last. So if you're just writing a story from beginning to end, you're going to run into a lot of snags.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't really believe in developing a character separately from the writing. Characters. like real people, are defined by their actions, not by lists of attributes.

    Write some of the scenes that your character takes part in, with or without other characters present. You need not necessarily write in the order scenes will appear in the final story. These will clarify the character in your own mind, and if you can work those scenes into your final story, your reader will understand the character better as well.
     

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