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  1. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    The Type of Characters You Do not Take Too

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Cacian, Jan 23, 2012.

    The characters I create are of a human form/shape/lookalike in feelings/emotionstherefore anything that makes them slightely unhuman I tend to dislike.
    what characters don't you create or take to and why?
     
  2. akexodia
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    akexodia Member

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    Ditto!
    Humans all way! And at the most (for the second story that i'm writing) I've decided to go for spirits (kind of like after death thing, but not zombies!)
    Im terribly apalled/repulsed at using any fantasy entities or God like 'things', vampires, aliens or any other unhumanly creature.
    The only reason being the fact that while writing I can get into the mind of the character and figure out exactly how would he/she act to the situations unlike other creatures.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    cacian, are you saying your characters are human-like, but not human?
     
  4. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    My characters are human like but with an extra zest..they are immortal.
    So finding the right word to describe it was tricky.
    However I do not take to characters that half creatur andhalf human, I find them dull.
    Another are werwolves and vampires these kinds of characters I do not take to either.:)
     
  5. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Agreed!:p
     
  6. The Magnan
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    The Magnan Active Member

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    I think you can make God like characters, Vampires, Demon etc pretty interesting, if you take away the normal conventions and make them more real. I reference this a lot i realise... and I do apologise but Stephen Erikson has the best kind of example, Cotillion/Dancer is the patron of Assassins and a God of Shadow like Shadowthrone ruler of the Realm of Shadow. Now what I like about those too is that they are human in a away, afterall they are ascendants. Plus they are pretty funny, the way they either taunt or mock one another. There also well developed with contrasting personalities that make them quite a strong and dangerous duo.

    I don't like Vampires either in fact I could so as to say i despise them with a passion... If people dropped the whole generic Vampire and Girl fall in love thing, and actually make the Vampire more like a demon or something then that would interest me. Not that I'm a evil person, it's just I'm drawn certain characters who in terms of personality aren't what you would expect. A lot of my own characters are balanced in terms of personality without them becoming to stereotypical.

    I'm also not a fan of weak females in books either, although if they go from weak to strong like Scarlett in Necropolis then that interests me because the character is having to adapt to a situation they brought on because of their power. And in my case Doctor Danielle Yale head of the Zero Facility is a strong but weak character but the weakness is supressed.

    In truth everyone is drawn to their own favourite kind of characters, suppose it just depends on what you enjoy.
     
  7. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Any character that is engaging, that makes me care about them, that seems real to me, I like. It doesn't matter what they are, but I most intensely dislike "Marie Sue/Gary Stu" type characters where their faults are really virtues and they can do no wrong. I find such trite characters extremely annoying and I can't stand to read books about them.
     
  8. Enzo03
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    Enzo03 Member

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    I particularly do not care for cliche monsters though I enjoy when their stereotypes are averted or at the very least subverted or even inverted.

    But the worst in my opinion is when I find a piece that has...

    ...dragons in space, but not just any dragons in space. Specifically the ones that have human-like personalities. I cannot for the life of me understand what is so fascinating about these kinds of space dragons. :\

    On the other hand, I'm fascinated by those creatures whose very existence is an affront to human sanity. :)
     
  9. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    what is wrong with doing no wrong?
    isn't that what real life should be about?
     
  10. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    one movie that comes up to mind is Avatar
    I find those half human halfcat repulsive.
     
  11. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    Characters that:

    • aren't regular humans.*
    • rely too heavily on sarcasm.
    • can never get over anything.
    • whine constantly yet never take action to try and solve their problems.
    • spend 50%+ of the novel panicking about their crush on the love interest.
    • are made out to be special in some way, shape or form - whether it's being "the chosen one" or having a special ability.*
    • over-dramatise situations. (this is most likely the writer's fault and view of the situation, rather than the character's view). It especially turns me off the character if said situation has anything to do with vanilla homosexual behaviour.


    * Of course, there are exceptions. One writer somehow combined these two things I as a rule dislike into a single character, named Jin, and wrote a brilliant duology about him.
     
  12. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't like vampires, werewolves, zombies, mummies, orcs, robots, androids, demons, angels, gods, hawkmen, mermaids, yetis, sasquatches, Klingons, leprechauns, barrow-wights, ghosts, Republican presidential candidates, or centaurs.

    I write about humans. No matter how strange the world is I'm writing about (and most of what I write is science fiction), I write about humans. I may include aliens sometimes, but almost never as a main character. Humans are my main characters. Including any of those listed above means including elements that defy the laws of science, and that makes my worlds turn to jelly. I can't write about a jelly world. I need firm bedrock.
     
  13. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    what does this expression mean?
     
  14. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    There's slightly unhuman, which I agree doesn't fit the bill, and then there's the completely inhuman, my personal favorites. I absolutely hate using the stereotypes and flat characters that, sadly, are all that I find myself surrounded by in real life. I don't mean to offend, but everyone who's self-serving, trying to do whatever they can for some short-term pleasure with no regard for anyone else, I hate writing them, reading them, and relying on them to move a plot along. They simply don't contribute to a story at all, and if I ever use them in writing, they're for fillers in settings, just people I write in on the streets of a busy city, hanging around, doing very close to nothing. There are a thousand types of people I don't like, but those I choose not to focus on. That's why my MC's are always the unusual, interesting folks.
     
  15. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    I hate characters that are losers. Most are winey little twits. I deal with enough of them in my life, why do I want the protagonist to be like that. what’s even worse most people/ characters act like they are owed something when they have not done squat.
    The one exception is if they are the punching bag to a respectable person then it is funny.
     
  16. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I hate characters that spend too much time angsting and feeling sorry for themselves, yet don't seem to do anything (regardless of how pointless or misguided it is) to get rid of the feeling. In a similar vein, I hate characters who don't seem to get over an issue that they can't change. For example, I once read The Cay for middle school and half-way through the kid narrator's "Oh, woe is me because I've gone blind in a shipwreck and now I'm stranded on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean during WWII, so I'm just going to sit in the sand and spew racist comments at the token old black guy of the book!" angst, I closed the book.

    I hate characters that only exist just to give the protagonist sage advice. In The Cay, said blind angsting kid was accompanied by the token old black man who...you guessed it...spent the whole book giving him sage advice about life and getting along with those who were different from you. Bonus? He died at the end, as all old sage advisors often do.

    I hate characters that seem...too special. They're innocent, pure, full of light. They can do no wrong, have no vice, etc. Everyone else applaudes them, treats them like a hero when they've done little to nothing to earn that title, they get rewards without having to do anything to get them. Should anyone disagree (rightfully so), then they're just fodder for the character to prove wrong (or beat up.) Bonus if they're orphaned and/or have some medical condition that's only there so the readers can feel bad for them. (Tiny Tim for example. I think Dickens made him a cripple to give Scrooge something to think about, to be honest. Why else would he suddenly care for this one kid, out of the many other children he's no doubt heard about that were struggling to eek out a living. If Tiny Tim didn't have a walking problem, I don't think Scrooge would've cared a whift about him.)

    I hate characters that are just one-dimensional stereotypes or only serve as a mouthpeice for the author's political or religious beliefs.
     
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  17. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Life is definitely about striving for perfection, but that is a completely different thing from "never doing anything wrong", which is a fantasy.

    In my experience (and this is what literature in many fields also supports), no one person does no wrong. We are all essentially "flawed", we have issues with pride, pleasure-seeking, lazyness, dishonesty, these are natural impulses in humans, they are instinctive and as such, have an evolutionary advantage. But also, evolutionary advantage dictates that we have to strive for perfection, because we need to be able to self-sacrifice in order to live in society and for our species to prosper.
    It is this internal battle with oneself, that makes up a real person.

    I have met plenty of people whose self-esteem depended on convincing themselves and everyone who'd listen, that they are perfect, that they would never do this or that, and it is this psychological issue of denial, projection and displacement that is their most apparent flaw.

    So flaws are in everyone, they are normal and even amusing, and it is often for the very flaws that the people who love us find us so interesting and adorable. It is through being forgiven for one's flaws, that we learn to trust and devote ourselves to certain people.

    So to me, the fictional character who is supposed to be perfect is a manifestation of denial on behalf of the writer.
     
  18. yagr
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    yagr Contributing Member

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    I particularly dislike characters that seem to me to have been developed with an eye toward politically correct thinking.

    The captain of the chess team is the only black boy in the college whose mentor is the brilliant professor emeritus of mathematics, Julie Smith; who is married to her stay at home husband who cries alot; who... etc.
     
  19. xisnotx
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    Characters that are unrealistic. The point is to be overly realistic.
     
  20. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I personally have nothing against nonhuman characters, like vampires/werewolves/faeries/elves/etc, and don't see how they could automatically be written off just because they aren't human. Granted, it's true that there's way too many authors out there who use the trite "men, elves, dwarves and orcs" stuff over and over and over, but just because you want to do something with elves or werewolves doesn't mean it HAS to be a stereotype or ripoff of something else.

    I agree with the Mary Sue/Gary Stu stuff, esp. the guys whose only flaw is hotheadedness, but they're only hotheaded to stop someone who is evil or a jerk - their temper never flares up to make them act like an asshole in a not-okay way, even though if someone really was hotheaded as their biggest fault, they would do that. Ditto with the girls who are ultra-obsessed with Finding Mr. Right (TM), especially if they put up with a ton of crap that no one should put up with (Bella and Edward come to mind).

    I also get really annoyed when the main character simply does not get anything. Ever. I understand that dramatic irony works in a lot of places, and that sometimes it adds to the suspense when the reader knows something that the MC doesn't. But this only works in certain situations, like if the reader is waiting for a figurative trainwreck or awkward situation to occur and the MC is oblivious. It can add to suspense or humor really well. But it bugs the hell out of me when all the clues are there, but the MC is bumbling around like an idiot with no clue what's going on. It frustrates me.

    And Link, I agree with you about the Tiny Tim thing. I get pissed off when characters make a huge deal about how they're victims and everyone should coo over them.
     
  21. akexodia
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    akexodia Member

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    Rep. Presidential candidates! Hah! :D I'm guesssing they ain't humans, eh? :p
     
  22. TheWritingWriter
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    TheWritingWriter Senior Member

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    I hate those depressing, helpless female characters. I want to read about a confident & conceited woman for a change.
     
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  23. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I write them. (The latter, not the former, I hate those too) ;)
     
  24. TheComet
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    TheComet Member

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    My recent work is always a first person view of an animal. I love describing the feeling of having an animal's body, and what it's capable of, but still cross it's mind with that of a human's. Personally I really hate using humans, I find them too boring.

    TheComet
     
  25. Kesteven
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    Kesteven Member

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    Ugh, ditto. But I also hate characters whose only function is to be ineffectual in general, like damsels in distress or helpless villagers, and the goofy cowardly sidekick that's only there to make the protagonist look more impressive. I mean sure those are valid narrative roles, but that doesn't mean that one thing has to define their entire presence in the story. Their ineffectuality can make them sympathetic, or provide a springboard for drama and character development, but for some reason it's almost always treated in a way that just makes it annoying.

    Oh, and while I'm ranting, I also hate really obvious audience surrogate characters. Pretty much all you need to do to make an audience relate to a character is make their goals and behaviour believable, so when a story has a protagonist that they deliberately make extremely average or bland, or a portrait of some horrifying stereotype of the target demographic, to me it just comes across as patronising. It's especially jarring when they then fall into the standard 'hero' archetype even though they've been explicitly stated not to be heroic, or when we're clearly supposed to relate to them but don't because we're actually not that stereotype.
     
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