1. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    Whiny Characters

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Crazy Ivan, Dec 26, 2006.

    So the main character of the "novel-ish" thing I'm writing is a teenage boy, 16-15-ish. He dies within the first sentence, and the whole mess of events after that is just kind of this steady flow of action, then exposition, then real character interaction, then action, exposition, interaction, rinse, wash, and repeat.

    The problem is, the action parts are hogging...well, hogging all the action, and I can't cram that much believable character development into the tiny scenes where he gets a chance for a heart-to-heart with other characters because of the non-stop pace. So instead of becoming an accessible, understandable teen that you can root for, all he really does is protest, and it makes him seem kind of whiny and obnoxious.

    Does anyone have any tips for how to make him seem funner (Er, more fun) to read and write about? (And if you're wondering, the age target is teenager-ish.)
     
  2. Spherical Time
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    Spherical Time Contributing Member

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    I can't think of anything specific without seeing the piece first.

    You may consider having him resign to whatever the action is instead of constantly protesting it. That might make him less whiny.

    Another idea may be to specifically pause the action so that you can characterize him more. Just stop dead, characterize, and then rejoin the action already in progress.
     
  3. Robert
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    Robert Banned

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    Take the time to break from the non-stop action. Vary the pace. Give the reader some time to breath. Character development can be achieved through action too.

    All of this advice is general. If you want the advice to be more useful, consider posting some of your story so that we can better assess it. That is, if posting it on a public forum isn't a problem.

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  4. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    I'd love to post it. (You realize I have no problem with posting my stuff up on the internet becasue my ideas are so lame that no one will probably rip them off.) Only two things stand in my way:

    1) I know that it sucks really badly, and don't really won't you guys seeing that

    and

    2) Towards the bottom it says we shouldn't post novels up.

    I wouldn't post it up all at once, I'd just put up smaller chapters at around a pace of twice or three times a week. That's how I put my stuff up.
     
  5. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    I take it you're writing the chapter(?) 'off the cuff', so to speak?

    Summarise the events of the chapter you're currently writing on an index card (or anything similar such as a small piece of jotting paper) writing absolutely no more than the general, forget being specific because all you need to do at this stage is deconstruct the chapter into their respective individual parts.

    Once you have done that you need to ask two very important questions:

    What happens before the chapter starts, and what happens after the events of the chapter.

    Why I say you need to know what happens before the chapter is important because you need to know where the characters are coming from in order to be able to construct the 'scene' in terms of what's going to happen and where they are going to afterwards so you know how to construct the 'scene' after that for the next chapters. And so forth.

    Next, has the stasis changed much after this revision? If not then the chapter needs to be revised again otherwise if there hasn't been a change in stasis then an event hasn't happened and so the chapter was pointless and can be deemed 'going nowhere'. If that's the case then either rework it or cut it out altogether as it will only be slowing the flow of your story.
    You can have a lot of action and character description but this doesn't signify an event because what the norm was at the beginning of the chapter still stays as the same when it ends.
    You'll do good to avoid that common mistake at all costs. Story is about change in your characters' lives and their worlds.

    If you need any more information or further explanation then just let me know here.
     
  6. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    having read your problem there is only two things i can say. the first is that after he dies, maybe you should have him reminising about his former life, which can say a lot about him personaly.
    the second thing is that being a teenager, he is bound to whine and complain about things, it is what we do best, lmaoo.
    i hope this helped any,
    heather :)
     
  7. Siggi
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    Siggi Member

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    Get the character development through thoughts.
     
  8. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    Determination is a useful tool for character development, especially if you're having trouble with construction and motivation.
     
  9. Fantasy of You
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    Fantasy of You Banned

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    There are more ways than character interaction to develope your character. If it's from his perspective, you have every sentence of every page. Action doesn't have to be exclusive.

    - FoY
     
  10. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    If you're really shy about your work, I recommend going to a fanfiction website. There are some really good stories on some of them. But there are a lot more terrible ones.
    If by the time you have read ten stories about Harry Potter and Hermione Granger falling in love, you feel your stuff is worse than that, you need some serious help. :D

    If you want, post a single chapter or two of your story. That should give us enough to look over and offer some more specialized advice.
     
  11. Resident Mexican
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    Characterise him through his actions. 'nuff said. :D

    -Resident Mexican
     

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