1. shakespear57
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    shakespear57 Member

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    Witty character?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by shakespear57, Feb 1, 2012.

    I'm trying to create a character ( a boy) who is clever and witty, and always has a comeback for whatever anyone says, especially a girl who also has a clever tounge. I personally dont have that much wit though so i don't know how to go about writing the scenes which involve a lot of it??
    needing help ??
     
  2. UrbanBanshee
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    UrbanBanshee Member

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    Creating genuinely witty conversation is very difficult and can seem overdone if you're not careful. If every single thing out of a characters mouth is supposed to be 'witty' then it will end up losing its edge and can cause readers to roll their eyes so I suggest using it sparingly.

    Also figure out what kind of 'wit' you are looking for. Is your character sarcastic, or do they state the obvious? Example: To the question "what is it" to a map a sarcastic reply would be "It's my math homework." Obvious: "Looks like a map" (which usually causes the other person to give you a blank, your not helping, stare) The personality can change the way they say something too.

    How to be specifically witty I can't help much with.
     
  3. MegTheLedge
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    MegTheLedge Member

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    With some wit, you almost have to be asshole-ish. So. My advice would be to channel your inner ass. Just. Don't overdo it. Because then, people will think, "God, this author made this character such an ass" and you'll lose the effect. :p
     
  4. shakespear57
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    shakespear57 Member

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    Basically I'm going for more of a: 'No-one wanted your opinion,' 'No-one wanted your existance,' type thing rather than an 'its my math homework' or 'looks like a map' type things??
    But not quite that b*tchy???
     
  5. MegTheLedge
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    MegTheLedge Member

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    For example:
    A (talking to B): Do you like my new shoes?
    C: Looks like you buried them and dug 'em back up before you put them on.
    A (to C): I wasn't asking you.
    C: Just thought I'd offer my opinion.
    A: No one wanted your opinion.
    C: No one wanted your existence.

    Like that? Because in that case, I think it would be appropriate to make whoever C is quite attractive to make up for their attitude. Also, you could make both A and C begin to respect each other's intellects, which could eventually lead to chemistry between the characters.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't call much of this witty; to me, wit can charm, not wound. Wit that can only wound, and takes pleasure in it, is something else.
     
  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Read some witty repartee in movie scripts. It helped me.
     
  8. shakespear57
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    shakespear57 Member

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    where do i find them? what movies?
    i'm kinda thinking jack sparrow kind of wit?
     
  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    _His Girl Friday_ with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.
    _The Philadelphia Story_. More Cary Grant.
    _Casablanca_.
    _Moonlighting_ (TV series.)

    There are plenty more, but that's a start.
     
  10. shakespear57
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    shakespear57 Member

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    what scenes from all of these ? do you know?
     
  11. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wit just happens: it's situational depending on what's going on. The best part about writing it is if you think about it like when people say something to you, ten minutes pass and you're in another room, and suddenly you have the perfect comeback. Since you're writing it, you are free to make it the instant snappy reply instead of something that just frustrates you more. :p Try walking around taking something your character said personally, and the snap will come!

    Proper funniness comes from the unexpected, and since this is supposed to be an "evil" character, you've got a lot of freedom to say some really awful things.
     
  12. Jetshroom
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    Jetshroom Active Member

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    If you want to write any kind of comedy, you need to study comedy.
    Sit-coms would be extremely useful for this.

    As far as actually coming up with the lines you're looking for, you're probably not going to be able to do it first time, every time.
    One technique is to write your gag, then leave it for a couple of days, then come back to it with fresh eyes. See how it holds up.
    Another is to write as many different versions of the gag as possible, then, repeat the above step.

    You could also find someone who has the sort of quick mind you're looking for and see what sort of things they say.

    Finally, you've gotten some good advice from people here. If your character makes these sarcastic, obnoxious observations often, he's going to come across poorly.
     
  13. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I looked up 'free movie scripts online' and most of those movies came up. Cary Grant's are always good. Hugh Grant if you want British English. Just scroll through the scenes and see what you like. Sitcom scripts are available online, and some from BBC archives. Just Google--the process of looking turns up stuff rather than us sending you directly to some classic scene. You can also watch clips on youtube.
     
  14. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    double post
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what you've used as examples is neither clever nor witty... it's just rude and snarky... so are you sure it's wit and cleverness you want?... or do you just want your character to be a sarcastic smart-mouth?
     
  16. jc.
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    jc. Contributing Member

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    i agree with maia... he's just a snarky arsehole.
     
  17. SunnyDays
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    SunnyDays Member

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    Look up the Myers Briggs personality ENTP. They are incredibly witty and charming.
     
  18. shakespear57
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    shakespear57 Member

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    thats what i dont want !!! i want him to be cruel, but in a clever way so that he cuts down any response he might get before its even thought of. and when he is having arguments with the girl, she cuts him down after hes said his line. I dont know how to make him witty like that though !!! need help !!!
     
  19. Ziggy Stardust
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    Ziggy Stardust Active Member

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    Ok here's a few TV shows you could watch for inspiration:

    1. Becker
    2. House
    3. Blackadder series 2-4
    4. Misfits (For the Nathan character, he's hilarious)
    5. Futurama (For Bender, the Robot)

    All are loveable arseholes!

    You might go for Misfits and Futurama first, as you're writing about a "boy" rather than a "man".

    Have fun!
     
  20. Bran
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    Bran Senior Member

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    Ziggy tis correct, watch those shows (house and futurama are my personal favorites), and read stories with witty characters. Hang out with some witty people, and observe their personality. Hell, be a little witty yourself. Good luck :)
     
  21. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    In Cassandra Clare's City of Bones one of the main characters Jace has the sort of personality I think you are describing. The author does a good job of making him likable despite his sarcastic, slightly biting remarks. Besides that it is a very fun read.
     
  22. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    P.G. Wodehouse. Nuff said.
     
  23. Bran
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    Bran Senior Member

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    The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher. Read and learn.
     
  24. Hysteria1987
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    Hysteria1987 Member

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    Seeing Bran's username brings to mind George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones. Tyrion Lannister is a very sharp, witty character by necessity, and very entertaining to read, I found.
     
  25. Hadouken
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    Hadouken New Member

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    What is the relationship to this girl? Is she someone he doesn't like, or is he being cruel in a playful way?

    Girl: Oh gawd, I want to see the new Twilight so bad. I'm definitely team Edward. Don't get me wrong, Jacob is cute, but he just isn't right for Bella, ya know? I think it's all that hair.
    Guy: Sorry, I don't have the cinematic tastes of a girl who just discovered why she tingles down there.
    Girl: Yeah, I bet you want to jump Nosferatu's bones.
     

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