1. Jdry
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    Jdry Member

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    Would you consider this a realistic formula for Character Development?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Jdry, Feb 14, 2012.

    I always seem to write short stories where the MC's mood/character is Happy-sad-elated or Good-bad-better. I have used other "formulas" sometimes, but I use it quite often, would you consider it to be realistic? I understand some people change for the worse, but let us assume I am writing about a person who is strong willed or something along those lines.
     
  2. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    I don't think you should be applying formulas to character development. Just do what feels right for each individual character.
     
  3. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Formulas are scientific, mathematic. Real life is more complex than that. There's too many variables in a human's development and it can't really go to the level of science. That's why writing is an art. That said, there's no wrong way to develop your characters if it works for you, but I will say that that's not really the right way.
     
  4. CheddarCheese
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    CheddarCheese Contributing Member

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    Hi Jdry,

    I'm going to have to say cruciFiction just about hit the nail on the head. Formulas are meant for rational things, like maths or sciences. Humans are irrational beings. If you think about it, it'll make sense; could you apply a formula to yourself? If you can, would that formula apply to you next year? In ten years? Chances are, no.

    A formula might be a great way to forge a new character at the very beginning of a story, but no true character will stick to it throughout. Character development.
     
  5. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    What you said more constitutes a character arc, someone's progression towards improvement, and that is generally the way to go in stories, we all like to resolve conflicts by seeing a character grow, mature, deal with some of their hangups and becoming a better person for it.
    But I wouldn't call it character development, which I see more in terms of not so much improvement, but how one improves. That's where a real character shows.
     
  6. Jowettc
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    Jowettc Contributing Member

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    How you arrive at your story is up to you, i think.

    All writers will have different ways of getting the theme, plot, subplot, character conflict, protagonist / antagonist relationship etc. out in the open. Some will use a formula they like, some won't.

    It's not how you get there that's important to me as either a writer or a reader - but what the final draft reads like, how it flows and whether I can connect with the theme.

    If you have a story to tell - tell it in whichever way you think works best for you; However, I would say - formulas, in art, should be more like a template than a rule - don't be afriad to let the story develop a life of it's own and grow organically - you neve know what you might find!
     
  7. Chad J Sanderson
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    Chad J Sanderson Member

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    If it works for you, and the characters you make are believable; use whatever formula you want.
     
  8. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do remember also that character development does not necessarily constitute improvement. Part of my current story's plotline is devoted to my main character developing into a dick/his father. It's development of the bad kind.
     
  9. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    I'd have to agree that "formulas", in principle, are generally antithetical to organic character development. But if it works for you, go for it. Sounds plausible enough.
     
  10. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    You are right, it's the change rather than improvement. I suppose your MC is a bit of an "anti-hero". Or "fallen hero", the one who perishes because he couldn't positively deal with the challenges?
    I can't bear to make my MC's quite like that (I'm addicted to avoiding sad endings), although they fail to learn from their mistakes all the time, but I try to get them to improve at least in one important aspect by the end of each story.
     
  11. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, he's just an asshole. I write tragedies.
     
  12. Jdry
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    Jdry Member

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    Thanks for all your comments guys, I believe that Jazzabel rephrased my question perfectly.

    But, thanks again for all your input, it helps a lot.
     

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