1. Pcaara
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    Pcaara New Member

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    writing short stories to develop character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Pcaara, May 20, 2011.

    Im writing a character-driven story about the interconnecting lives of a multitude of characters and i know it's going to be one hell of a task (excuse my language, haha) but im totally accepting of the challenge :)
    I was just wondering, when it comes to developing your characters personalities, do you write short stories with their interactions and do they have to relate to the actual plot? And how do you go about it?
    Im trying to make them sort of like real people (but a bit more interesting)
    This is who i have now:

    Kiani- a girl who left her family to show them she can be independent. She is small and fragile in appearance. She loves a great challenge, and will work her hardest for what she wants. (this is the one i think i need help on the most..she seems so...2D)

    Ayame- She is loud and a bit ghetto, but actually very responsible. She enjoys working with children, but has little to no patience with kids her age. Ayame has anger management problems.

    Lia- Ayame's serene, mute sister. If she could talk, she would possibly lay everybody out as she dislikes society's childishness. She is distant and would prefer to study than sit around with a bunch of kids she cannot talk to.

    Tydis- A socially awkward and scarred young man accused of mass murder. He has a hatred for women and a short fuse. He does not enjoy crowded rooms, and absolutely WILL NOT participate in any swimming activities when people around. He's very alert and cautious if anybody comes more than two feet near him.

    Pan- a girl who feels the need to have a man at her side and will do what it takes to get one. She was previously in training to be a young witch, but has since abandoned her goal.

    That's all for now (there's more, but i have little time)

    Please critique me!!
     
  2. Yandos
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    Yandos Member

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    We have a special thread for this type of help. "Character Development Clinic" in 'Word Games'
    http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=38469

    My suggestion would be to read the basic outline given in the first post and other character problems, think about which of them applies to yours then place your characters in there, and we'll do our best to help you flesh them out.

    It would be a good idea to place your characters one at a time, as with 5 going at once will be confusing and hard to keep up with.
    Give about 2-3 days between posting the next character or until you are happy with answer that they give.
    Make sure you give a detailed description of the world in which they live in, be specific about what areas you need help with and what areas you don't, so we don't ask any redundant questions.
    Answer the question from your characters perspective and 'in character'.
    If you require feedback from the answer you give, please note this information at the base of your characters answers.

    And finally, be patient as most of us login to the site at different days and times.

    I look forward to seeing your characters in there.
     
  3. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Writing stuff down is great, but you need more than that. A character sketch only starts your characters feeling real. What you'll need to do is spend a lot of time just thinking about your characters and stories and method acting (in your imagination, or get dressed up if you want) different characters in different scenes.

    People used to laugh at me because they thought it took me forever to write a story, because I'd be 'writing' it for months before actually typing a single word. All I was doing was thinking about characters, who they are and what they do and why. In grocery store lines I'd imagine I were my character, how they'd be feeling, what they'd say, what they would do, why why why.

    Eventually, when I finally would get around to actually typing up a story, people then would comment on how real my characters felt, and that I had a 'knack' for it. Maybe so, but it was also a lot of hard work.

    Character interviews seem to work for people, but for me it was never enough time or depth to really get into the psyche of a character to truly get to know them.

    And remember people are far deeper than their external traits or quirks, or even simply the events that have happened to them. You've got to get deeper than all that.
     
  4. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    While I do similar things as popsicledeath, I also like to write short stories to develop characters. They don't need to be part of your story, but I prefer to keep it in the same world. For example, in one of my stories there is a group of three werewolf hunters, and I wanted to figure out the group dynamic before I started writing. So I wrote a short story about them just hanging out between jobs, which really helped me even though the story itself was pretty boring, even to me. A lot of people suggest writing about the character waking up and their daily routines on an uneventful day.
     
  5. Pcaara
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    Pcaara New Member

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    Thank you all for your great advice! I've actually placed Kiani in the character development clinic, but i guess because i never described the world she lived in people got bored asking general questions about how she felt about certain things and whatever. Kiani is generally a boring character to me right now...despite being my main

    Also, i try to write (and draw, as im an artist), but i always end up looking through Kiani's eyes... Is there any tips for breaking away from that whole "writer's pet" character? Because i need help with that too...
    In the mean time, i suppose it's off to the clinic!
     

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