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  1. W. E. Burrough
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    W. E. Burrough New Member

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    Your Feelings for Characters?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by W. E. Burrough, Apr 11, 2012.

    My characters are born so easily. They're my children, my family. They each have quirks and they each have a purpose, just like you and I. Ever feel like they sometimes have minds of their own? I do, oddly. I give them life; they give me escape.

    Their personalities develop over time just as babies' do, although my little bundles of joy bloom at a somewhat more accelerated rate. "I hear babies cry, I watch them grow. They'll learn much more than I'll ever know." God, the place in my head is a wonderful world.*

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    Do you get attached to your characters? What effect do you think bonding with them has on your overall story? Keep in mind, I write what I must if the story calls for it.
  2. cuetip29
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    cuetip29 New Member

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    I love my characters...even the evil villians and scumbags. I think I get attached because I know everything about them; every intimate detail; every dirty little secret; all their memories, hopes, and dreams....okay i'm running on ....

    My point is, being attached to my characters helps me write them convincingly and makes them believable and interesting. If I care about what happens to a character, hopefully it will come out in my writing and the reader will care too.

    No matter how much I love them though, I have no problem killing them off or putting them through hell if the story calls for it. That's the fun part :p
  3. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Member

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    I am my characters. As I write for any particular character I try to be them, in my head that is. I'm not putting on a dress and high heels for anybody.
  4. killbill
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    killbill Member

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    Characters are like friends but not family. When my friends are close by and when I am helping them with something I do think about them a lot just as I think a lot about my characters when I am creating them, writing about them. But when my friends are far away I don't have the time or the energy to think about them even though I care about them. I just remember my characters sometimes when I have done writing about them. As far as family is concern I had to find time to think and care about them no matter what, which I don't think I do about my friends and my characters.
  5. MeganHeld
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    MeganHeld New Member

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    I agree. I love my characters and get attached to the point that I feel l like I am immersed in their lives. To me this is a good thing because then the characters will seem to be more realistic. If you can get attached to the characters then the readers should.
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  6. Birmingham
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    Birmingham Member

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    I agree. I recently stopped writing a novel because I felt I'm not ready yet for that type of story, and I started a new one. Aside from the feelings I had for the characters in the paused novel, I'm also surprised at how quickly I developed emotions for the characters of the recent one.

    I especially felt it in the third chapter of the current novel. It begins with a meeting between a character introduced in chapter 1 and a character introduced in chapter 2. I just smiled at the thought of these two kids finally meeting one another, after I invested so much time in shaping each one of them individually. They are truly fond of one another, but are about to bash the hell out of one another, so I wonder how that'll work for me emotionally.
  7. suddenly BANSHEES
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    suddenly BANSHEES New Member

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    I've never thought of any of my characters as my "children" or "friends," because I probably wouldn't get on very well with them in real life, but I do get really attached to characters. Maybe a little more than I should.

    In my current story, I really like the way the characters are shaping up, and it makes me a little sad when I think about the kinds of things I'm gonna have to put them through later on. But, I'm trying not too get too attached, to the point where I'll want to ease up on them or anything.
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do love them, but sometimes I feel like I'm just writing cliches, or parts of myself. Have NOT mastered the art of characterisation yet. I find my characters often cliched and they're all the same. If you just change their names, just about any one of my characters could be speaking the same line :(

    I've never understood the whole "developing" my own characters thing. I've tried in the past, building up a profile, things they like or dislike, even memories and history, and I can never seem to break out of the generic good guy anyway. How do you do it?
  9. RowenaFW
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    RowenaFW New Member

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    I dream my characters' dreams sometimes. And whilst I'm dreaming, I know I'm dreaming, but I actually believe I am that character.

    Once I dreamt about one story as a character from another story. That was weird.

    I try to write main characters who don't reflect a) me b) who I want to be or c) "heroes"/"heroines", so they're not the most loveable of people, although you can see their point of view. Nothing turns me off like forced heroism (ahem, Harry Potter...).
  10. MVP
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    MVP New Member

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    Everyone of them except my antagonist.
    I have been terrible to my antagonist, I can't help it, he's a bastard and I hate him. Unfortunately it is making my story lopsided. I just realized last week he needs a sidekick, he's working his evil shenanigans all by himself, while the MC has a small support system. I'm not sure how to bond with a bastard, but I'm going to have to at some point, because if I can't, then regardless of what my story's plot is, the entire thing is favored for the MC. That's a long winded way of saying it'll be some boring $hit.
  11. shangrila
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    shangrila New Member

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    I love them like my own family, though I have a weird thing with that. Being an only child, I use the word "brother" and "sister" to refer to really, really close friends, and I consider them family.

    Having said that, I have no problem killing, maiming or generally screwing with them. I do whatever I have to do get the greatest out of them, story wise. I sometimes don't like what I do to them, but I think that's kind of the point. An emotional response from me should be enough to get an emotional response from the reader.
  12. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Senior Member Contributor

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    This! I feel the same way. I get very attached to them, not to the extent of calling them family, but close friends, and I think too that is depends on knowing everything about them. And I think it's a advantage when I portray them, because I think this make them seem more real.
    I don't write the kind of stories where they could die, but I don't hesitate to put then through difficult times and make them deal with problems I wouldn't want to have to deal with myself, because for every thing I put them through I get to know them a little bit more.
  13. thecoopertempleclause
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    thecoopertempleclause New Member

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    If you have a bad guy, or an antagonist, then you've got to love him/her too. Don't create evil for the sake of evil. A point to bear in mind is that very few people think they are actually doing bad things. Most will either justify their actions, or point towards a greater good, or the 'ends justifying the means.' So unless you can get inside the head of your bad guy, they will be completely lifeless. Don't revert to pop-psychology 101 to explain their actions: they were abused as a child, their mother was domineering/a stripper/an alcoholic. Also, giving your antagonist one redeeming feature does not give them depth. So they blew up a building filled with schoolchildren: look! They have pets at home and they're all cuddly with them. No!

    This is where the love comes in, they do bad things because they feel it is just, or because they see no other option, or because they have a weakness of character which compels them to act. You have to feel their predicament and be right there with them. Even if it scares you... actually, especially if it scares you.
  14. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix New Member

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    I know the pain... Except that all my characters are evil by default. I have an entire league of villains and no heroes... I'm not complaining though :D

    Anyhow, I like all my characters. I really do, even if most of them are deliciously bad, and not all have the "oh, I was so mistreated" story behind. And they have something that makes me want to write their story even if I think I'm not that good. At least I will be a pro in writing villains in a few years. Watch me!
  15. Mckk
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    Mckk Contributing Member Contributor

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    Try giving your antag a reason to be evil - what's his back story? What makes him human?

    I'm working on my first novel ever, so hardly experienced, but for the first time I gave my characters back stories. Most notably it's affected my villain. In fact, I sympathise with him so much I'm struggling to make him much of a villain at all. He's by far my most interesting character.
  16. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Member Supporter Contributor

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    I love all my characters. But I realize that I am their god, so to speak - I determine what they do and say, what their destinies are. So I don't love them as I love the real people in my life. I love them as my creations. That means I don't feel sorrow when they die. They die in the service of my story, which means they die to fulfill their roles in my universe. And I love them for that. If I were to keep a character alive when he should die, or resurrect him for no good reason, I would be perverting his purpose, and therefore diminishing him in my eyes and in the reader's eyes. When I kill off a character (which is actually rare in my stories), I lay him lovingly in his grave, knowing he's done his job. He's played his part to the utmost. I wouldn't be respecting him, or his role in my story, if I didn't allow him to do that.
  17. Erato
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    Erato New Member

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    My characters are a lot of things. My friends. My creations. My devices. Story and balance and flow always come first to me. Characters are not my primary concern. I use them. I channel them. Call me cruel, or call me prioritized. I prefer to think of my writing as calculated and structured - characters have their place. My characters have never become three dimensional like some of yours... I wonder if that's a bad sign...

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