Character Development

  1. Getting all Emotional

    Almost a year ago I made this post: A few really good articles on Deep/Close POV A recent post on the First Three Sentences thread made me look back into it, and I read through some of the articles again. My opinion of deep POV changed several times as I learned about it, but eventually I realized it's one of those things that can be good or bad depending on how it's handled (isn't that everything related to writing?). From the second link I discovered a course. She has two modules that...
  2. Looking into the Creation of the MCU

    Don't be put off by the name of the channel (It Was a Sh*t Show)—this guy actually does a deep dive into the making of various movies, and he's extremely fair in his reporting. I think the name is mostly clickbait, though when you look deep enough, the making of most movies really is a shit show, even the ones that come out excellent. It's basically a miracle when Hollywood is able to make a good movie. He gives plenty of praise where it's due, and Marvel deserves a lot up to a certain...
  3. The Altered Self

    I hadn't heard of a sci-fi genre called The Altered Self before, or of Evolutionary Horror. And yet some of the most powerful books and movies I know of fit into one or both. I guess it's because I never really looked into sub-genres. But honestly, I don't think truly evolutionary horror would be frightening at all, since evolution takes like millions of years and affects, not you directly, but your very distant descendents. The reason these movies and stories are so intense is because it...
  4. Examining the writing in Sail and The Man Who Liked Dogs

    These are my two favorite hardboiled stories I've run across so far, both of them in the same book—The Hard Boiled Omnibus, published in 1952 and edited by Joseph T Shaw. It's a collection of some of the best stories from Black Mask magazine. I've already linked to Sail twice, but I feel I should include links here for both stories: Sail by Lester Dent The Man Who Liked Dogs by Raymond Chandler I find the beginnings of both stories to be the strongest parts. With Sail the main body almost...
  5. World building

    I am continuing to go back through the "Wandering inn" Series by Pirateaba. This series is a fascinating case study in world building. Since the genre is fantasy, the author has multiple races to deal with. There is a detailed profile for each race, Drakes, Gnolls, Goblins, Antinium, Humans which are the main races on the main continent in the story. Each race is detailed in culture and politics. Things are gradually revealed using an ignorant character, learning about the world. The culture...
  6. The world as a character

    This is likely more of a genre item, for SciFi and Fantasy, but it is something worth considering. How much attention do we authors pay to crafting the worlds we write in? I ask this going beyond simple logical continuity. I occasionally run across works that the world itself is almost another character in the story the way it engages the reader. It is well fleshed out and engaging, in such a way that it has the reader wanting to learn more about the world itself. Granted this gets deeply...
  7. Secondary characters

    I have been thinking about one of my secondary characters, lately. So far I have set him up as the stereotypical big dumb brute. But I wanted to explore him more for the readers. So I gave him a pov scene all his own. Due to his race, fantasy genre, he has a speech impediment, so I went completely internal dialogue for the scene. I went back into his memories, instead of an actual flashback, to show some of his past trauma, and establish more of his character arc, even though he is basically...
  8. What can be learned from Buffy?

    When I first joined this message board, I had just finished watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the series, from beginning to end. I think it was the best show ever made, bar none. Despite some heavy contenders like Breaking Bad, or Jessica Jones—none of them have anything like the perfect mix of creativity, humor, and fun Buffy offers, along with intense drama, sometimes to the point of tragedy. I bought the entire series as a DVD box set, which included behind the scenes for some episodes,...
  9. The Inner Life

    I'm using this entry to collect together certain threads where I've expounded on my ideas about the inner life—of human beings and of characters. Here's the thread that sparked this: Whence the theme? But the underlying ideas connect up with my thoughts on characters having an inner life of their own, which I wrote about rather extensively in these threads: Downloading Characters Characters are not listening to me. Help. Do you feel a responsibility to your characters? ... And maybe a...
  10. Sneaking Suspicions- Meet The Protagonists!

    Hey everybody! Here with a [very late] protagonist introduction for Sneaking Suspicions. As some of you may already know, Sneaking Suspicions has three main characters, and here are their profiles: Protag #1: Wavepaw A lovable, mischievous, and ever-excitable sweetheart, Wavepaw has finally achieved her dream of becoming a medicine apprentice. She's been following her now-mentor, Ivyhawk, around since she could walk, and as such already possesses a remarkable amount of medicine knowledge and...
  11. Plot driven / Character driven, and a hybrid of the two

    Last night I was introduced to the idea that plot-driven and character-driven don't need to be a binary proposition, you can mix-and-match 'em, or hybridize 'em. That's the first time I recall seeing this idea, and it immediately struck me as true. Several times before I've made similar discoveries, that ideas writers often take as binary propositions actually work better on a sliding scale, a spectrum. Just as dark and light don't necessarily mean only intense blinding white light or...
  12. Character Web

    I didn't post this video because it's about The Walking Dead. I never really cared much for that show. Watched a few episodes, then lost interest pretty fast. Maybe because there's no identifiable theme? I don't know. I posted the video because it's about Character Web and how to go about creating one. Each character should have a particular stance on the main theme, or possibly a secondary theme for some of them. Otherwise they don't belong and are just along for the ride and weighing...
  13. Dialogue should be action

    What does this mean? I have a few ideas I'll write about, but I also want to expand my understanding of how dialogue pushes narrative and character interaction, and how it reveals the personalities of the characters involved. It can do all these things and more. As for the more—dialogue, like just about any part of story, can provide exposition, it can be inert, static, or it can even work against the progression of the story. But I'll start with a few things I think I know about it. As...
  14. In Praise of Imperfection

    In Praise of Imperfection Years ago, I read that, in some cultures, a vase that has been cracked and repaired is considered more beautiful than a perfect specimen. The imperfection tells a story of triumph. “I have suffered, but I have survived.” Battle scars are to be worn proudly. It’s the imperfection that adds depth to the piece. Imperfection is a lot more interesting than perfection. Otherwise, what would we gossip about? But seriously, what is perfectionism but an attempt to...
  15. What a Year!

    As 2022 comes to an end, most of us are reflecting back on the year and others mine as well be in 2023. getting those resolutions ready to be forgotten about by the second week of January if they're lucky to make it that long. I've tried that I don't know how many times and I never felt like I was actually changing. well until this year. The beginning of the year had all the magic; I thought 2022 was gonna be the year where everything just magically turned perfectly. Between trying to be a...
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