1. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    Are you ever afraid your character resembles a character in another material?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by GuardianWynn, Nov 13, 2014.

    Sometimes when I thinkng about my characters I get caught up thinking how simiar they are to a character I know. Sometimes I get really caught up by this wondering if I need to change them, or change something about them.

    Do you guys ever have this problem?
    How do you deal with it?
     
  2. Okon

    Okon Contributor Contributor

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    If you haven't already, just try giving them a chance to grow through your writing. Their beginning concept might have a few doppelgangers, sure, but it's actually pretty tough to mimic someone else's character in the long run.
     
  3. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    There are a number of profiling tools that HR professionals use to find out which box you fit into...are you the ebullient salesman, or the introverted, painstaking accountant? And, depending on the tool used, there are only so many boxes to put you in. From a practical point of view, a fairly small number of boxes is essential, and we all fit (more or less) into one of them. But note the "more or less". Yes, your character WILL resemble another character. Don't sweat it. Don't try TOO hard to be original, just avoid the worst cliches.
     
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  4. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Specifically trying to copy another character is generally considered a bad idea, but it's a lot harder to do by accident than most people realize.

    Sometimes after I've come up with a character concept I love, I try my hardest to see which character s/he is most like just as an intellectual trivia game. I generally don't get very far because none of my comparisons hold up under scrutiny ;)
     
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  5. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    Thank you all for the feedback. :-D

    This admittly is a problem I have in moreof a moment of weakness when I doubt myself. I try to focus on what makes them different over what makes them the same, that is usually myay of dealing with it. I was mainly just curious of it was a comon problem.
     
  6. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't have any franchise or character that I'm terribly invested in as a reader at the moment, so it's not a worry that enters my mind overmuch. I tend to worry more about aping another writer's narrative style, so I don't usually read during my spurts of writing.
     
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  7. cutecat22

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I've found that too!

    I was always reading, always had a book on the go, sometimes more that one (if one was a factual book or a book of lists) but since I've been writing, I've hardly read anything and I think it's because subconsciously, I don't want other writer's characters to influence my own characters ...
     
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  8. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    That moment when I suppose I should admit a secret. Not supposing it will make me any friends here.
    I am not well read. I have never read a book over 200 pages. So, can't exactly relate to the problem of not reading while writing.
    That moment of shame. I am sorry :cry:
     
  9. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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  10. cutecat22

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Just because you don't read a lot doesn't mean you won't make a good writer. I've always loved reading and I will read almost anything but that doesn't mean I'm any better at writing than anyone else on this forum or out in the book world.

    But reading in general is a good way to learn how to write. If you don't want to spend time pouring over textbooks on how to write/format/set out dialogue/etc ... then do plenty of book reading. (and it doesn't have to be big books. Short stories, pamphlets, advertising brochures. Any written word will do so long as you don't see it as a chore.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
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  11. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    I am trying to increase the ammout of time I read. As a younger person, I thought there was a formula or key on how to write a book. It is interesting since there is no such master formula. lol. Sometimes to many options makes picking on so much harder.

    I work as a security guard, so I write at work, and occasionally read. Next year I plan to enter college, I suppose take some sort of writing course.
     
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  12. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    A long time ago I read a lot of Douglas Reeman...and then I noticed the formula that he was using, and stopped reading him, because I knew what was coming.
     
  13. Wynter

    Wynter Active Member

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    Not particularly, when I think of my characters I think of how they'd act, what they'd do, if they happen to be similar to another character then so be it, but when I'm planning my character, when I'm writing them I never really consider it.

    Many people are alike, but there is always something that differs them from one another, so yes, some characters will be similar to others, but there will be differences and that is symbolical of life really. Unless you intentionally write your character to be exactly like another you've read about, then I'd say there's an issue there.

    Write your character, there will always be another guy they can be compared to but that doesn't mean anything bad, it's just what will happen, you can compare any character to another if you're well read enough.
     
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  14. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    It's happened to me plenty of times. Once I was afraid that one of my fantasy characters was basically Link from The Legend of Zelda if he were a woman. Needless to say I tweaked her backstory and motivations a bit, but not before I imagined a hilarious scene of her beating Link to the Master Sword and becoming the Hero of Time instead. :D

    But yeah, it can happen and its embarrassing when you see it. :p

    And if its of any comfort, I wasn't that big of a reader until just recently and even then, I hardly spend hours glued to a chair with a book in my hands. Don't be so hard on yourself.
     
  15. Gigi_GNR

    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    This is the real worry - at least for me. After a while, your characters tend to grow personalities of their own, so if they're like someone else in their inception, they probably won't be like them in a few weeks. It's the writing style of people that can be easy to copy, accidentally or otherwise.
     
  16. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    I deal with it by ignoring it. There is so much literature out there that you are inevitably going to be treading ground previously trod by other characters, other story elements, other plots, and other writing styles. Getting caught up in second-guessing your own story on those grounds is fruitless. Just write what you want to write and don't worry about similarities to what has come before.
     
  17. Gigi_GNR

    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    ^ That's also true. They do say that every story has already been written, so maybe it could be best not to worry.
     
  18. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I agree. While I make sure my characters are as original and 'mine' as possible, I know that some of them are going to share traits (or even names!) of other characters. Just write and don't worry about it.
     
  19. cutecat22

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    But it is dead annoying when you write a character and then twelve month later, a new TV series airs with a character who has the same name! Sheesh I hate it when that happens.
     
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  20. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I know! I created a character named Tarlok, only to realize to my irritation that there was a villain in Legend of Korra who had the name 'Tarlock'.
     
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  21. Savila93

    Savila93 Member

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  22. daemon

    daemon Contributor Contributor

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    My WIP is deliberately a derivative of a fanfic that has already been written, so I actually embrace similarities between characters in that fanfic and characters in my WIP.
     
  23. Slade Lucas

    Slade Lucas Member

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    I find that my characters usually do resemble characters in other pieces but this is not a bad thing. After all, if you have a character who is kind, caring, selfless - that could be used to describe many main characters of stories, couldn't it? Most characters follow a certain template - what you need to do is make sure you have a stamp on it which defines the character. I like to imprint a little bit of myself into the characters, particularly my main character.

    For example, my current main character is all those things I mentioned previously - kind, caring and selfless. I did that because that is the kind of character I like to see as a main character. However, I tried to make him slightly different to what could be thought of as the norm - I made him a little bit podgy and useless at fighting but still, despite this, heroic. This is still a type of character which has doubtless been used many, many times before but I still put my own stamp on it. It's the little things that count here.
     
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  24. cutecat22

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    With mine, it was the name Gabriel.

    Although, there is a website called Nameberrys, which is fantastic for looking up all sorts of names, they also have a facebook page where they show you different names and ask opinions. As I said, my main character is called Gabriel so I had to chuckle when they advertised a recent poll stating "56% of 'berries' prefer Gabriel to Gideon ..."

    Anyone who's read Sylvia Day's Crossfire Series of books will understand my smile!
     

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