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  1. Alphacharizard

    Alphacharizard New Member

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    Cast of characters for a war history?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Alphacharizard, Sep 29, 2018.

    I'm making a war sci-fi war story, but I don't decide who should be the main team yet. I want them to be no-ones, people who doesn't look like heroes, instead they are a bunch of losers who must overcome great dangers and their own defects and pasts.
    They'll become great heroes.
    Any idea or sugestion to design their personalities?
    Thank you.
     
  2. DeeDee

    DeeDee Contributor Contributor

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    Think of the events they have to go through. Like the Wizard of Oz. They all go there in order to change something in themselves. One wants to be brave, therefore he must start as a coward and learn to be brave. Another one might start as a tough guy (the one without a heart) but by the end of the story he should learn how to sympathize with people, maybe shed a tear. Then comes the one who wants to go home all the time but gets to kill the Evil Witch the General of the Opposition and save the kingdom. Etc etc.
     
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  3. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    In general:

    A Great Course that I took twice talks about three spectrums that everybody's approaches fall under somewhere

    Imagination / Observation: How much do you invent your characters from whole-cloth, and how much do you base them on other people (fictional or otherwise) that you've been exposed to?

    Personally, I'm generally about 95% Imagination driven, whereas my father says that he's about 70% Observation driven
    Individual / Circumstantial: How much do you focus on what makes your characters psychologically unique, and how much do you focus on how they've been sociologically molded by the world around them?

    This is an area where I always aim for as close to 50/50 as possible, looking more at the combination of Nature and Nurture than just at one or the other.
    Inside-Out / Outside-In: How much do you start with the character's values and worldview (using this as the baseline from which to determine their behaviors, appearance, and mannerisms), and how much do you start with the character's behaviors, appearance, and mannerisms (using this as the baseline from which to determine their values and worldview)?

    This is an area where I actually jump around the most instead of generally settling at one point or another. At the most basic level, I work Outside-In – I start with a basic idea for what my charcaters are doing and how they're doing it, and by the time the story's finished, I've developed an incredibly in-depth understanding of why they were doing that thing in that way – but at any given moment, I could be coming up with a new idea for my characters' actions that forces me to reconsider their thought processes, or I could be coming up with a new idea for my characters' thought processes that forces me to reconsider their actions.​

    Where do you think you fall on each of these axes?

    Are there any places where you think that trying a different approach might work better?

    Specific to you:

    What does war look like in your setting?
    • Are the larger "division vs. division" battles more common, or the smaller "strike team vs. strike team" battles?
    • How much do you talk about the other jobs that soldiers do in addition to fighting (drivers, mechanics, radio operators...)?
    What is this war about?
    • Who's winning?
    • How long has it been going?
    • Which side are your soldiers on?
    • Which soldiers still support the war and which ones are growing disillusioned?
     
  4. AbyssalJoey

    AbyssalJoey Member

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    This is a fairly complicated question.

    You mention that they don't look like heroes but... who's judging??? the general public, their peers or the military higher-ups???

    In what sense are they losers??? they could be criminals or maybe they were neets and the military drafted them (you could pull off a Squad 422 like Sega in VC3).

    Who is going to recognize them as heroes??? remember that civilians don't really know what is happening in combat zones, because of this most of the time the higher-ups decide who becomes a hero.

    Since they are going to become heroes, most if not all the main cast will need to be brave and one of them will need to be good with tactics (probably the highest ranking soldier).

    How are they going to become heroes??? they're going to break the tie in a long drawn out battle??? are they going to return alive from a suicide mission??? or maybe they lucked out and accidentally killed or captured someone important.

    I think this is the kind of question that will allow you to create their personalities and backstories.
     
  5. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    Sort of reminds me of that old (1967) move The Dirty Dozen.
     
  6. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    It sounds like you already have a good idea of where you want to go with this. So, go with it. Think about what you think these unlikely heroes would really be like. I think you've got this! Trust yourself. But if you run into any specific snags, that can be a little different. Still, I say trust yourself because you do sound like you down where you want to take it. That makes me believe you must sort of already know the characters who are going to take it there.
     
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  7. Privateer

    Privateer Senior Member

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    Here's a question for you, so I can get a feel for where you're going: what does a hero look like to you?


    Also...are they conscripts? Volunteers? Veterans? Newbies? Special Forces types or a bunch of mechanics and pay clerks who ended up in the wrong place?
     
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  8. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
    Put Red Dwarf in a war?
    Here's the pilots.


    Hey... a pilot's a pilot, and could help explain this idea better.

    Red Dwarf's characters didn't get any better for the most part, however, the audience rooted for them.

     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
  9. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Contributor Contributor

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    Privateer has a point:

    I have met several war heroes - or people that fill many definitions of hero. Not one of them looked like a hero. Not one of them sound like a hero.

    One was a bit shy and quiet.

    One had very malformed jaw because of a hit that never improved.

    One took very good care of his wife's old mother.

    I have met also other kind of heroes. An little old man who was a christian missionary in communist China in very bad years 1946 - 1953 and talked about Christ to everybody everywhere.

    https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Päivö_Parviainen

    Or this nice lady that sings.



    She visited Russian prisons for 10 years. And stopped only when Russian government stoped it. (Russian prisons are hell on earth.)

    Suggestion:

    Study real life heroes.

    They are people who voluntarily risk or even give away big parts of they life to help, safe or just comfort those who can't help themselves.

    What it takes to be an European Christian missionary in China 1946 - 1953? Voluntarily?

    What it takes to go to bad Russian prisons for 10 years to help and comfort inmates? (Do you like antibiotic resistant tuberculosis? Or...? Or...? Or...? Or...?)

    What it takes when Soviet Army attacks with a force three and half times bigger than Allied Normandy operation and the command is not to leave positions at any reason but to die in them. And men don't leave but stop the enemy.

    Heroes never look like heroes.
    Heroes never sound like heroes.
    Heroes never even behave like heroes.
    They just act like heroes. They do what is needed and they don't stop doing it.
     
  10. Alphacharizard

    Alphacharizard New Member

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    Thanks to everyone for your answers.
    Alan, you make me think (in fact: my story will have a Cristian focus).
     
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  11. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Contributor Contributor

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    Then you might think as a hero one of my uncles.

    He smuggled Bibles to Soviet Union. Getting caught would have meant 10 - 15 years in Siberia as a foreign political prisoner.

    The Word was more important to him than his own safety.

    If you want to get some more silent help in character development, PM me.
     
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  12. Alphacharizard

    Alphacharizard New Member

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    Sorry for not answering.
    Well... I'd say I have planned the heroes to be brave, mature and strong at the end of the story, something like Superman, but first having them growing internally.

    A couple of them are veterans, but I want the others being a a bunch of mechanics and pay clerks who ended up in the wrong place.
     

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