1. SophiaWrites

    SophiaWrites New Member

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    Character Connection

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by SophiaWrites, Jun 3, 2017.

    Hi all!
    So, I read and research as much as possible about writing. One thing chapter one must have is that 'character connection,' that makes us care for the character / their goals / want to follow the journey.

    So, how do you build that character connection? What book have you read where you instantly were drawn to the MC?

    I tend to find I see shows where I'm drawn to the MC, such as Fiona in Shameless. There are so many good traits I love about her. I'm yet to find a book where I read about the MC, and think, 'I really, really like them.'
     
  2. Arktaurous34

    Arktaurous34 Active Member

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    I think it has a lot to do with the way you package them. An ingredient (character) is simple and sometimes dull by itself. A writer is tasked with creating a recipe with that ingredient that stimulates the readers senses and leaves them hungry for more. Easier said than done me thinks. I am by no means a master at this and I'm sure there is a ton more to character connection than just this :)

    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I can't even pinpoint why. I suppose I would have to read it again to figure it out. I had no interest in science fiction until I read that book on a dare lol.
     
  3. SophiaWrites

    SophiaWrites New Member

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    I'll check it out. I find it hard to get it perfect. There's the issue of exposition, too much backstory etc. Needs just the right amount and the character must stand out in whatever way is possible.
     
  4. QueenOfPlants

    QueenOfPlants Active Member

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    For me it's whether I can identify with that character. Whether there is something in their life that they and I feel the same about.

    Or whether I could fall in love with that character.
    That's why I also liked Ender, but more in Speaker for the Dead. He has all qualities that I could wish for in a man.
     
  5. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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    Death and Dave in How to Be Dead (Book 1) were very much relate-able.
    Death being a fairly decent guy, and a snarky asshole. And Dave being
    the more reserved and somewhat not so typical every day person tying
    to get on in the world while Death is his employer.

    Though usually I don't get to connect with the characters so much, as they
    are often so 'alien' in a sense. That is not to say that they or the story are not
    interesting, just not that I can relate. Then there are some where the author
    feels so detached from it all that the stories them selves have this kinda dead
    numbness to them. Almost as if they are writing things to just hurry up and cash
    in on the next one.
     
  6. NoGoodNobu

    NoGoodNobu Contributor Contributor

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    I'm going to be honest, but I don't have to connect to a character to enjoy reading the book. It helps if I don't absolutely loathe the protagonist, but relatability or likability just doesn't have to factor into it.

    However, the characters always must be done well.

    Maybe it's because I predominantly read classical novels than modern fiction.

    For instance, one of my favourite books is Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey but the protagonist Catherine is slow, simple, easily manipulated & tricked, and fairly ridiculous. Unlike Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice or Emma Woodhouse of Emma, she isn't clever, witty, assertive, or even very pretty. First time I read the book, I disliked her only a little less than Fanny Price of Mansfield Park who was a downright bore.

    But I loved the book. I loved the book. I loved the parody of tales of terror and that Austen made her protagonist distinctly wrong for the genre. I loved the events and the exploration into distinct human characters. I even grew rather fond of Catherine (only upon subsequent rereads), because her personality was so absolutely necessary to the story & how the events unfolded. I'm actually rather up in arms that whatever few film/series adaptations always alter her character to make her more appealing (much like with Fanny in adaptations of Mansfield Park). Unfortunately they miss the entire point when they alter her character to something more palatable for audiences.

    Like I don't relate or even care for any of the characters of Madame Bovary in any affectionate way, but I enjoy the book immensely.

    I'm not saying there isn't an allure to charismatic or relatable characters—it's simply a bonus, but not strictly necessary.

    But I could just be an extreme outlier that can be dismissed.
     
  7. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    I find I am attracted to characters who struggle against something, especially when there are easier alternatives. As the story develops, I keep thinking :Hmm... how is he/she ever going to get where they want to be?
     
  8. dragonflare137

    dragonflare137 Member

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    While I personally don't have to connect to the main character to enjoy a book, it makes it a lot easier to love when I do have that connection. I find that I connect more with characters that are more emotionally despondent, or sadistic beyond belief.

    What I look for in connecting with a character is how they are portrayed and how they solve certain problems. You can get a good idea of a characters true personality by analyzing the actions that they take.
     
  9. Walking Dog

    Walking Dog Active Member

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    Imagine going on a date. The person you're dating has a chaperone. The job of the chaperone is to tell you everything about your date. Meanwhile, your date isn't doing much. Chances are, you will not connect with your date. Now imagine a date that doesn't have a chaperone. This date is charming, trying to impress, bragging a little, but clumsy and knocks a glass of water into your lap. You will have a better chance of connecting with this person... I mean, after you've finished cursing and can see the humor of the situation. Don't be a chaperone to your characters. Let the readers experience for themselves the characters in your book. The readers will like or dislike your characters by the things they do. Create stories within the main story to reveal the character's personality. You do this with a scene designed for this very purpose. The scene may have nothing to do with the main plot, but if it makes the character come to life, then it has served a purpose.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
    GlitterRain7 and Rosacrvx like this.

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