1. katina

    katina Banned Contributor

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    complex characters

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by katina, Sep 25, 2018.

    Which character in terms of personality you most find tricky to develop in a story
    and why?
    For example:
    There is the shy one or the loud one, the introvert and the extrovert and so on.
    They each characterise elements which emphasise their personality.
    Which would you say is the most complex to write.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
  2. Irina Samarskaya

    Irina Samarskaya Senior Member

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    Now THIS is an interesting question--I have to think about it, since it's a hard one for me to answer.

    I don't want to assume I'm better than I am, but I can't think of any personalities I have a hard time developing. I have had a high-contrast life in terms of beliefs and mindsets so I've experienced times of extreme cowardice as well as bullish bravery. I know what it feels like to be absolutely certain, to have cracks of doubt, and to be totally unsure and disillusioned. I know what it's like to be very religious, very anti-religious, moderately religious/unreligious, and I know what it's like to be both an optimist and a pessimist. I've been depressed, I've been happy (like the "state of mind" happy, as in generally feeling up and having a sort-of buzz that makes everything seem easy and possible), I've been scared and fearful, I've been sad, paranoid, lost, ambitious, assertive, meek, etc.

    Perhaps having experienced all these things I have a much easier time writing of these things. I'm not proud of all the things I've felt and believed, but the experiences have made me more empathetic (I think) as well as less tolerant (because if I can overcome X, surely you can too).

    Maybe you have some ideas? Because I either have a hard time conceiving of those types I can't write (because I don't write them/think of them) or I actually am pretty good at channeling the feelings, ideas, and mindsets of others.
     
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  3. DeeDee

    DeeDee Contributor Contributor

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    The butler. Because everybody thinks he did it :oops:
     
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  4. Artifacs

    Artifacs Senior Member

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    In my case, hard sci-fi sentient alien forms are the most difficult to make (as an example of any other character with no reference in which to relay on).

    The answer to any question about it just takes you to another question until you end up creating an entire planetary evolution or similar scheme just to justify why it's able to see what we don't, or to communicate that way, or why it wound't do this and that.

    It's hard and most time consuming but I must admit I like it.
     
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  5. katina

    katina Banned Contributor

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    The Butler? he did what?
     
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  6. Nariac

    Nariac Contributor Contributor

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    It's a joke. Referring to the board game Cluedo, I believe.

    He did it in the conservatory with the lead piping, by the way. Just to clear up any remaining confusion.
     
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  7. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Character development is pretty much the same process regardless of a character's personality. All characters should have some complexity to them just as all people do. I don't think there is one type of personality that is more difficult to develop than another. And character development has just as much to do with how the story is executed if not more than pinpointing character traits. The unreliable narrator can be a bit tricky since it's doing a bit of double duty and nothing is really all that straight forward. This is where character development and story presentation are pretty much one. But other than that, I don't really understand the question. Maybe if you elaborated a little more on the topic in your original post or actually had a more specific question(s), it would make for better discussion.
     
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  8. katina

    katina Banned Contributor

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    @deadrats
    I have given examples of what I am trying to say.
    What I meant is that characters carry personalities and stigmas with them which make them unique.
    For example I find writing loud characters easier then say the quiet ones because with the latest you have find another way of describing them since they are not very good at socialising
    or chatting that much.
    Does that make sense?
     
  9. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I just don't see a personality of those sorts really affecting the level of complexity a character has or how hard it is to develop one type of personality over another.
     
  10. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Contributor Contributor

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    I sometimes have a harder time developing quieter/shyer characters, mostly because they don't get themselves as involved with everything. Or they say very little. But all I can do for those characters is give some moments that are meaningful despite their quiet demeanor. More confident characters and villains are way more fun/interesting to develop. I love making complex villains!
     
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  11. Nariac

    Nariac Contributor Contributor

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    I like making complex villains who are also handsome! Possibly even suave. Maybe even likeable.

    An evil James Bond, as it were.
     
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  12. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Contributor Contributor

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    Ditto!! My current story has a villain who is extremely calculating and only the protagonist knows he is an evil dirtbag, but he has the favor of the king and acts like he's done nothing wrong. The scenes involving those two are always so fun to write, because even while the MC is having chills running up and down her spine, he is blatantly being charming and nonchalant. It's interesting trying to develop a villain when the story is told entirely from the first person PoV of the MC.

    I did finally draw him recently, though! http://fav.me/dcnprrw
     
  13. Nariac

    Nariac Contributor Contributor

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    A writer and an artist ... *happy sigh*

    :love:
     
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  14. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Contributor Contributor

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    Yeah, I even drew the picture of my MC that's my avatar here. I always love drawing my OCs whenever I'm able, since I always have such clear images in my head of them.
     
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  15. DeeDee

    DeeDee Contributor Contributor

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    It's kind of an old joke/trope thing where the mystery writer cops out on the ending of the story by ignoring all previous clues and just declares a random person to be the murderer. Once the reader notices that the clues don't make sense, it also becomes pretty obvious that the person who appears to be the most invisible/innocent in the story (like the butler) will turn out to be the murderer. That's the joke part. It's sort of an Agatha Christie thing.
    The serious part and answer to OP's question is that it's difficult to write such a character, actually. The readers will scrutinize his every move, expecting to find hidden clues (as is the norm with well written mysteries). So if a writer wants to be clever, they should try to outsmart the reader. They have to write a character who both appears a innocent, but would also appear a little bit suspicious. A bit like Snape in Harry Potter.

    "Dear Dan Brown, please read this quote I found on the internetz, and adjust your character Robert Langdon accordingly. Tom Hanks has been struggling with this through several movies already so much it's making him red in the face and that makes him less cute. Ta! "

    This is so last year *snorts snottily* :supercheeky:
     
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  16. Just a cookiemunster

    Just a cookiemunster Active Member

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    Definitely the quiet characters. I am dealing with that issue now actually. I have all kind of personalities I don't have too much a problem with and I think they are developing nicely but I have this quiet one that I cannot figure out how to add complexity too. The funny part is that I myself am quiet so I tried to look at myslef for reference but I cannot even find anything interesting or complex about myself. Everything about me is simple. I am not sure what to do I just don't want him to turn out to be a flat boring character. :confused: He was suppose to be the protagonist too. But I am having more fun with the least expected character who is spoiled and arrogant but kind at heart.
     
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  17. Nariac

    Nariac Contributor Contributor

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    I had this issue with a protagonist who I was worried was boring. So I went back to the drawing board and sketched out his background a bit more, thinking of things that might have happened to him in his life that would shape the way he is, and that helped a lot. He was still fairly quiet, but he now had a lot more drive and motivation which I think helps him be interesting.

    If the worst comes to the worst, just make your character into "the rogue".

    Everyone loves the rogue character in any setting. (Han Solo, Matrim Cauthon, etc)
     
  18. Just a cookiemunster

    Just a cookiemunster Active Member

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    That is a really good idea actually! I will try it out ^.^ Thankyou for the advice.
     
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  19. Nariac

    Nariac Contributor Contributor

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    Always happy to help! :agreed:
     
  20. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    The internal conflicted fighting between two opposing mindsets,
    even though both are valid, and useful to them. And their vocations
    reflect their internal struggle as well, which makes things quite
    interesting in the long run.
    Not a villain, but a whole other breed all it's own. :)
     
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  21. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Banned Contributor

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    None.
     
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  22. ddavidv

    ddavidv Senior Member

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    My mother read Agatha Christie books and loved them. I read one or two and was so irritated by the endings I gave them up.
    If you ever get the chance watch the movie "Murder By Death". It makes fun of every famous detective character and accuses them of bad storytelling. Hilarious parody.
    And yes, there is a butler. ;)
     
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  23. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    Persecuted Salem Witch's adopted daughter aided by futuristic mother.
    The binary characters make for a two world scenario where...
    I want this to be told in two parts.
    Part one, the daughter. Rose
    Part two, the mother. (conclusion of the story). Jessica


    This means writing Jessica from her daughter's point of view as one person.
    And then introducing this person again as somebody different to what her daughter learned, and somebody who survived burning at the stake by going back to 2599, and can't go back in time to rescue her daughter her self because as far as everyone knows in the past, she is dead.
    So I'm telling the audience she is alive, but she has a career in science, and work was why she was time travelling but now she's back in the future, she's penalised and been given desk duty which just means focusing on her work as a scientist.
    She hides that she has a daughter called Rose and builds technology to help her daughter flee persecution and sends it to the past somehow.
    I want her mother to rewrite history turning her daughter Rose from a Halloween Horror Story of some old witch and to save Rose and rewrite part one? or re write history/be reunited with her daughter.
    It was a chance meeting that saw Jessica run into Rose's birth to a peasant in London in the 1600's, and Jessica used future technology to help out the birth, but the woman doesn't survive child birth and Jessica takes pity and falls for this baby, so adopts her knowing her and her technology can raise her.
    They have to flee London, (I want Rose to be an old witch from England - and a shout out to my home town, I want this to happen in London). and I want Jessica to take Rose to New England, to Salem.

    And I'm wondering...
    Do I want Jessica forgetting about the Witch Trials?
    Or Do I want Jessica starting the Witch Trials?
    Probably the latter.
    I don't want to offend Salem, MA and the memory of that whole real thing where people died and there's documented history of women who were accused and tried as witches.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
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  24. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    It just dawned on me now that that would make the daughter technically older than the mother in my mother/daughter story.


    I'm thinking screenplay of course.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  25. ThunderAngel

    ThunderAngel Contributor Contributor

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    I have a protagonist who is so complex that it's impossible for most people to relate with him, and yet he makes up for it by being profoundly intriguing; he's basically an atypical MC.
     

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