1. davcha

    davcha New Member

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    How to make a character relatable when he already lived for a incommensurable amount of time ?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by davcha, Aug 4, 2019.

    A friend told me yesterday that having a character that lived for an insane amount of time makes all his struggles unrelatable, basically.

    Said character revolves around different ideas, one of them is that he's going to struggle to find meaning when he finally loses everything and realize that anything is doomed to disappear someday. This should lead him to have some existential crisis : "why bothering to preserve things, to accumulate knowledge, etc... when it will all cease to exist in billions of billions of years ?" basically.

    And that's where my friend tells me it's unrelatable, because "billions of billions of years" is so long that it doesn't really matter to us. Rendering the existential crisis unrelatable/weird.

    One of my goals with that character (aside from creating an interesting story) is to explore what would be the consequences of being eternal. How you could achieve that given what is known of physics today. And why would this be desirable or not (mostly not in fact).

    But now, with what he said, I'm a little bit less confident about this.
     
  2. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    I guess one question would be, is this being or individual truly immortal? Or can they die, via accident or disease--or become injured or incapacitated? Is this individual unique, or are there others like him/her/it? If there is a chance of ceasing to exist, then that adds a dimension that there is an ending. If there are others, then there are peers, which adds a dimension to the situation of living for eternity.
     
  3. davcha

    davcha New Member

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    Well, this character can be killed and there are others like him. But it's really rare and for the most part completely unknown. (no, no, nothing related to highlander, promise. lol..)
     
  4. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    Anne Rice's "Blood and Gold", the story of 2000 year old vampire Marius. An art lover and collector. Most of Anne Rice's vampires deal with the ennui of centuries and millennia. And they're very relatable because they remain very human.
    Another type of entity, non-human, god-like? That's up to you to make it/him/her relatable.
    However, your character is already showing a human trait: what's the point if everything is going to disappear one day? This is a very human line of thought. You're right, it's existential. Faced with immortality we dread the idea of losing friends and possessions that are not equally eternal. This would be very lonely in the long run.
     
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  5. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter Contributor

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    Sounds interesting to me. We relate to all sorts of people in fiction. Action heros, magic users... just make the character similar to normal people in other ways, which sounds like you are doing.
     
  6. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    I would think that after the first couple thousand years, the character would have made the necessary adjustments, and know that change is the only real constant in any existence. After that, such "immortals" would still seek out interesting people and places, with the full realization that these people and places would go away, and others would take their place.
     
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  7. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    I feel your character would be thinking in the future, but the reality is in the moment. And in truth it's all relative for someone to live a thousand years viewed by someone that lives to a hundred. Each day would open a new set of surprises and potential problems.
     
  8. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I was going to say look at vampires, but @Rosacrvx beat me to it. There are plenty examples of character that live "forever" in some form. Pretty recently I finished a story where characters live forever. I think these characters can be relatable, especially if they seek out or somehow miss or long for the human experience. You don't need to be thinking billions of years from now unless your story takes place billions of years from now. Stay with the present storyline as much as possible. It doesn't mean you can't drop things in, but don't derail too much into a time when the majority of your characters would be long gone.
     

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