1. CookieCutter

    CookieCutter New Member

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    In Need of a Male Character Idea

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by CookieCutter, Jan 25, 2019.

    I am in the beginning stages of drafting an idea for a new story. What I have at the moment are two female main characters, one character who will appear in the story as an early antagonist, and another character who is linked to the first antagonist, but is more of a menacing presence than a directly involved force (at least as it stands for the moment). My problem is that they are all female. While I am not going to change any of them to male, the story certainly needs more characters in it to flesh out the world and in general. I have always had trouble coming up with ideas for male characters, as I find them harder to create and not seem stereotypical, so all of my male characters are usually the products of a random inspiration spark. They have all turned out very well, in my opinion, but at the moment, I am completely lost on what to do.

    The universe the story takes place in contains magic, and *may* have a Victorian era - Steampunk setting. The story verse is a baby at the moment because I have been writing in the same setting for the past five years and just now decided to start over in a new setting.

    I'd like the story to have much greater gender diversity, so I would appreciate anyone who can provide any ideas. Thank you!
     
  2. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I think you have to ask yourself what the story is or start writing the story. It shouldn't take five years to create a setting and in the end still have no story. So, maybe you want to rethink your approach. You don't need to create each aspect of a story individually. In fact that could be a problem. The idea that you want a male character for the sake of having a male character isn't going to do you any favors without a good story in place or at least more direction. It doesn't really sound like this does much when it comes to diversity either. If you're trying to make a diverse cast of characters, that's probably something that you'll need to think about more. But, again, it's important to give a story what it needs. It sounds like you're not even sure if you're story is going to need this male character or why. Characters who aren't part of a story are little more than imaginary friends.
     
  3. CookieCutter

    CookieCutter New Member

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    Thank you for the advice! Sorry if I didn't write clearly, but it did not take me five years to come up with this. I've been writing in a different story setting and world that I created five years ago, and I've decided it was about time I created a new setting that was fresher and a lot more relevant to where I am as a writer five years later. I think just starting the story and developing characters from there would be a very good approach, so thank you for that.
     
  4. jannert

    jannert Super Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    How do your three female characters interact with men? Do they have sex and children with men? Do they fall in love with men? Do they ignore men as much as feasibly possible? Do they have fathers and brothers? Is there a power struggle between men and women, where one gender dominates the society? Are there other genders as well, in your world? How are they regarded? What is the setup? It's hard to offer advice without knowing a BIT more about what your story is like.
     
  5. CookieCutter

    CookieCutter New Member

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    Both of the main characters, who's names are Lucretia and Duana, were romantically involved with each other in the past. The story starts in the middle, with the two of them re-meeting each other after ten years. Duana has a slough of relatives, and two prominent ones are her uncle, who has a large impact on her beginning, and her father, who may end up being the main antagonist. Lucretia, on the other hand, has no family to speak of, as she was orphaned as a newborn following a shipwreck. As for their sexual orientations, that's more complicated. Duana isn't really open. to anything of the sort at the moment and doesn't devote any time to thinking about it. I think it is more about personality than gender for her, but any way you slice it, it takes her a very long time to warm up to anyone. Lucretia is pretty nonchalant about it, but she's definitely oriented towards females more. As for how the society works, I'm looking to have it be antiquated, but not have there be a gender-based power struggle. However, there are prejudices against the LGBTQ community, as the main society hasn't developed as far as to be accepting. However, the various magical societies are a lot more openly accepting of this, but their beliefs can differ depending on the area and such. I'm trying to build this new world and setting from the ground up, and using this story as a way to take the first step into this brand new setting, so establishing different cultures and peoples is definitely a top priority.
     
  6. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

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    I don't know if it's the advice you're looking for, but I'm in love with the archetypal Hero male character; a character who starts out as sort of bumbling and useless until he finds out his way of life is shallow and meaningless. They find a greater purpose, and are offered the choice as to whether or not to accept a great burden or responsibility, and they decide to take up the sword. Then, struggling through their trials, they find a treasure and go back to make the world around them a little bit better, bearing the scars and suffering they endured along the way. They take a gentle leadership role, and help not just themselves, but the world around them, once the adventure is over.

    Not that that's at ALL a male-only archetype--it absolutely isn't, and really it's nothing more than the monomyth, which can be applied to any character an author likes. But I really like it when it's applied to male characters.
     
  7. CookieCutter

    CookieCutter New Member

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    That's a good archetype to use for a main character, as it's easy to write and generally has a good direction. What I'm looking for though is a supporting or side character who has some influence over how the story goes along. I like to flesh out every character, for better or worse, even if they are side characters. However, giving a side character that kind of story arch might detract from the overall plot or draw attention away from it. Not that it wasn't a good consideration, I just don't think it fits the setting very well.
     
  8. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

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    Hmm... well, how about deciding on an arbitrary goal instead? All characters, even side characters, have to want something, right? Usually that falls into three categories:

    1) They want to OBTAIN something (power, the throne, a magic sword, the hand of the princess)
    2) They want RELIEF from something (blackmail, a dead-end job, their abusive husband)
    or 3) REVENGE for something

    Have you got anything that happens to fit into your story that the male character you create could want?
     
  9. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Contributor Contributor

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    It really shouldn't as long as it's relevant to the main arc. You could always do the CSI thing, where there are two different plots going on, only to realize just before the climax that *gasp* they've been looking for the same villain all along!
     
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  10. CookieCutter

    CookieCutter New Member

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    That could actually work really well! I've been trying to fit a bunch of characters into one storyline, but having two going on at once that converge near the end could be really good!

    As for what this undefined character might want, I think it'd be very easy to cast (him) in as looking to obtain something, and tie it in with Lucretia. Both main characters have pretty complex backstories that will have repercussions in the story. In the case of Lucretia, I was thinking for her to be someone important, like a princess or someone along those lines, who's family was lost in a storm at sea when they were fleeing a cou from their own country. The organizers of said cou would likely have thought the whole royal family perished in the wreck, but perhaps they consulted someone magically inclined who then performed a divination of some kind that revealed the royal heiress was still alive. So, this male character might end up being a "huntsman" sort of character, hired by the traitors to bring them the heart of the heiress (and I do so love my references to classic fairytales).
     

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