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  1. soital

    soital Member

    Oct 31, 2011
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    Is there a formula for fantasy characters??

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by soital, Nov 5, 2011.

    Is there a formula for fantasy characters?? I'm trying to make sure my main character has all the detail and aspects neccessary to be "good". Also concerning secondary characters, is there a level of detail required to be mentioned, or a level to stop detailing at?
  2. adrenaline7

    adrenaline7 Member

    Sep 23, 2011
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    Melbourne, Australia
    While I'm not an expert in any field in writing, I would strongly suggest you try to stay away from formulas. While characters are easily recognisable that way, it gets tiresome with so many predictable characters being black-and-white when it comes to "good" or "bad", even with appearance (check it: most Disney villians will either wear red or purple clothing). I'd suggest try something a little more unusual, like an anti-hero of sorts, still a good guy but with his own motives than just saving the princess and killing the evil king or whatever.
  3. Thanshin

    Thanshin Active Member

    Jun 1, 2010
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    The only interest to finding such "formulas" is to break them.

    The problem to avoid is finding a formula, breaking it and failing to see that by breaking it, one has fallen into an even more overused formula.
  4. Jhunter

    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

    Sep 23, 2011
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    Southern California
    I agree with everyone else. Don't write with a formula. Write what you think is awesome and see where it goes. It is fiction, you can literally do whatever you want.
  5. Cacian

    Cacian Banned

    Oct 25, 2011
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    I guess there is a formula and that is the of
    PERFECT beings.
    take a witch for example if you look up its entry on the dictionary it is this one:
    A woman thought to have evil magic powers. Witches are popularly depicted as wearing a black cloak and pointed hat.
    what you do is take that as your basic and you apply the total effect to it.
    so a witch as depicted as female , what I do with my character I depict for example the witch as male charcater and make him a mortal and give perfect powers meaning all the goodness you can think of.
  6. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Mar 9, 2010
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    No; no formula. If you were, say, hired _by_ some sort of game or toy company to write fiction based around their characters and in their world, I could easily see that they might give you a formula, just as, as I understand, Harlequin romances have a specific formula. But if you're writing your own stuff, avoid formulas.

    And the same for secondary characters -- how much detail to provide for a secondary character depends on you, and your writing style, and the needs of the story, and the role of the character, and no doubt a dozen other things I'm not thinking of. Ideally, every character, down to the street urchin who shows up for one line, should be fully fleshed out _in your mind_, even though almost none of that will appear in the story. Realistically, there are only so many characters that you can understand that deeply.

    Edited to add: That's not to say that you shouldn't do some research into what people see as good and evil. Learning what touches people and produces an emotional reaction can be very valuable. But don't let that turn into some sort of "is he Good enough?" checklist.

  7. architectus

    architectus Banned

    Aug 19, 2008
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    I don't know about a formula, but there are things you can do to make your character good.

    Give her strengths and weaknesses. Make her interesting, funny, or both. Perhaps eclectic or weird. Give her inner and outer desires, or needs. Make them conflict.

    Example: Her outer desire is to escape her small town and be an actress. Her need, though, is to learn to be a leader. These two are in conflict because of the plot. She's trying to leave town to be an actress, but family problems are keeping her at home, helping her younger sister and dying mother.

    Maker her relatable to us. For example, she could work an ordinary job we can relate to, or is caring for her younger sister, which we can relate to. Give her a hard time right from the get go, like maybe the hot chicks bully her. This builds sympathy.

    Maybe have her care about animals or feed the poor or something we think is good.

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