1. Gammer

    Gammer Active Member

    Dec 13, 2008
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    Making characters more distinct

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Gammer, May 16, 2011.

    In my WIP I have my MC interact with a number of people. Most of them are strong enough characters that there's no problem. But there are two characters whom I am having trouble with making them sound/act different. They are called Kensuke and Harada.

    Kensuke is a tall, muscular guy who went through a experiment and how his bones are tougher than metal. He an alcoholic, hits on women on every occasion, has no concept of the word "responsibility" and enjoys fighting more than anything else.

    Harada is the successor to his clan, but like Kensuke is extremely irresponsible. As such his parents cut him off from the family fortune until he proves himself to be a proper heir. He likes to drink and hit on girls too. He's more of a charmer than a fighter though.

    Problem lies in that when I have them interact with my MC they basically say the same things to him they try to get him to relax and not worry about whatever he's worried about or berate him for a stupid move he pulled.

    Any suggestions on making them more distinct characters?
  2. tristan.n

    tristan.n Active Member

    Dec 17, 2010
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    Overland Park, KS
    Just from your brief descriptions, it sounds like Harada's growth through your story is more urgent than Kensuke's. After all, Kensuke doesn't have to worry about leading an entire clan, right? It makes sense that he wouldn't bother with being more responsible because it seems like nothing is pushing him towards responsibility. Perhaps Harada is just weak when it comes to overcoming temptation? Maybe he feels guilty when he spends his time drinking and hitting on girls because he knows he should be more responsible and mature in order to inherit his family fortune, whereas Kensuke doesn't feel guilty for drinking and hitting on girls because come on, he's just enjoying his carefree life!
    I don't know the whole situation, but perhaps you could make Harada a little more hesitant about his decisions (not necessarily making the right ones, however) and make Kensuke more overconfident and whimsical, a typical guy in his 20s who just wants to have a good time. :)
    Just suggestions, but I hope they help!
    1 person likes this.
  3. Protar

    Protar Active Member

    May 11, 2011
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    Perhaps introduce some character development so Harada becomes more mature which should help distinguish them?
  4. quignov

    quignov New Member

    May 15, 2011
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    Harada is a charmer, and Kensuke is not a charmer. These are two huge differences. Off the top of my head, I"m thinking of a bar scene where Kensuke carelessly hits on a woman with some idiotic line that only an oaf would use. Then, Harada goes up to her and talks to her like a normal man would do, hence charming her.... this would showcase a difference between the two.

    I would personally come up with an additional, strong distinction between the two though, because its really important that readers dont' get two characters mixed up. You can do this without changing there personally very much, as I have the feeling that this is intentional on your part.
  5. popsicledeath

    popsicledeath Banned

    Nov 11, 2010
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    Scars and tattoos!

    Your main differences and distinctions shouldn't be answerable in a thread like this, unless you really are just looking for a cheesy external gimmick like giving them scars and tattoos. Where the distinction will come from is how your MC feels about them and how your MC reacts to them. If your MC is indifferent or you aren't getting inside the MC's head enough, then no matter what you do all the characters are going to seem pretty 2D, as we're just watching them from afar, instead of getting an insider's perspective through the MC's eyes/experiences.
  6. Sang Hee

    Sang Hee New Member

    Aug 5, 2010
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    They should differ in ways of how they achieve what they want, I'd say.
  7. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

    Mar 9, 2010
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    I don't see the two characters as much alike. An alcoholic is fundamentally different from someone who just enjoys drinking. And interacting by fighting versus interacting by charming people is an even larger difference.

    As for the specific example of them trying to persuade your MC of something, I'd guess that the alcoholic fighter would be rude and abusive, and the other character would be persuasive and charming.

  8. Trilby

    Trilby Contributor Contributor

    Jun 21, 2010
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    NE England
    Show their differences through their voice and actions.
    Even the best of pals with a lot in common - are distinctive by what they say and do.

    Either one of them could be any of the following;

    foul mouthed (every other word beginning with F)
    loud mouthed
    a joker
    a prankster
    a thief
    a bully
    a 'yes' man
    The list goes on...

    Even though they are both drinker - drink affects people in different ways; some people become bad tempered and seem to be hell bent on causing trouble - while others want to be friends with anyone and everyone.

    It is up to you to develop your characters.
  9. mootz

    mootz Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    Kensuke should be concerned with revenge, be a bit more bitter when not around women and an asshole. His experiment should leave him with a distinct distrust for authority and such. To me carefree doesn't typically associate well with 'had an experiment on his bones' but he could still give off that vibe to the average observer but the main should observe something about his mannerisms that suggest otherwise (unless you main isnt someone with observation skills like that).

    Harada should probably have a sense of entitlement even though he has been cut off, his advice should come from that. Instead of saying 'go ask for her number' he would say something more like 'go get her number'. This kinda works with being irresponsible because he doesn't see societies boundaries and is probably the reason why he cant run the clan.

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