1. Bentley

    Bentley Member

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    Need opinions on a character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Bentley, Dec 11, 2019.

    I apologise for the vague title, but this is my first attempt at getting feedback on any character, for my stories. I've been working on a post apocalyptic universe for the better part of 3 years and I feel like I'm almost ready to write my first book. This book, is part of a larger series, based within this universe.

    The first character I want to talk about is named Sheldon. I'll give the cliff notes in the form of a timeline:

    •He was born to a couple, enslaved within a labor camp. If you were not part of the breeding camp, you were executed, if caught. They would be caught and saved Sheldon, at the expense of their own lives. He is found by an old woman and taken in.

    •sheldon grows up with his new family (an old woman and a girl much older than him, whom he considers his sister), never knowing his past. When he's around 7 years old, he and his family are attacked by a group of random slavers. Sheldon is shot in the throat but was saved by his sister and is hidden away from safety. She hides him, but she is captured trying to run. Sheldon is now alone, for the first time.

    •Being mute from his injury, he had to learn sign language to communicate with people. Though some attempts landed him with dangerous people.

    •Eventually, he would go on to find a group of people, living within a broken down subway station. He would go on to live in peace for several years, until he was 11. Something caught fire and set the entire station ablaze. A lot of people got out. But there were still many that were trapped within. Sheldon was one of them. In the midst of the chaos, a passing traveler spotted the people running out of the subway. Finding out from one of them that people were still trapped down there, he ran directly into it. Most of the rail cars were engulfed in the bright flames, but he dashed into one regardless. He managed to make out at arm sticking out from some debris and pulled the person out. It was Sheldon. He was alive but horrifically burned. Roughly 80% was burned. But the man got him to safety and nursed him to health. Neither of them had anyone to call a friend, so they grew like brothers. The man goes by Brick.

    •Over the next several years, Brick would teach Sheldon how to shoot. Sheldon would go on to surpass brick within that time and showed potential of being a prodigy.

    I have much more to add, but I figured that this post may me getting a little long; so I'd like your honest opinions on Sheldon, thus far. If it is well received or requested, I will continue putting down what I have developed for him. I have many plans for this character. I hope you can come to appreciate the survivalist within him.
     
    keysersoze likes this.
  2. Linz

    Linz Active Member

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    Hi. Welcome to the forum. :)

    Question; is this his background, or is this part of the story? Background - I'd want to know more about the actual story before I could judge him.

    Main story; Maybe it's because he's so young, but to me, he sounds like what I would call a drifter. Things happen to him. People save him. If no-one's around, he wanders around until he comes across someone. And they save him.

    How much that matters depends on whether or not he's a main character. From what you've written about Sheldon, I'm actually more interested in his sister and Brick. I want to follow a strong MC - someone who's capable of making their own decisions, who tackles life head-on.

    That's just my opinion. Others may disagree. :)
     
    keysersoze and Bentley like this.
  3. Bentley

    Bentley Member

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    Thank you for responding. This is more a part of his back story. I haven't quite figured out if I want Sheldon to have his own book, because he is integral to so many different character's development. He grows through them and Visa versa. The point he stops becoming a drifter is when he meets Brick. This is the part of his life becoming stabilized before other bad things begin to happen to him. I think I'm actually going to have Sheldon explain his back story through Brick's book. And the point that he meets Sheldon is where I want his story to begin. Most of these characters have back stories. The sister and old woman, not so much, but I will make a note to flesh them out more. I thank you for you feedback. And I'm very new to this site. If you'd like to hear more about Sheldon and all the others, where could I post them? Could I post as a reply on here? Or should I make a new thread?
     
  4. Linz

    Linz Active Member

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    If it's his back-story, why not ask for opinions on who he becomes,instead of what happened to him in the past? Yes, no doubt it forms part of who he is, but it's like asking us to judge an adult, based on how they behaved as a kid. Relevant? Perhaps. But it's not the whole story. I can't give you an opinion on Sheldon, because the information I've received is outdated. :bigwink:

    As for posting more about him and the others - might as well post them on this thread/in this forum.
     
    Bentley likes this.
  5. More

    More Active Member

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    I don't believe you will get the information you seem to be looking for .If you don't have a clear and strong image of your character you will need to develop it on the page . I would suggest you write the story and see the first draft as just that.
     
    cosmic lights and Bentley like this.
  6. Bentley

    Bentley Member

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    I'm feeling out this website, I wasn't really sure how to set this up. I think I'm going to read the rules and see how I can write things out on here. (I really should've done that first, but I'm really eager to finally get my stories out). Thank you for the output. Sheldon is actually one of my more fleshed out characters, but I wasn't sure if I was allowed to write it all out in one go.
     
  7. Bentley

    Bentley Member

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    This is my first time writing out my stories and I do very much like this idea of having characters, within the storyline, ask him what's happened to him. For now, I just wanted to get his information out and see if he's as fleshed out to others, as I think he is. I feel I've asked the wrong question, to get those answers lol. Would you know how I could frame this thread, so I can get the criticism, I'm looking for?
     
  8. Linz

    Linz Active Member

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    You haven't necessarily asked the wrong question - you've provided the wrong information.

    Readers form opinions on your characters whatever you do. From what you've written about Sheldon, he's not really lead character material - he's the character the protagonist saves - again and again. If that's just backstory, it's irrelevant. What we need to know, is what he's like now.
     
    Bentley likes this.
  9. Bentley

    Bentley Member

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    Hmm, you've gotten me to think a little bit more about how I need to write my characters. The problem is that this isn't a situation that's as black and white as which character is the main and which isn't. There will be many minor and major characters, but this will be a book series that tells a story based around several characters. Each book will either deal with a character directly, or reference them in a way where puzzle pieces, about their life and how it affects the world, will fall. Think about the star wars universe, or lotr, or fallout. (More specifically fallout). I have a post apocalyptic universe that they all have to live in, in some capacity. And their stories revolve around the actions of others, within that universe. The thing that I may have to figure out is how to make Sheldon more of a main character. The reason being, is that most of the characters that I've created, revolve around Sheldon, to some degree.
     
  10. Bentley

    Bentley Member

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    It's rather difficult to figure out where a current point is, for Sheldon (let alone any of my characters), because these events happen to them over decades. So, it would depend on which book we would be talking about. There is a point where Sheldon is kidnapped by another character (which is the start of another book. Think of the one-off that I mentioned earlier), and this is where he gains more Independence and figures out who he really is. When he escapes his kidnapping, that particular book ends. (And where the previous book continues.) I hope this helps out things into perspective a little more? I really appreciate the patience. And I hope to continue hearing from you.
     
  11. Bentley

    Bentley Member

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    I think the best way for me to describe Sheldon, is that he is a catalyst. Many things happen, within this series, due to Sheldon's experiences. I have roughly 5 characters (all with extensive backgrounds) that have their lives changed, for better or worse, because Sheldon came into their lives. So, if this helps, at all, I would definitely consider him to be a catalyst type character.
     

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