1. apalachn

    apalachn Member

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    Supporting character development

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by apalachn, May 15, 2018.

    I am writing a short story erotica piece, where there actually are sub-characters that I really don't want to emphasize. These sub-characters are kind of integral to how the two lead characters met and came together in the story (the actual true, real life story that it is based on). The question that I am asking myself is, should I be true to the story and develop these sub-characters OR, would it be better to minimize them altogether and rewrite the situation so that they do not really exist? what does the group think would read better in an romancy/erotic short story?
     
  2. Kallisto

    Kallisto Ruler of the world... somewhere...

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    Despite popular belief, characters don't always have to be fully developed. Fully developed characters serve for certain stories but not all. Sometimes a simple archetype works. Watch a few episodes of the "Twilight Zone" and what you'll find that the characters are only developed in one trait that's essential for the story. For example the bad guy might only show his malicious side, but never gets into why he's that way. That's because it doesn't need to. If it's a story about good and evil then the bad guy only has to simply represent evil. We don't have to get into why he's evil.
     
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  3. apalachn

    apalachn Member

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    Thanks! That’s helpful insight. I will focus on what the sub character’s purpose is and only develop that aspect about them and see how it works.
     
  4. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I have heard editors say that short stories are often under populated. So, I wouldn't go cutting characters, especially if they have something to add to the story. I once wrote a short story where I also had two characters that I wanted to downplay their parts in the story. I wanted them there more as props almost rather than people. Well, I was in grad school at the time and I workshopped the story. Everyone said those two characters needed to be more developed. They needed names and some sort of backstory. I was resistant to the change at first. After all I had kept my characters underdeveloped for a reason, I thought. But I gave it a shot. It didn't change the story as much as I thought and it actually made the whole thing feel more complete. I sort of realized that underdeveloped characters come across as underdeveloped character. That can be more of a distraction from the story and have the opposite effect of our intentions. Also, after I made the changes and really developed my characters (without changing their role or importance in the story), I sold the story to the exact publication I had in mind for the piece. I don't think I would have made that sale if I didn't develop my somewhat side characters.

    I say try developing them in your story. Make a copy you can work off of so you can always go back to what you have if you don't like the changes. But try the changes. This sort of thing is what made all the difference for me. I think it's worth giving it a shot. :)
     
  5. apalachn

    apalachn Member

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    Thank you! That is helpful. I was working on the story today and developing the parts of the character that matter to support the story. I'll see how it reads. At some point I will post it in here and see how it works. There are a few minor characters that are mentioned, but they are kind of functioning like extras in a scene. I feel like these characters do not need to be developed beyond what they are offering to the scene. What do you think?
     

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