1. KaceyFarley

    KaceyFarley New Member

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    Why am I obsessed with my character?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by KaceyFarley, Nov 10, 2016.

    Hi Writingforums. I'm a writer and overall a creative person but there's something that's been bothering me a LOT lately.

    I have a very old character who I feel very attached to and he's pretty much the first character I made and he is a human character as well. I draw him a lot. People tell me he's cute looking and also pretty unique looking as well. This character is important for a novel I'm working on.

    The character (who, oddly I never gave a solid name that I recall) has a sad backstory. He's married to his wife and loves her, but people get jealous of him (the fact he was a half Arab didn't help people disliking him too) Anyway, a gang surrounded him and killed him. A while ago (after I posted to some forum describing my character and how I felt about him) some people made a fake article about his death but they gave him a different name, the wife's name was the same though. This 'article' said my character was a psychotic pervert, raped and killed several little girls and boys that he was supposed to look after, and he was shanked to death in prison.

    It also said he was abusive towards his wife and made her sleep on the floor. This actually really upset me and I had nightmares about it even. The article had all kinds of gory details. Whenever I post a drawing of him, these two people keep bringing up his name, calling me a troll asking why I liked to draw/was obsessed with my rapist character so much and how it's disrespectful. They don't call him by his actual name but by the name that article gave him.

    I now feel very uncomfortable when I write or draw my character I once loved..they also got some actor (or actors, since he looked different in some photos) who looks like he photoshopped his face to look like my character...and half the black and white photos were of him staring bulgy-eyed at the camera. Like every one of the photos were him looking like a deer in headlights to the extent you could see the whites above his eyes and under his eye. The others were him making perverted smirks. It was scary and he didn't look quite human but more like an evil doll. This person even got old fashioned clothing and glasses to make these.

    I feel like just killing off this character for good but then I'll miss him even though he's been tainted..I also feel like he possesses me. Like a ghost..I feel like I want to look like him, dress the way he does...visit the state he lived in, visit old buildings, etc....sometimes I cry over his death as if he were a friend or if he had a soul and transferred his memories onto me.
     
  2. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    Why do you keep posting this?
     
  3. KaceyFarley

    KaceyFarley New Member

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    Because it didn't get replies and its upsetting me.
     
  4. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    1) Maybe tell yourself that the smear campaign exists entirely in-story, then tell a new story about another character learning the truth?

    2) Is there any way to report the people who are trolling you by falsely accusing you of trolling them?
     
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  5. Phil Mitchell

    Phil Mitchell Banned Contributor

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    The first character obsession isn't that unusual. The people on that forum must have no lives at all. Way too much time on their hands. Never post there again. Change enough details of the character and forget about what happened before that.
     
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  6. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    This is a writing forum. We aren't in any position to tell you what to do because we aren't doctors. We can't begin to guess why you're obsessed with a character. You need a therapist, not a writer.
     
  7. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I'm sorry, but I'm having a hard time believing that people on some other writing forum would take time from their own projects and go to all the trouble you say they did to do an elaborate, ongoing parody of your character. But considering @Phil Mitchell's comment that the people there have too much time on their hands, I'll entertain the idea that this something real.

    In that case, you've got two problems, don't you? The first is your infatuation with your character as you created him, and the second is your painful obsession with the distortion made of him. I won't comment on the first issue. As to the second . . . It's easy enough for me to say, "Be strong! Buck up!" But that's exactly what I will say. It sounds like the only thing your character has in common with the parody is that they have wives with the same name. In other words, that isn't your character. He doesn't have the same story line at all. So why should it matter what those people come up with? How can they "taint" him unless you accept their version? You know who your guy is; who cares what they post? Bugger them and their little bullying games!

    But if you keep going back for more punishment, posting drawings of him and inviting more perverse reactions, you'll have to ask yourself what you're getting out of it. What does your persistence tell you about yourself that somehow is satisfying for you to hear?

    In all kindness, I agree with @Lea`Brooks that you need to find a professional therapist and talk this out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
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  8. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Well, writing can be therapy.

    First, if they change the character, it's not your character. You still have yours. It's not a physical thing they can change. regardless of what they do, you still possess your creation as you created it. So, in the end, it's silly to project their change on your creation and ignore your creation as is.

    Anyway, remind yourself that characters are not real. You can turn them into anything you like. Change, don't kill, your character. Augment to fit the new requirements. Like any connection with real or imaginary person, the best way to get over them is someone new. Create a new character, an ideological fit, and you'll move on happily together.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
  9. cydney

    cydney Banned

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    i'm not obsessed & if you are, you're an idiot. :)
     
  10. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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    I think it is unhealthy to be enamored with a fictional character.
    Granted if most people were that into their own characters
    we would all look like some strange version of comicon.
    While they can have an impact in some form or another,
    they are still make believe.
    So either you ignore the crap people are talking about them
    as they clearly can't do that correctly, and simply write as
    you like. Or you do this, which is clearly not helping your
    situation.

    "Mental that one, I'm telling you." -Ron Weasly. :supergrin:
     
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  11. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The solution is simple. Stop posting on that forum. Surely you've got better things to do with your day.

    By all means, remain enamoured of your character, if you want to. Maybe consider recreating his personality in another story, where you can bring him back to life with another name and give him more adventures. But stop making a target of yourself. Bullies will zero in on anything perceived as a weakness, so don't keep displaying your vulnerabilty to strangers you don't know or trust.

    Stop. Posting. On. That. Forum.

    Get back to writing, for real.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
  12. KaceyFarley

    KaceyFarley New Member

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    I just don't get why I identify as him at some points. Like sometimes I feel comfortable dressing the way he does and considering he'd be around 140-150 years old now, that's strange. When I look at photos or movies depicting the era he lived in, I feel an eerie feeling. I feel like he's become a consciousness of his own.

    I feel like I miss his wife. Like the emotion and memories from him were implanted into my consciousness or something. I don't know. I don't really recognize my own name, face or voice.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
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  13. KaceyFarley

    KaceyFarley New Member

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    Yes it is sad...but those vintage 'photos' were so scary it was hard to get them out of my mind.
     
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  14. Lyrical

    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    I've met some weird people on forums so I was willing to believe your first post and be sympathetic. My advice was going to be to change his name and his wife's name so you no longer associate him with what happened on that forum. But this post gives me some concern. Have you ever read Ray Bradbury's short story Riabouchinska? You're starting to sound a bit like the pupetteer in the story - a bit too invested in bringing your character to life. A bit possessed by the idea of him. You should read it. You might find sympathy in it.

    Most of us have a habit of talking about our characters as if they have a life of their own and speak to us, but we aren't being literal. It can certainly feel like they did not originate with us and can seem very lifelike, but they are not. What you're talking about is a different level.
     
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  15. KaceyFarley

    KaceyFarley New Member

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    It's not really him coming to life as a separate entity, but I feel like I WAS/AM him. Hence the feeling 'possessed' part in my OP. I even get nostalgic at buildings from the very early 20th Century and the music.
     
  16. Lyrical

    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    Yeah, like I said, a different level. Do you believe this is a past-life kind of experience?
     
  17. KaceyFarley

    KaceyFarley New Member

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    I'd prefer not to believe in past lives.
     
  18. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That's interesting. Maybe explore it a bit more. You could write a story about reincarnation, if that's what this feels like to you. Or something along these lines. Or maybe meeting somebody from an alternate universe? Or just create a story that means something to you. You could create lots of stories using this character. Don't worry about what people might think. This is your creation.

    How do you feel about this character? Does he worry you? Does he comfort you?

    I would say you have a problem only if this situation is keeping you from living your daily life, interacting with real people, etc. If that's the case, you might want to think about a therapist, as some others have suggested here. As a writer, however, these kinds of 'obsessions' can be gold, so if this character is not interfering with your ongoing life, and is leading you in to new interests, etc, welcome the experience.

    Just don't make yourself vulnerable by opening up to the wrong people. The great thing about this forum is that it's safe. Nobody is going to make fun of you here, and if they even start to try, report them to one of the Mods. Our mods are excellent and do not tolerate that kind of thing here at all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
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  19. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well, you'll need to, if you are going to move on. These were nasty people, who had a great deal of fun messing with your head. You've recognised the problem and left them behind. You don't have to continue to make yourself their victim. The only mistake you made was in judging them to be your friends, which they clearly were not. It's easy to make that kind of a mistake online.

    Now ...move on.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
  20. KaceyFarley

    KaceyFarley New Member

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    He's comforting to me, but for some reason I feel like I can't alter the story or make a new story after when he died. What happened originally was canon and even I can't change it? It's weird. I've had dreams where I'll meet him in present day, but when I get around to talking to him, he dies instantly.
     
  21. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Having an attachment to your character isn't that unusual - at least I hope not. I've been carrying some of my characters around in my head for over twenty years. They've lasted out friendships. I know they aren't real but they are somehow a part of me. But they are just that - my creations. I think Jannert gave good advice if someone is deliberately trying to ruin your story - leave that site. People do creepy things. I'm surprised you're not more outraged over someone doing this to YOU not your characters.
     
  22. KaceyFarley

    KaceyFarley New Member

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    I don't know. I have many creations but this character in particular is different. He feels unique.
     
  23. KaceyFarley

    KaceyFarley New Member

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    They weren't even friends they were just...random people on a forum who replied with the 'article' and photos (including 'news' clippings) after what seemed like less than two days.
     
  24. KaceyFarley

    KaceyFarley New Member

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    I can't find the other photos anymore but I managed to find this one. This is what I meant by the creepy 'photos'.
    [​IMG]
    I don't even know what to call that expression to be honest.
     
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  25. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I agree with this. Though a similar thing like the Ray Bradbury story is a great read, it sounds like the OP is going a little crazy. I'm not saying he is, but writers write and continue to write. Nothing ever hinges on one character when it comes to your talent and ability to write. You say you can't write anymore, you can't edit your work. It sounds like this is a bigger issue than writing. I suggest you seek help outside of writing forums and talk to someone in the real world. Even if it's just a friend or someone close to you. Tell them about this and see what they think you should do. This no longer sounds like a writing issue if it ever was.
     
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