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Thread: How normal are your characters?

  1. #26
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    I like unusual people, so those are the type of characters I write. I find them to be more entertaining.

  2. #27
    Trust me, I'm a doctor StephanieZie's Avatar
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    I have two gut-level reactions to this question:

    1) I write about normal people. I don't write about demons or vampires, or princesses, or people with magical powers, or anything of that sort. I write about people anybody could know.

    2) I don't write about normal people because I don't think there are any normal people, or at least not any worth writing or reading about. The vast majority of us could probably describe our lives and be seen as "normal" or "mundane", but each of us is the hero of our own story. My peripheral characters might be "normal" background people, but my MC's are individuals with complex inner lives. Or at least I like to hope

  3. #28
    My name is PJ. P-Jay's Avatar
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    I think it's the events that a character is faced with and how the character reacts is what defines who they are. If you just write about this character and their "normal" day to day life, then sure, they'll seem normal.

    It all depends on your story... is there a crazy cat lady? Do one of the MC's sidekicks have a weird obsession with wearing mis-matched shoes?

  4. #29
    Scared and loving it... Cappy1's Avatar
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    This reminds me of one of my favourite quotes by Clive James: 'Some people are different, and so are the rest of us.'

  5. #30
    figuring it all out
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    Quote Originally Posted by gettingby View Post

    Do you stick to normal characters and put them in abnormal situations or do you have abnormal characters in normal situations?
    What about normal characters in normal situations??

    Okay, to be serious though, I like to think that my characters are normal enough to be relate-able, but abnormal enough to be interesting.

  6. #31
    υπείκωphobe Wilde_at_heart's Avatar
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    I think 'normalcy' is sometimes a facade and sometimes an illusion Depends on what people fear. Some people fear not fitting in, others fear being mediocre or ordinary.

    In my experience I have known some fairly conventional people who fear being viewed by others as conformists or part of 'the herd' so they dress strangely, etc to differentiate themselves.
    And I know plenty of people who hide a lot of trauma, quirks, kinks or problems behind an outward appearance they believe is more socially acceptable.
    Generally the more 'abnormal' a person feels they are, from what I've observed, the more they try to 'act normal'.

  7. #32
    practical experience, FTW Summerwriter's Avatar
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    Well, I think not all of my characters are normal, but most of them are.
    Best: Summerwriter

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  8. #33
    sea witch miss marisa's Avatar
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    i don't have normal characters because there's no such thing as normal people.

    everyone i know is weird and interesting on some level. when i meet a normal person, i'll probably die of shock.

  9. #34
    Scared and loving it... Cappy1's Avatar
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    I like Clive James's quote on this subject: "Some people are different, and so are the rest of us".

    You just have to find that difference.

  10. #35
    Twitching ap123's Avatar
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    I think of it more as ordinary/extraordinary. And I think the most extraordinary characters and situations are those that grow from the ordinary.

    Not sure if that makes sense to anyone but me.
    Doing the backstroke in the beer moat.

    Try it, you might like it. Blogging life in the big city with Mrs Fringe.

  11. #36
    practical experience, FTW
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    My main characters are more messed up than I am (or so I would like to believe). One had a difficult childhood, one had a childhood he doesn't even remember, and one had her childhood abruptly end when her father died.

  12. #37
    Untold stories inside Ralyks's Avatar
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    I write about normal people in normal situations. Sir Walter Scott once complimented Jane Austen as being able to "render ordinary, commonplace things and characters interesting from the truth of the description and the sentiment." I suppose that's what I hope to do.
    Fall in love all over again...

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  13. #38
    figuring it all out
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    Normal?? ...whatever ta hell that is! Remember: "We are such stuff as dreams are made on..."

    Shakespeare, "The Tempest" Act 4 Scene 1

  14. #39
    υπείκωphobe Wilde_at_heart's Avatar
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    I don't tend to write about suburbanites.

  15. #40
    Dust Bunnies are NSA Agents! robjvargas's Avatar
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    One of my MC's is very normal. He's so plain everyone calls him Johnny Vanilla.

    Even the ghosts.
    I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
    -Robert A. Heinlein-

  16. #41
    And so it begins chompers's Avatar
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    My characters are all everyday sort of people. It's their situations that are out of the ordinary.
    WIP #1: 37,684/70,000
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  17. #42
    permaflounced
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    I try to make my character relatively normal, but then again I tend to write sci-fi and fantasy so my characters are quite dark takes.

  18. #43
    practical experience, FTW djunamod's Avatar
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    I sort of don't like the term "normal", although I do know what you're trying to get at. The idea of normal to me seems a bit black-and-white, indicating that there is a standard by which we judge what is and is not normal, but there are too many factors to consider and too many question marks. You might be able to say something is or is not normal in a specific context (for example, wearing a swimsuit to go skiing is not normal) but for the most part, normal seems too constricting for what is really just a different way of looking at things.

    My sister uses the term "normal" all the time to compare how my parents behave to how she thinks parents should behave and it grates on my nerves whenever she says that our parents were "normal". It's not that their behavior was what is considered responsible and healthy parental behavior (there were some abuse issues in my childhood). But to make the judgment that they were or were not "normal" just seems a bit redundant to me (sorry I got off track there).

    So I can't really say if my characters are normal or not. I can say that they are put in situations that are out of their comfort zone and perhaps not ones we would typically see. But I think a lot of fiction does that to create conflict.

    Sorry I couldn't give a better answer to your question.

    Djuna

  19. #44
    figuring it all out The Good Typist's Avatar
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    None of my main characters in either my short stories or my novel-in-progress are "normal" by common societal standards. I enjoy writing characters who struggle to fit in, rather than creating extraordinary circumstances for a "normal" character to grapple with. In my current WIC, my main character is an artist with bipolar tendencies. She's loud, uncouth, intermittently brilliant, and driven, and she has a hard time making friends and holding down a job. In one of my recent short stories, my main character is a macho punk rock wanna-be who is obsessed with artisan cheesemaking. I would definitely say that the vast majority of my characters are pretty out there. I think that's because I enjoy expressing all of the nutty, repressed parts of myself through my characters.

  20. #45
    practical experience, FTW cmi0616's Avatar
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    I have yet to write a character with supernatural abilities. I also have yet to write a character who is, like, a politician or a serial killer or something.

    So yeah, I'd say my characters are generally pretty normal.
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  21. #46
    storm central stormie's Avatar
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    I understand my characters, and they, in turn, understand me. We have great conversations.
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