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Thread: Character Favoritism

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW MakanJuu's Avatar
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    Character Favoritism

    Here's an annoying one for me.

    Working on my own WIP- an Urban fantasy, I believe, would be the correct category- and I've run into an issue with Character favoritism. For instance, I can write all day & give myself no qualms about rewriting & devoting time to "getting things right" for my three main characters- Juu, Tim & Merissa. However, when I switch over to, say, the main antagonist, or a quick scene from the POV of Tim's uncle, I get bored & am just plain uninterested. The problem being that this novel is going to have, at least, another six side characters & half of them will also have POV scenes...

    Anyone else have this problem? How'd you overcome it?
    Current WIPs:
    Spirits- Scifi/ Urban Fantasy/ Character Drama (23000 wds)
    What Lies Within the Mahounin- Classic Fantasy/ horror/ Character Drama (n/a)

    Backburners:
    Paranorm- Horror/ Character Drama
    Buried Below- Treasure Hunter Homage
    Spirits Sequels & Prequel(s)

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW srgalactica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakanJuu View Post
    Here's an annoying one for me.

    Working on my own WIP- an Urban fantasy, I believe, would be the correct category- and I've run into an issue with Character favoritism. For instance, I can write all day & give myself no qualms about rewriting & devoting time to "getting things right" for my three main characters- Juu, Tim & Merissa. However, when I switch over to, say, the main antagonist, or a quick scene from the POV of Tim's uncle, I get bored & am just plain uninterested. The problem being that this novel is going to have, at least, another six side characters & half of them will also have POV scenes...

    Anyone else have this problem? How'd you overcome it?
    I wouldn't say I struggle with favoritism. I'm equally intrigued by all of my POV characters, however, I do have a harder time writing some of them and I believe that comes from my not understanding those characters as much as the others.



  3. #3
    The Crazy Man in the Sun. Feel me. WillSauger's Avatar
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    If you don't want to write something, the reader probably doesn't want to read it.

    I like all my characters, it's the only reason why I'd write them in the first place. If I don't like them, they aren't brought into the story.
    Don't Fear Failure.

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  4. #4
    Crazy Young Cat Lady roseangel's Avatar
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    Why so many pov characters? Are they truly needed? Can you write your novel with only the pov's you enjoy doing?
    Avatar by linnpuzzle.

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I have this problem sometimes although I don't necessarily get bored with characters, I just really enjoy writing others, so much so that the 'boring' characters get a bit ignored and under developed.

    Will's right, if you don't enjoy writing it the reader won't enjoy reading it. So find a way of making it more interesting - either changing the structure or the character or limiting the POV or getting rid of the character altogether!
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  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW MakanJuu's Avatar
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    Well, ever since The Walking Dead & the Sword of Truth novels, I've gotten highly interested in doing deep character drama. The uncle is just for one specific scene in chapter one in which only he is present when the MacGuffin for the novel is found.

    The others are a star-crossed love interest who unknowingly throws his lot in with his girlfriend's enemy & I want to keep him sympathetic as he plays a major part in the series as a whole. Then there's a news reporter who's on the scent to possibly uncovering the "magical" world to the populace at large who has unfortunately become deeply engrained in my story &, finally, another villain character who starts out well meaning & looses his way as the story progresses.

    I know it's a lot to swallow, but this was originally concieved as the first season of a TV series & I've tried to condense it down to essential plot as much as possible.

    As to responses so far, I kinda feel like srgalactica has something. I'm gonna try to brainstorm a bit more on some of these characters & see what happens.
    Current WIPs:
    Spirits- Scifi/ Urban Fantasy/ Character Drama (23000 wds)
    What Lies Within the Mahounin- Classic Fantasy/ horror/ Character Drama (n/a)

    Backburners:
    Paranorm- Horror/ Character Drama
    Buried Below- Treasure Hunter Homage
    Spirits Sequels & Prequel(s)

  7. #7
    Creepy Centipede Chasing the Horizon's Avatar
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    Maybe your boredom is trying to tell you that you've made some characters POV characters when they aren't interesting enough to justify it.


    March Editing Goal: 8/10 chapters


  8. #8
    writer, rider, reader...ex-pat! BethS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakanJuu View Post
    Here's an annoying one for me.

    Working on my own WIP- an Urban fantasy, I believe, would be the correct category- and I've run into an issue with Character favoritism. For instance, I can write all day & give myself no qualms about rewriting & devoting time to "getting things right" for my three main characters- Juu, Tim & Merissa. However, when I switch over to, say, the main antagonist, or a quick scene from the POV of Tim's uncle, I get bored & am just plain uninterested. The problem being that this novel is going to have, at least, another six side characters & half of them will also have POV scenes...

    Anyone else have this problem? How'd you overcome it?
    If I'm bored, that tells me something is wrong with the character or the scene. Probably it means I'm writing something that doesn't actually need to be written, or else the conflict itself is not strong enough.

  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW
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    I wouldn't use a character's POV for only one scene. Whenever I've read books where this is done, it's jarring. I think you could find a way of conveying that scene without that.

  10. #10
    Pinkamena Diane Pie chloecomplains's Avatar
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    Honestly, I think this is the downfall of outlining an entire story before you write anything. I play favorites all the time, but I like to think it works in my favor; normally one of those favorited characters ends up being the villain by the end because I've spent so much more time than I'd expected talking about how great they are that when their flaw comes out, it's a big one. I also like to kill off someone that I've played favorites with. Someone's gotta die, may as well be that guy.

  11. #11
    figuring it all out
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    Have you tought of combining some of those characters? You could end up with less POVs and characters with more meat to them. Maybe you'd enjoy writing about them more.
    My mind not only wanders; it sometimes leaves completely.

  12. #12
    υπείκωphobe Wilde_at_heart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chasing the Horizon View Post
    Maybe your boredom is trying to tell you that you've made some characters POV characters when they aren't interesting enough to justify it.
    That's what I'd imagine as well.

    Do you you really need them to be POV characters and if so, why?

    The reader can surmise a lot from actions and dialogue so in a lot of cases, we don't really need to be inside the characters' heads.

    Is it important to see the story from the POV of the antagonist? I have multiple POVs in one WIP but the 'Villain' isn't one of them.

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW MakanJuu's Avatar
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    Errr... honestly, I think you might be right about that. The antagonist is always in the background, pulling strings from the shadows & just about every time he's present, he's in the presence of other POVs anyway... I should drop that thought.

    Also, BuffySquirrel, I might take your advice, but I'd like to see how it turns out first before I do it. One of my top three influences was Terry Goodkind &... I guess I kinda picked up the habit from him. Lol

    The others, though, might be essential. Definately the love interest as he's a main character for the series & I want people to know for a fact that he is redeemable, even though others either don't or aren't sure. The reporter is almost never with any other POVs until most of the way through the book. I'm not sure about the second villain, though. I might drop his POV as well...
    Current WIPs:
    Spirits- Scifi/ Urban Fantasy/ Character Drama (23000 wds)
    What Lies Within the Mahounin- Classic Fantasy/ horror/ Character Drama (n/a)

    Backburners:
    Paranorm- Horror/ Character Drama
    Buried Below- Treasure Hunter Homage
    Spirits Sequels & Prequel(s)

  14. #14
    Totally Ninja! quickWit's Avatar
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    There's certainly nothing wrong with using POV to gain insight into a character, but that's not to say it's the only way, Makan. You can have a full ensemble of characters and reveal everything of substance about each of them without ever switching POV. It's all in how clearly you illustrate the character's actions and attitudes to the reader. If you can do that well, you're golden. If you can't, switching POVs isn't going to help you, anyway.

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  15. #15
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    I'd consider cutting the POVs. I know as a reader I am not a big fan of books that do too many POVs, and anything over two or three is usually to the detriment of the book. I can think of one book that had many that I actually didn't mind it with.

    Granted, that could be personal preference, but I recently had a similar situation. I was trying to write my antagonist into the early scenes, and it just wasn't working. I cut him out (he'll show up later) and the whole thing works so much better now.

    You can definitely show character depth and emotional connection even to a character that isn't the POV character. I wrote a book once from a single POV and in that case my favorite characters were two of the side-characters. It wasn't necessary to be in their heads to develop them at all.
    "You will experience a tingling sensation and then death."

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  16. #16
    figuring it all out eyebee14's Avatar
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    I never get bored with my characters. They all have merit. But what I do find is I know certain characters more than other. But as I go through my revisions, I start to understand the characters better.

    As BethS said, "If I'm bored, that tells me something is wrong with the character or the scene. Probably it means I'm writing something that doesn't actually need to be written, or else the conflict itself is not strong enough."

    BethS hit the mark. If you are bored, chances are your readers will be bored too.
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