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Old 12-28-2012, 08:26 AM   #1
satyesu
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Making interesting characters

I tried searching for this and found nothing relevant. Do you have any tips on the subject?
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:25 AM   #2
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Characters need to do stuff. Have them do interesting stuff.

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Old 12-28-2012, 09:42 AM   #3
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You have to give your characters a personality, idiosyncrasies, interests and habits. What makes people interesting to you? Think about that.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:56 AM   #4
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Honestly, this question is very, very broad. My only response to it is: what would YOU find interesting in a character? When you figure that out, you will have answered your own question.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:59 AM   #5
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I don't base characters on real people, but I do take things real people say and do and amp it up a notch in a way that fits that character. Perhaps characters are parodies, even if they aren't so much funny as tools for what I want to accomplish with the scene and the story.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:45 AM   #6
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Holly Lisle has a good character creation workshop for free. Just start there and invent from there! =]

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Old 12-28-2012, 10:56 AM   #7
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Analyze why some characters are really interesting to you as a reader/viewer.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Making interesting characters
I tried searching for this and found nothing relevant. Do you have any tips on the subject?
Yep, that's a broad question. . .

What the heck. You're at a party. You don't know anybody so you walk over to the nearest two guys. You say to the first guy, "Hi." He nods, takes a sip of his scotch. You say, "My name is satyesu." He says, "Oh. Hello."

You turn to the second guy. "Hi," you say. He says, "My buddy here's about as interesting as a dead librarian, no offense, buddy." He punches the guy in the arm and the guy's scotch sloshes out, spilling on his jacket. "Oops," he says, smiling broadly, revealing a set of gold teeth. He sees you looking and says, "You're looking at my retirement plan. What do you think about that?" and he punches you in the arm. Hard. But he's smiling and you can't help yourself, you rub your arm and smile right back.

Who's more interesting? The interesting character does unexpected things. He's got a unique personality. Quirks that set him apart from the unwashed masses. He makes an impression. You might like him or you might hate him, but you won't forget him anytime soon.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:06 PM   #9
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Not only is it broad, it's also very personal. One person that kkbe might find dreadfully boring could be someone I find fascinating.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:12 PM   #10
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Who's more interesting?
Trick question: The first guy, who's secretly a dinosaur.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
bearilou: One person that kkbe might find dreadfully boring could be someone I find fascinating.
Quote:
SomethingOrOther: Who's more interesting?
Trick question: The first guy, who's secretly a dinosaur.
See how creative writers are? All it takes to make a character interesting is a little imagination, satyesu.

And a couple of stiff scotches.

Prefaced by a couple of stiff scotches.

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Old 12-28-2012, 04:43 PM   #12
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Who's more interesting?
The first guy, who is in fact a dead librarian, recently reanimated but now only speaks in dewey decimal code.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:11 PM   #13
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. . ."speaks" being a relative term, as he actually communicates via a series of rapid blinks followed by extravagantly choreographed hand gestures.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:49 PM   #14
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Characters are made interesting by what they do, and how they do it. So, a timid partygoer can be made interesting by how he/she expresses that timidity.

So have that first guy in kkbe's example respond with that sterile "Hello," but then have him move his hand to the revolver tucked into the back of his pants. Suddenly that boring, timid character becomes interesting to the reader.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:57 PM   #15
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I think it's a bit of a stretch to assume some random guy at a party has a revolver tucked in the back of his pants.

Revolvers are old-fashioned; he probably just has a regular pistol.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:12 PM   #16
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. . .unless your story is a retro-steampunk thingie set in the Wild West, circa mid-1800s.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:24 PM   #17
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...and even more interesting if it is a contemporary story AND it is a revolver. Remember that interest can be generated in the same way humor can be generated--by having something unexpected happen.

But you may want to check out the (currently available) Smith & Wesson model 29, and the Smith & Wesson model 10. Revolvers. Better yet, do a google search of "Smith & Wesson revolvers." The list of models is long.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:00 PM   #18
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I think it's a bit of a stretch to assume some random guy at a party has a revolver tucked in the back of his pants.
I dunno...seems par for the course in a lot of parties I go to.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:08 PM   #19
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There are many character sheets for fiction that you can download from the internet. They might be as simple as listing the character's traits and motivation/goal or as complicated as filling out a detailed questionnaire from the POV of the character.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:22 AM   #20
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Sometimes a character doesn't have to be interesting at all. Consider the "fish out of water" scenario.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:32 AM   #21
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Thanks, guys 'n' gals. ^^
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:33 AM   #22
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Hrm, I made a blog post a little bit ago on some things I learned from Stephen King's On Writing. Among them was,

"Every supporting character deserves an arc. Because in real life, we all think we're the protagonists, even if we're the quiet kid who spends lunches in the library. Want a short-cut to create compelling, multidimensional characters? This is it.
You don't have to show every single character's arc in your story. As a matter of fact, if they're not relevant to your plot, you probably shouldn't show them. But I think, as the writer, you should know them."
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:34 AM   #23
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I tried searching for this and found nothing relevant. Do you have any tips on the subject?
Give them really interesting conflicts.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:29 AM   #24
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What are your favorite characters from other books? What makes them so interesting? Take that and apply it to your work. Don't copy them obviously, but create characters that make you feel the same way.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:02 AM   #25
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I tried searching for this and found nothing relevant. Do you have any tips on the subject?
I'm not certain this is a serious question. How can you say you found nothing relevant? Try typing "character development in fiction" in a search engine like Google and you'll get LOTS of tips and relevant information.
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