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DwayneA
04-16-2009, 05:29 AM
Someone asked me to ask this question, I won't mention his name.

Is it true that not everyone can create interesting characters? Why or why not?

Matera the Mad
04-16-2009, 05:53 AM
Interesting to who might be another good question. If not, maybe they are too involved with themselves. Interaction with other people, understanding of where people are coming from, is important to character creation.

Kaiser-Kun
04-16-2009, 05:58 AM
I think that anyone can, given enough time to grow teeny flat ideas into sexy curvy 3D characters.

KTC
04-16-2009, 06:02 AM
To love writing is a gift. To be good at writing is a gift and a craft and a skill. You can love writing but never be good at it. One of the ways to not be good at it is to write bad/flat characters.

KTC
04-16-2009, 06:03 AM
I think that anyone can, given enough time to grow teeny flat ideas into sexy curvy 3D characters.


I respectfully disagree. I think some people could try for an entire lifetime and still not get even close to getting it right.

Cyia
04-16-2009, 06:18 AM
No. Everyone cannot create interesting characters. Granted "interesting" is subjective - what interests me may bore 90% of everyone else, or vise versa, but there are certain characteristics that need to be present for a character to be whole. There are a lot of writers who don't understand that.

Putting a character in a story isn't enough for it to be interesting - even if the plot is good. There needs to be a connection between the character and the reader. If that connection isn't there, then the story stalls out.

Kaiser-Kun
04-16-2009, 06:56 AM
I respectfully disagree. I think some people could try for an entire lifetime and still not get even close to getting it right.

Right you are. I add "and be mature enough to learn from their mistakes". :p

DwayneA
04-16-2009, 08:28 AM
well how exactly do you make a character connect with the reader?

Dale Emery
04-16-2009, 09:57 AM
Is it true that not everyone can create interesting characters? Why or why not?

It's true that some people don't ever figure out how, but you can know that only when they're dead. While people are alive, the most you know is that they haven't learned out to create interesting characters yet.

So if you're alive, you know only what's been true of yourself up until now. You don't know what you'll learn tomorrow.

Dale

Unimportant
04-16-2009, 11:31 AM
For some writers/story types, it's the world or the plot that's the major fascination. Characters aren't where they put their time and energy.

Also, being able to create an interesting character in your head, and being able to recreate that character on paper so that he's just as interesting to the reader, are two different things. I can create a beautiful picture in my mind, but if you hand me a canvas and paintbrush the best I'll be able to do is a blob and a couple of clumsy swirls. Making a character come alive via words is a similar art, and not one that everyone masters.

blacbird
04-16-2009, 11:32 AM
You don't know what you'll learn tomorrow.

Christ, I don't even know what I'll learn yesterday.

caw

Stijn Hommes
04-16-2009, 11:42 AM
Nope, not everyone can. Plenty of people fail and ignore their mistakes. If you ignores them, you can't learn from them.

dpaterso
04-16-2009, 11:56 AM
Took me a moment or five to understand what the subject line meant.

All my characters are interesting! To me.

I should imagine that everyone else's characters are interesting to them, too. Otherwise, why would they write about them?

So the answer's yes. Everyone can create interesting characters.

Next question, please.

-Derek

Wiskel
04-16-2009, 01:41 PM
This is a very interesting question.

My entire job is talking to people, getting to understand them and trying to help them. in my professional life, some people are easy to work with and some are hard work, you have to drag every piece of information out of them.

In my professional life, the most "boring" people are the ones who don't give me anything. They tell me about how other people treat them, they tell me about what their neighbour said, and they take ten minutes to tell me the story of why the doctor changed their blood pressure medication. They don't tell me about themselves. Sometimes they don't have a strong sense of self and sometimes it's my job to help them think about that....but in real life i have the tools to do that, i'm allowed to ask them questions.

In literature, a character who doesn't tell me about themselves doesn't interest me. As a reader I don't have the tools to find the information about them that would, the author either gives it to me or they don't. If they don't then the character is flat.

I enjoy the process of finding out about people. The most interesting thing someone can tell me about themselves is that they think they're boring, but I can do something with that information in real life. If an author tells me a woman is quiet in their story, then has her act quiet and doesn't share anything about her then quiet quickly becomes boring.

I don't believe that there is a single boring character type, but if the author hasn't put enough thought into what makes a character interesting then there is no way they can give me that information and make them interesting to me.

If the author has created a well rounded character, and then makes good choices about which scenes to show me them in, then they can be interesting. If an author shows me a quiet wallflower in a a party scene, then shows her having a routine day at work, then a scene where she has an early night then I don't get enough from that. Throw in a couple of conversations with a friend where she's sharing her feelings and she's much more interesting....the author can do a lot by letting me see all aspects of a person, not just a couple of repeating behaviour patterns.

Craig

Samantha's_Song
04-16-2009, 02:18 PM
I guess some of us can create great/believable interesting characters and some of us can't. Personally, I've never had had problem creating characters; I give them a background, as that is what makes a real person the person that they are. I give my characters traits, maybe just small ones, but things that are always theirs and theirs alone. I give them thoughts and feelings, which are always different for each and every one too.

I've always been a 'people' watcher; I've always been able to suss people out and know what makes them tick, even on the net if I'm actually interested in someone and how they interact with others, so this helps me to build up real characters.

My own beta reader is a woman in her 60's, she's an ex teacher and reads a new book every single day, so obviously she's very well read; she asked me once how I can come up with so many characters, so I guess I'm doing something right with them. I just think you have to be interested in other people and their motives to be able to write realistic characters.

fringle
04-16-2009, 02:40 PM
No, not everyone can. I've read too many books w/ boring characters to ever believe that "anyone" can create interesting characters. In fact, I just finished reading a book that supposedly was packed with interesting characters. I'm 100% sure that the author thought she was creating some very interesting and unique characters, but in actuality, they were dull people wrapped up in fancy packaging.

James81
04-16-2009, 04:04 PM
well how exactly do you make a character connect with the reader?

Adding elements of humanity and truth to the character, no matter how wild the plot is.

For example, you could have a story about a dragon slaying monk who wears women's clothing and shoots fire out of his fingers, but if you add in an element of, say, him having trouble sleeping, is addicted to coffee, or cries whenever he hears a certain song, this connects him to the reader because those things are grounded in reality.

BlueLucario
04-16-2009, 07:27 PM
How does one know whether or not he can make interesting characters? I'd certainly like to know.

Claudia Gray
04-16-2009, 07:50 PM
No, I don't think everyone can do it. I think everyone can probably improve (God knows I hope I can), but improvement isn't the same thing as becoming good.

How do you know? Sometimes you don't. Sometimes the characters you think are fascinating bore others; sometimes, a throwaway line for a bit player you've hardly considered will catch people's imagination. The test is in the readers.

DeleyanLee
04-16-2009, 08:10 PM
No, I don't think everyone can write a good book (including characters, plot, etc). As mentioned upthread, to be able to do that requires a certain level of natural talent which you either have or don't and no amount of technique, skill or craft will compensate for a lack of talent.


How does one know whether or not he can make interesting characters? I'd certainly like to know.

It's all in the judgment of the audience you're writing for. If you're truly just writing for yourself, 'nuff said. I love and adore them, so they're golden. If you're writing for anyone else, then it's up to them to decide.

BlueLucario
04-16-2009, 10:51 PM
Hearing the statement that not everyone can do it, seems a bit discouraging to me. I don't know if I can do it, even if my story revolves around the characters.

(I'm very sorry for derailing this thread.)

SPMiller
04-16-2009, 11:07 PM
Hearing the statement that not everyone can do it, seems a bit discouraging to me. I don't know if I can do it, even if my story revolves around the characters.

(I'm very sorry for derailing this thread.)You can find out if your characters are interesting to your audience by...

wait for it...

asking your audience!

Cyia
04-16-2009, 11:10 PM
Hearing the statement that not everyone can do it, seems a bit discouraging to me. I don't know if I can do it, even if my story revolves around the characters.

(I'm very sorry for derailing this thread.)


Have someone read it who doesn't know you and has no interest in sparing your feelings when it comes to an opinion of it. Post a portion here in share your work or find a crittique group else where - then listen to them.

C.M.C.
04-16-2009, 11:13 PM
No, not everyone can do it. It's just like how not everyone can paint like Monet or sing like Sinatra. Some people are just better at it than others.

KTC
04-17-2009, 12:23 AM
Hearing the statement that not everyone can do it, seems a bit discouraging to me. I don't know if I can do it, even if my story revolves around the characters.

(I'm very sorry for derailing this thread.)


Nobody likes hearing it, I'm sure. But the fact is, Blue...it is absolutely true. NOT EVERYBODY CAN DO IT.

backslashbaby
04-17-2009, 08:17 AM
I would really, really love to be able to play the piano very well, btw. I've taken lessons; I enjoyed it a lot. But I will never get the timing down to be as good as I'd like. I can still enjoy it, but I honestly can't say that average folks would take their time and effort to hear me play for their entertainment.

But if everyone could do everything with talent, would talent excite us so? It's a gift, seeing the extraordinary, I think. Even if it's not me ;)