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Draconess25
01-29-2014, 12:24 AM
In my own writing, I've noticed some trends in my characters. Most of my stories have at least two or three of these:

A: Antisocial anti-hero with a drug problem and a lack of common sense. Despite that, they still have some code of honor, a soft spot for animals and kids, and good "book-smarts". Tends to be suspicious of others and has little faith in humanity. Will be the opposite gender of B, and may be their lover. Almost always a brunette.

B: Character about a year younger than the other mains with a strong sense of justice. For the most part, they are shy-but-friendly, but tend to be impatient with themselves and can get extremely upset when they don't meet their own expectations. Disapproves of A's drug use. Almost always has blue eyes and brown hair.

C: Shy, antisocial, awkward pessimist. Like A, they have little faith in humanity, but unlike A, they are polite and pacifistic. They will usually be a techie, or in a less modern scenario, a priestess/nun-type figure. They may share a familial connection with B and share their distaste for drugs. Almost always female.

D: Quiet, geeky, but with a tough skin. Middle-class upbringing. Usually has a tense relationship with religious parents, which will cause them to be agnostic or atheist. Will be the same gender as A, and may be their lover, but usually a former friend or ex. Almost always a blonde of above-average height. Likes wolves and dogs.

E: A master thief, hacker, and gambler. May occasionally have a drug problem, but usually won't. Usually a close friend or former friend of A and D, but will have more of a rival relationship with A. Same gender as A and almost always has brown hair and blue eyes. Parents are either neglectful or doting. Likes cats.

F: Strong-willed, outgoing, and has a strong sense of justice and equality. Usually pacifistic, but is willing to fight if necessary. Strongly believes in second chances and benefit of the doubt. Will usually be the same gender as E, and almost always a lover or a close friend. Good with children.

G: A year older than the other mains. Quiet and stubborn. May come across as sweet and innocent, but is often very manipulative. Occasionally a thief. May come from a large family or abusive parents. Will be a friend to A, D, E, and F, but never really click with B for some reason. Almost always a girl, and will often be a brunette.

H: Suave, fashionable, and cultured. Usually pacifistic and highly spiritual. Has a strong distaste for drugs and crime, but accepts and respects people despite their flaws. Good work ethic and a strong sense of equality and justice. Usually an old friend of A, will not know the others, and is almost always a female brunette.

I: Open, outgoing, and boisterous. Has poor manners, but is responsible and good-natured. Great with kids. Will drink occasionally, but never do other hard drugs. May carry a gun. Is usually a close friend of A, a good friend with D, and will get along well enough with the others. A year older than the other mains, often male, and always a redhead.

Of course, not all of my stories will have these, and some characters will be a combination of 2 or 3. These are just the most prevalent archetypes in my writing. Does anyone else have a certain type of person they enjoy writing about or seem to write about a lot without realizing it?

jaus tail
01-30-2014, 11:59 AM
I enjoy writing about confident, strong characters who look after themselves, not much social, nor much of a 'sacrifice myself for others' kind of person. The kind of guy who lives for himself, and his loved ones, but more importantly for himself.

Nataku
02-11-2014, 11:26 AM
For me mostly:

1. The street smart brat. Usually a character that grew up on the streets has a lot of attitude and acts tough and confident, but is actually very insecure about his place in the greater scheme of things.

2. Mr Emotional range of a teaspoon. I usually have at least one character who for whatever reason lacks any social skills and hasn't any clue about how to act around people. Usually the strong silent type that acts on his own a lot and causes the other character no small amount of trouble at times and at other times just makes them laugh with his complete lack of understanding social interaction. He usually has some back story or another to explain his lack of knowledge of said social skills. I just enjoy putting him in situations where he needs those skills and is completely out of his dept on what to do.

3. Badboy. I do love me a good badboy. Tough as nails, couldn't care less attitude, but there if he's needed in all his leather clad badass glory. Usually the guy that does everything god forbid so to speak. In my current work he's a leather pants and gloves wearing guy who drinks and smokes and just to annoy him I made him the healer of the group and gave him a socially awkward friend who loves to snag his cigarettes since he can't stand smoking. They have an awesome dynamic going on right now in the story.

4. Big brother type. I usually have at least one character in there who besides his own type of character is the big brother of the group of friends. Usually either the slightly older one or the baby of the group takes on this role of the big brother watching over the others.

5. Book savvy spunky Asian with attitude. Also a loved model. I don't know what it is(might be my own bias), but my Asians be they male or non-male are always book smart with an attitude. These usually are the highly intelligent ones of the group and tend to have their own opinion of the truth and of justice and in most cases they will eventually accept that things might not be as black and white as they see it.

6. Strong front. Usually the women or Asian men in my stories. I tend to have either Asian men or a woman in the story be the one that seems to be strong and guiding the others where needed and then have a whole part of the story suddenly prove that they aren't as strong as the others thought they were.

7. Little Prince (not). I almost always have at least one really rich character who is so rich that they could easily have a really nasty attitude, but prefer not to flaunt their being so rich. Usually this is one of the insecure characters. Usually the idea behind it is that since he's rich he's used to the lifestyle where people brag about their wealth to be liked by others and so he tries entirely too hard to be liked for himself and not his several billions that sit in his bank account.

8. The bat-winged angel. Usually is an excellent strategist who isn't as innocent as he looks. This one though usually coupled to the little prince characteristic of being rich and annoyed with those stuck up snobs of his 'social class'. This character is usually looking about 2 years younger than he really is and physically doesn't look like he could accomplish much in the way of fighting. Looks can be deceiving fits here as this is usually my darker character despite how much he looks like a little choirboy haha.

9. The man with the plan. This is usually the badguy of sorts. Good looking guy, could charm the socks off the devil, has his plans for the world all in his devious little mind and knows what he wants and how to get it. I also refer to this one as the double edged sword. On the one hand he's charming and upstanding if he believes he can get you to do as he wants you to and when faced with someone refusing his charms and not going along with what he planned he will become a complete jerk who won't shy away from having someone 'dealt with' (read murdered in cold blood) for the sake of his plan or just for being a pain in his ass or in the case of his lackeys even just for failing to complete the tasks given.

10. I'm bad and I know it. Also an badguy. There is no doubt about his badness. He is through and through evil and loves the hell out of it.

11. Mad science dude. Enough said. Mad scientist who shouldn't be let out among the people half the time ^^; Usually loves his work a little too much, but they're so much fun to write.

12. Good badguy? this is usually the character who starts out as the I'm bad and I know it type of badboy character, but doesn't really like what his boss is plotting. This one usually turns around and helps the good guys at some point. 'Because it's convenient for me. Don't think we're all buddy buddy now or anything.' He usually the type who doesn't join the good guys, but isn't strictly bad either. Mostly has his own idea of right and wrong in this world and will help whoever is most beneficial to him. These characters tend to have an overinflated ego a lot or they are the type that just suddenly pops in out of the woods and was actually watching the fight from somewhere and decided he didn't like where it was going. In short. Doesn't care about you, but if it helps his own plans he'll help you out.

In short. A lot of types really. Most of them in some way or shape reflect my own stand in the world and the types of people I grew up with. I'm that one odd kid everyone loved to hate on and whom was always getting picked on by people whose parents could afford them whatever they wanted simply because my parents were poor and couldn't afford to buy me a pair of 250 dollar nike shoes (price converted from currency and price at that time in my country to dollar).

I don't write too many female characters and when I do write them they're all big girls who can take care of themselves with a big mouth and a tendency to be insecure thus giving a big mouth to hide said insecurity. It's just my strong dislike for all those snobby bratty girly girls. I tend to paint them off as total bitches so I forgo writing those types.

Draconess25
02-12-2014, 12:21 AM
@Nataku (quote thing won't work) I'm glad someone else admits to basing characters on people they know. I know a lot of authors do it, but from what I've heard, it seems to be some kind of literary taboo. -.-

Nataku
02-12-2014, 01:04 AM
I've never heard of it being a taboo, but I can understand people being careful with it as it does have to do with privacy and what not. I don't actually base them on people I know, but I do have a few characters who share personality traits with my preferred characters in Manga IE bad-ass or big mouthed and what not. It's not that I go and think oh that's exactly the character I want for my book, but more like hey that character acts just the same as my character (insert name) would in that situation. I better keep an eye on this one it might help me better describe some things.

Personally though I think that in writing a lot of writers base their characters' personalities upon those that they see in their daily life as it is human nature to look at our surroundings and learn from it. As such it's understandable that if you're to write about a bad boy guy and you yourself are the complete opposite that you would look to either characters from other works of fiction (be they movie or book form) and to those in your close surrounding who act similar to how your character would.

The below image though is completely responsible for how Triton finally became bad-ass. I was browsing anime pictures in hopes of finding inspiration and came across this. I'd already been deep in working out this story and its characters when I found this picture. The more I looked at it the more I realized that safe for him not having the tattoos and piercings Triton had in my story this guy's looks were fitting very closely to Triton's personality and so I based his looks with some tweaks on this picture. While I like the picture there's a tad too much bling in the wrong places here and that tattoo is a no for Triton (his are cooler), but the leather pants and fingerless gloves definitely were inspired by this picture.
http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t228/emiko-sama84/tumblr_ltxy9vnoUi1qe6bufo1_500_zps50e3fbf9.jpg

Draconess25
02-12-2014, 03:21 AM
I'll have to look at it later on my laptop. Won't show up on my DS. Dx

dpaterso
02-12-2014, 12:12 PM
It's been suggested that this thread might fit better in AW Roundtable forum for general discussion rather than story idea brainstorming, let's try it there.

-Derek

Becky Black
02-12-2014, 01:28 PM
Some of my favourite "types" would be:

Someone who's quite stoic and disciplined, keeps their emotions controlled. But underneath they have emotions and passions as strong as anyone else's. And keeping them suppressed lets the character build up a head of steam, so when they do let loose, look out. I call them "unexploded bombs".

"Teabags". That is, you don't know how strong they are until they get into hot water. They're characters who are untested so far in life. They've never faced a situation like the one I've chucked at them. They've got to find an inner strength to deal with it.

And I love to put a character who's got a strong code of right and wrong, has unbending principles, together with one who's a bit more morally flexible (not always to the extent of criminality or being a bad guy, though that can be fun too.)

blacbird
02-12-2014, 02:05 PM
The damaged.

caw

Filigree
02-12-2014, 06:26 PM
One of my beta readers mentioned that I have a default trope she likes and expects from me. I had to think a bit to confirm it.

I love writing about people who make stuff: artists and artisans, inventors and bards, tailors and smiths. Nearly all of my favorite characters work with their hands in some creative fashion. Art was my Thing long before writing, so I guess that makes sense.

Liosse de Velishaf
02-12-2014, 06:26 PM
I don't have any specific characters. Just whoever I can get an interesting character arc out of.

But I supposed people with slightly warped views of the world fit. Whether positive or negative warping. Because when their views clash with reality, you get fun stuff happening.

KTC
02-12-2014, 07:32 PM
I like broken characters and broken dysfunctional families. I like to put them through hell and have them clinging to a modicum of hope at the end...the possibility of a happy non-ending continuation on the horizon.

Stew21
02-12-2014, 07:38 PM
I like broken characters and broken dysfunctional families. I like to put them through hell and have them clinging to a modicum of hope at the end...the possibility of a happy non-ending continuation on the horizon.

Yes.

Damaged and delusional. In need of redemption. I put them through hell and my characters and I both want to give up. Then at the end we all get our mojo back and finish with hope.

Jamesaritchie
02-12-2014, 07:40 PM
I write about whatever kind of people I know well enough to get down in a realistic manner. If I really had a favorite, it would be the guy next door, Mr. Average, who gets thrown into a situation beyond all his experience,, and has to deal with it.

Sage
02-12-2014, 07:53 PM
I have a few character tropes I tend to go for:

Confident, sarcastic, kick-butt female. Almost all my female MCs fall into this role.

The trickster, usually a guy. He would rather laugh than deal with the serious issues and can be quite annoying for other characters but lots of fun for the audience. When he does deal with serious stuff, though, it can be heartbreaking.

Invisible boys. I don't know. I just like my boys invisible. Sometimes they're only invisible to an MC, sometimes they're invisible to everyone else.

The character who can't touch. Apparently I like my romances to be very chaste because I can't tell you how often I write a character who for whatever reason has difficulty when they touch the LI (they drain the love, they melt, they kill them, they pass through them, etc.).

RemusShepherd
02-12-2014, 08:55 PM
The damaged.

caw

Me too. I like insane people, I understand insane people, and that's mostly who I write about.

I also tend towards immortals. I have this suspicion that you cannot be both immortal and sane, but you can learn to act sane, and that makes for an interesting character.

Jamesaritchie
02-12-2014, 09:20 PM
I like broken characters and broken dysfunctional families. I like to put them through hell and have them clinging to a modicum of hope at the end...the possibility of a happy non-ending continuation on the horizon.

Big meanie.

Layla Nahar
02-13-2014, 01:38 AM
I trend to:
heroic
physically strong or skilled
many, but not all, have been socially isolated

That's what I've done so far. I have done one despicable self-absorbed character.

MookyMcD
02-13-2014, 02:17 AM
For MC's, since I write satire, I'm pretty big on "the one sane man" thing. So I don't want him or her to be too smart or strong or anything else. Just a generally pleasant, if somewhat sarcastic, person.

Of course, that also means almost every other character gets to be batshit crazy, which is the real reason I do it. :)

angeliz2k
02-13-2014, 03:22 AM
I like writing sharp, witty, intelligent, emotionally chilly characters who are happiest making jokes to divert attention from whatever they may be feeling. They bare a small resemblance to me. Some characters skew more towards the "emotionally chilly" side, some towards the "intelligent", some towards "making jokes". But most of them have at least one of those traits. My favorite thing to write is snappy dialogue, so I need some good witty characters to deliver the lines!

phantasy
02-13-2014, 05:22 AM
Isn't this a bad thing? I always worry I'm going to end up writing the same five characters over and over again into different situations. I also worry I'm injecting myself into all of them and shouldn't. Is this something a writer should watch out for?

Draconess25
02-13-2014, 07:14 AM
Isn't this a bad thing? I always worry I'm going to end up writing the same five characters over and over again into different situations. I also worry I'm injecting myself into all of them and shouldn't. Is this something a writer should watch out for?

I don't think it's so bad as long as it's well written and the characters are still their own person. If you're an anime/manga person, look into Yu Yu Hakusho and HunterXHunter. Each of the four main boys has a counterpart in the other series, yet both are Yoshihiro Togashi's most popular works.

Even self-insert and author avatars can work out, such as The Dark Tower by Stephen King. :P

blacbird
02-13-2014, 10:20 AM
I have this suspicion that you cannot be both immortal and sane, but you can learn to act sane, and that makes for an interesting character.

Terry Pratchett has this wonderful character who is completely insane, hallucinating all the time. Doctors have helped him by getting him to hallucinate that he is actually sane, and to act accordingly.

cw

Nataku
02-13-2014, 11:55 AM
Me too. I like insane people, I understand insane people, and that's mostly who I write about.

I also tend towards immortals. I have this suspicion that you cannot be both immortal and sane, but you can learn to act sane, and that makes for an interesting character.

I once wrote a short on immortal people. It remains in my fanfiction archive though. It was based on the diary type book Cathy's key where a girl finds out that her boyfriend dumped her because he was immortal and didn't want to end up having their relationship go farther and thus hurting her when she found out he would forever look 21 years old.

It was a very interesting theory that maybe immortality isn't al it's hyped to be and that immortals might actually want to die. The idea from the book was that you kind of needed to die for the immortal gene to activate and after that first time dying and waking up immortal nothing can harm them anymore and so they are doomed to forever watch everyone around them die.

I wrote my story of that moment in time when my mc's realized they couldn't realistically pretend to be mortals anymore and had to leave their respective lives and how the pain was made a little easier now they knew of each other that they weren't mortal. I've always thought of making it into a short and going into more detail as to how the youngest immortal found out he couldn't die.

Pearl
02-13-2014, 08:06 PM
My MCs tend to be very flawed, though have strong qualities that balance them and make up for those flaws. Usually my stronger characters are secondary. I've tried writing strong MCs, but I end up creating Mary Sue-like characters. I also like my MCs weak and flawed so their triumph over problems is more exciting than for strong MCs, because you know they will succeed.

Nataku
02-14-2014, 12:54 AM
Funny thing? I used to get a lot of comments about my characters being either godmodding or mary sue's and gary stu's. I went ahead n put my character that I personally knew was a mary sue through the first five sue tests google search gave me.

Not one of them said she was sue. Either I broke the sue test or the sue levels of my mary are an overused internet meme.

Pearl
02-14-2014, 01:33 AM
I like broken characters and broken dysfunctional families. I like to put them through hell and have them clinging to a modicum of hope at the end...the possibility of a happy non-ending continuation on the horizon.


Yes.

Damaged and delusional. In need of redemption. I put them through hell and my characters and I both want to give up. Then at the end we all get our mojo back and finish with hope.

Yep, that sums up my characters too. Not that I'm sadistic. I just have been there myself :)

kuwisdelu
02-14-2014, 01:40 AM
Mostly me and whoever I'm in love with.

Draconess25
02-14-2014, 02:05 AM
Funny thing? I used to get a lot of comments about my characters being either godmodding or mary sue's and gary stu's. I went ahead n put my character that I personally knew was a mary sue through the first five sue tests google search gave me.

Not one of them said she was sue. Either I broke the sue test or the sue levels of my mary are an overused internet meme.

I've never been told that about any of my characters, and they've past all the tests, but I'm extremely paranoid about it. Dx

Nataku
02-14-2014, 11:02 AM
I started writing fanfiction in 2004. I find that fanfiction sites tend to be swarmed by people who just come there for the purpose of complaining about how your work isn't good enough for their favorite fandoms. I tend to ignore them as they never have anything useful to say. My friend and I used to joke that their reviews were only ever good for fireplace material as it only talked about how much they don't like something and gave no valuable insights as to why that I might learn from.

I made that one character purposely sue for the tests and still got a non sue result out of it which I found hilarious. Even when I write so the character is 100% sue she's still not sue enough for the sue tests. Including the widely accepted as best (or so I was told) Mary Sue Litmus test found that character to be a not sue and even advised I flesh her out more when I made just about the most outrageous story for her ever XD

jaksen
02-17-2014, 01:03 AM
I write two short story series and the MCs in both are loners. One a teenage boy. The other a woman in her mid-thirties.

As I am sort of a loner, too, though I am a hell of a lot more sociable than these two characters.

Kate Thornton
02-19-2014, 10:14 PM
I like to write about confident, funny women.

But I also like to write about men who are not the pretty boy handsome types, but are attractive nonetheless by virture of their character and sense of humor.

And animals - talking/thinking/engaging animals...

And yes, they are all me, except the one that are, well, you.

bearilou
02-19-2014, 10:19 PM
And animals - talking/thinking/engaging animals...

Me too!

Shadow_Ferret
02-19-2014, 10:44 PM
People.

JustSarah
02-19-2014, 10:49 PM
I prefer to write about shy anti-social loners that have a strong sense of personal justice, but that sense of justice may be inconsistent (or more pessimistic) with the rest of the world. I'll add the caveat of generally dystopic futures, but that's a setting more than the character themself.

Jamesaritchie
02-20-2014, 12:01 AM
Funny thing? I used to get a lot of comments about my characters being either godmodding or mary sue's and gary stu's. I went ahead n put my character that I personally knew was a mary sue through the first five sue tests google search gave me.

Not one of them said she was sue. Either I broke the sue test or the sue levels of my mary are an overused internet meme.

Those Mary Sue tests are silly. None of them mean anything. A Mary Sue is simply a character who's too smart, too sweet, too nice, or that handles trouble far too easily.

A Mary or Gary Sue does not have to be the writer in disguise, it's just that too many writers create a character they would love to be, and make that character too smart, too nice, too sexy, too capable to be realistic.

Draconess25
02-20-2014, 12:13 AM
I like to write about confident, funny women.

But I also like to write about men who are not the pretty boy handsome types, but are attractive nonetheless by virture of their character and sense of humor.

And animals - talking/thinking/engaging animals...

And yes, they are all me, except the one that are, well, you.

Animals are awesome. They have their own cultures as much as humans do.

NateSean
03-04-2014, 08:05 PM
The newest thing for me lately is to write characters that are smart but socially awkward. It's easy for me since that basically describes me. Strangely enough, most of the real life situations I've been in have been the meat and bones of a story later on in life.

cmi0616
03-04-2014, 09:22 PM
I don't know that my character have a lot in common as far as personality/profession goes, but I think basically everyone I've ever written about is struggling with their own contradictions as people.

CaroGirl
03-04-2014, 09:52 PM
The flawed, including but not limited to: artists (painters, writers, sculptors), the mentally ill, the homeless, the physically different, those scarred by abuse or unfortunate experiences, introverts, addicts.

Dezibela
03-06-2014, 03:56 AM
Lately, I like to write about relationships between women -- sisters, mother/daughter, BFFs, and frenemies. There are no types among them and they aren't modeled on people I know. I'm having a lot of fun with this material.

Emermouse
03-06-2014, 06:25 AM
I write teens, mostly because even though I'm legally an adult, I still feel like a teen (not quite a kid, not quite an adult, suspended in that neverland in between). I also seem to dig introspective characters.