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Creativity, the Longevity of Life
 
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 Characterization, Baby!

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Novel-Goddess
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PostSubject: Characterization, Baby!   Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:45 pm

I'm one of those writers that pretty much preaches characterization. I do so much of it that my characters talk to me. And they don't. shut. up. Ever.

*Ahem*

Anyway, I really think characterization is important. After all, even if your story is plot-driven, you need solid characters to carry the story and the plot. Me, I start with a basic profile. You know, physical description, likes, dislikes, etc.

But then I take it farther and ask my characters all sorts of questions. What's your favorite color? What actor do you admire? What's your least favorite book and why? Who is your idol? Do you get along with your parents? Even if the question is seemingly unimportant, I ask it.

And then, believe it or not, I take it even farther. In any given situation, I ask myself what my characters would do. If I'm walking down the street and I trip, my immediate thought is "what would so-and-so do if he/she tripped and face-planted?"

I do that so much that after a while I don't even ask. I just know. And a little while after that, I just start hearing my characters talk to me, telling me their reactions. It's pretty intense.

So what about you? How do you characterize?
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SilentxMidnight
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:55 pm

Me, when I have a character I tend to make a small fill in story beginning and force them through that scenario. Then I'll continue it. For example, if i wrote the following:

[Character Name] went to the store and bought a cat named [cat name]. On [his/her] way home, they were pushed into a wall. [cat name]'s cage broke and it escaped, running down the street...

I would then fill it in and say:

Emily went to the store and bough a cat named Coco. On her way home, they were pushed into a brick wall. Coco's Cage broke and she escaped, running down the street. Emily ran after her. A young man caught Coco just as she got to the end of the block. Emily blushed as their eyes met.

Seeee its even more fun now ^^
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:04 pm

I think I'm definitely character-driven rather than plot-driven. I think it's much better to have a simple plot and complex characters, rather than the other way around, because complex characters make a story way more interesting and can definitely advance a plot. I usually fill out a profile for each of my characters (Name, Age, Appearance, Personality, Likes/Dislikes, etc.) and as I'm writing the story, I get to know my characters more and more, thus I add more information into the profiles. After awhile, one character takes up multiple pages. It just takes a little "getting-to-know-you time" between my characters and I.

You know what I think would be a good idea but haven't actually tried yet? My friends always do these quizzes and notes of Facebook, so I wanted to try filling some of them out as my characters. I think it would be really fun. >w<
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SilentxMidnight
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:24 pm

I like that idea moon ^^

that sounds fun. I know what you mean by pages of one character o.o

I have a ten page -front and back- of a minor character from Black Rose Chronicles. ten. Don't even get me started on a main character
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:40 pm

The first thing I do, the majority of the time, is figure out the character's history -- what kinds of events happened? Their family life, friends? How would that history shape their personality?

And then, once I've narrowed down the possible personalities said character would have, I choose a personality stereotype -- you know, the kinds of shallow characters you find in stupid shows and movies.

From there, I add depth. I add realistic twists to it that make it not so stereotypical.

Then, from there, I go on survey hunts on the internet -- Myspace, mostly -- and answer those questions in said character's point of view.

And then, finally, I go use this GUIDE to polish it all off.

I find it works quite well.




For instance, my main female, Mimi.
Her history starts out with her living in Jarrow, England with a twin sister and an older sister (and they don't like each other too much). When she was about eight, there was a small period of time where their father was an alcoholic, though they weren't exposed to him all too much. He was killed in a car crash when Mimi was fourteen, and their mother remarried all too fast, moving the family to England. From there, she graduated from High School and went on to New York University. She landed a part on Broadway, after a lot of off-Broadway productions and the like, where she fell in love with one of her fellow actors. After they got engaged, she caught him cheating on her with another actress. Upset, she left her career and dreams behind to become a journalist, where she still is today.

From there, I got the stereotypical 'bitter' woman and added other traits, and when I wrote out her entire personality one day, it exceeded a page in Word. Haha. And now, the main compliment I receive is that she's extremely realistic, which I take pride in.

/nod
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:31 pm

That is a good why to characteriz. i like your idea.

one thing, her mother moved the family to england or the usa because didn't they already live in england?

anyway, I've read a short part of your work and liked it a lot. you've got a good eye for your characters i could tell even in small centences. you should take pride in your work. its very good.
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:51 pm

well, the way I get the idea of my characters, I make a list and describe their personality, the way they look, emotions, siblings, age, hair/eye color, and what they're good and bad at.

and I do this for all the characters I have in the book. Normally just the main ones, I never really describe the minor characters because they never have a big part in the book/script. normally if they appear a few times then yes, I will describe them with smaller detail then I will with the major characters
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:18 pm

Yeah, I meant the USA. /snort
I'm smart.
Same thing, just less tea. xDD
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:20 pm

hahhaaha nah, usa is worse then america ^.- but hey we awesome people are here so its all good
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:31 pm

yeh, were pretty bad.... shame on the USA
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:27 am

-odds- yep
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:18 pm

=]
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:42 pm

I just wanted to thank Ashley for the link, because I think this is exactly the kind of thing that will allow me to really make my characters realistic. :]

My characters slowly unfold themselves to me as the story goes on. I hardly know much about them when the story first starts, just like the reader.
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:17 pm

Yeah i think its kind of fun to do that way

lucky you

me? i'm crazy, i meet my characters FAR before i write about them. -points to noggen- the live in my head and follow me around all day, kinda like jen.

Once one of them tried to tell me the answers to a test, so i listened. FAILED i later found out in his story he's the evil one -.-
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:16 pm

xDD Poor you.

But yeah, it's fun learning about your characters as you go. :] At one point, just try diving into a new novel you're writing and try it out. I recommend it.
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:19 am

yeah its great if your not crazy ^.-
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:30 pm

I'm crazy
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:35 pm

I'm insanly crazy XD
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:48 pm

we both nuts
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:07 pm

thats the fun of being creative! you got to be crazy!
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:27 pm

indeed it is
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:29 pm

um.... me too
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:35 pm

Lol well your name sure is creative, mister, My name is Fiction
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:39 pm

wooness
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PostSubject: Re: Characterization, Baby!   Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:51 pm

isn't it though? i like it :3
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