Character Problem

Discussion in 'Writing' started by Jay232, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. Jay232

    Jay232 New Member

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    What happens when the character you create isn't who you thought he was? I created a character and am one chapter into the story before realizing that the character I created was not who the character is. He's much different, much more irresponsible and hypocritical than the hero character he portrays. Do I sound crazy or is this possible?? It's not that I wrote him different, I wrote him the way he is supposed to be, it's just that his personality does not fit the character as I'd planned. His personality is completely backwards and hard to write when I know that it is not right. :confused: :eek: :confused:
     
  2. Susan Boulton

    Susan Boulton Edited for submission

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    Jay; Characters can seem to take on a life of their own.

    You can do a number of things.

    Carry on, weave the story round the character as he now is.

    Strip him down back to the basics and start again.

    Keep the character, remove him from the story and rewrite it and place this character in another at another time, recycle him ;)
     
  3. choppy

    choppy The Great Flying Bear

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    This happens to me quite a bit. As a result what I start out writing and what I finish with are two different things.

    You might want to try a character interview exercise. Come up with a list of questions and get your character to answer them. I know, it sounds silly, but sometimes this can force you to develop the character and make connections that you didn't see before. And when you do the interview don't bother with the surface stuff. Get right into the juiciest, darkest aspects of your character. Remember - no one has to see the exercise.
     
  4. Jay232

    Jay232 New Member

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    That sounds like a great idea. And I'm in dyer need of those right now. I'm just staring at the screen with my story up and not doing anything. Everyline I write I delete because it's too corny, to unemotional, or just not where the story is supposed to go. part one went so easy, I used to write three to four pages a day. I'm almost getting frustrated! :(
     
  5. TheEarCollector

    TheEarCollector Cavalryman Extraordinaire

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    Maybe the problem is that you know where you want the story to go...
    It sounds to me like you have a plot driven story with a character driven story waiting to break free.
    I would say just go with it and find a way to guide it back onto the path you want it, that's what I do.
     
  6. ironchef texmex

    ironchef texmex New Member

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    I agree with Ear. Some of your best stuff will be impromto. Just go with. See where it leads. You can always scrap your character if he gets too fiesty. But my guess is you won't want to; the characters with wills of their own are usually the ones that we can't get out of our heads.
     
  7. Jay232

    Jay232 New Member

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    Got that right. Even worse is, I can't scrap him, he's in the first book. Unless I kill him off or something lol.But that's over played, I killed him off in the first story, not my fault I brought him back and said that he didn't really die :p Ok so it is my fault, but still. I've been trying to write more on that story and I've got a plan for the mid of the story, but no end yet. And not only that I still can't get him to act right. It's like I totally lost the way he talks and acts!!! So now the girl character is acting stupid because he don't act right lol. It's almost like I'm directing a movie and they won't stop making bloopers instead of scenes! :eek: :D
     
  8. TheEarCollector

    TheEarCollector Cavalryman Extraordinaire

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    This works, and can give you really strange results. I started my epic, I got through the first scene and I got hung up on who this character really was. At the time I had to write a paper about the social interactions in my family, so I finished it and then did the same thing as my character. I got a LOT of information from that, I just started writing based on his circumstances that I already knew and the gaps filled themselves in.
     
  9. KatG

    KatG The Bony Hand of Death Staff Member

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    So the character was in a first book and was one way, and now you are trying to use him again, but his characterization is changed? If so, then some of your choices are:

    1) Come up with a convincing reason the character's personality changed.
    2) Fix it so he acts as he did in the first book.
    3) Turn him into a new character who will be the protagonist of the story, rather than the old character from the first book, perhaps a cousin or business partner to the old character.