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Holbrook
April 4th, 2006, 02:03 PM
At the moment I am ploughing through editing a few works, and as I read the stories back I find some of my characters I hate reading nearly as much as I hated writing them. Two in my last work I found horrible! They bored me silly and annoyed the hell out of me, yet I found I put more effort into the creation of them just because of that reason.

Does this mean I created a deeper or better character? I haven't got a clue. I only know that they were and are important to the story, so I couldn't ditch them or better yet killed them off (though I was sorely tempted to do so with one of them)

Has any one else had this feeling, or are you in love with all your characters?

JRMurdock
April 4th, 2006, 02:14 PM
I've run into a character or twelve I didn't care for. It's hard to twist and force them into a shape that fits you instead of fits the story. So I just left them as is. Even if I didn't like them. Some of those stories I abandoned and never returned to finish them as I could get involved enough with the characters.

In one story, I didn't like the lead at all and kept the story line, but change him to a her and the story was much better for it. It hurt like hell to trash 20,000 words of a novel, but I'm so much happier with the final result. Sometimes stories need a lobotomy in order to turn out right.

Dawnstorm
April 4th, 2006, 02:44 PM
Yeah, the characters I don't really like require more effort:

(a) I have to be careful to be fair to them, or the story will be unbalanced. People I like are always right, etc. That can't be good for the story.

(b) I also find it harder to understand their motivations. Sure, I know the basics. But trying to figure out the body language...

I'm lucky in that I don't dislike many of my characters.

Hereford Eye
April 4th, 2006, 04:39 PM
Answer requires distinguishing characters whom I do not admire and characters that I do not think come across on the written page as I intended them to come across. Characters I do not admire are essential to the story they appear in and require a faithful presentation of their viewpoint, otherwise they slip into stereotype and, as you wrote, become very, very boring.
Characters I could not get right on the printed page more often than not cause the story to die a natural death and are then banished to the ninth ditch of the 8th circle of hell.

MrBF1V3
April 5th, 2006, 01:04 AM
I had a major falling out with one of the main characters in one of my novels. I had submitted it to a few places with no results, and put it away for a year or more, and when I went back to look it over I realized this guy had the same solution to almost every problem-- kill everyone in the room. Then walk out with a 'poor me, I can't stop killing because I enjoy it too much' attitude, which pretty much disappears by the end of the next page.

I'm thinking; 'OMG, I wrote an action movie.'

It's still in the back of my file cabinet. 'Easy' solutions to problems are not very dramatic.

As for annoying characters, I've written a few, usually they end up having a very miserable time in my stories. I do try to aviod the stereotypical bad guys, I've met enough of the real thing to know the difference.

B5

Michael B
April 5th, 2006, 12:08 PM
It hurt like hell to trash 20,000 words of a novel, but I'm so much happier with the final result.
That is more than I have ever trashed in one go!

Sometimes stories need a lobotomy in order to turn out right.
I work on the principle that most stories have sections that ought to be cut. It is usually just a question of sharpening the knife and setting down to the job.

Malik
April 5th, 2006, 01:57 PM
I took out an entire character in a rewrite last year; after spending a few years away from the manuscript, I realized that he wasn't remotely important to the story. I did like him, though. I may bring him back in a sequel.

And I have one character who is extremely likeable in the first book, but who turns out to be a murderous, two-faced, traitorous prick in the second. He only recently turned into this -- I wrote him into that role about a month ago. I hope that the audience (assuming I have one someday :rolleyes: ) will be as disappointed as the main character when they find out that they've been betrayed. "Man, I thought we were friends!" :eek:

choppy
April 5th, 2006, 06:16 PM
Hate is such a strong word.

I have characters that I get bored with. Usually this is because in a flurry of keypounding I haven't bothered to really think about a character I'm introducing. Instead I simply "insert villian X or love interest Y" and go on.

This thread has got be thinking though. If I don't like one of my characters, maybe it's because I'm not spending enough time on him or her.

One thing I'm trying to spend a little more time on is developing more likeable characters (noting that 'likeable' in this context is not synonamous with 'admirable').

KatG
April 6th, 2006, 12:50 PM
If I didn't like a character -- like as in enjoy writing, not admire -- I would get rid of that character and make a new one for whatever role the character was serving. Of course, trouble writing a character so he or she comes out the way I want on the page is a different issue.