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January 15th, 2004, 07:38 AM
when you are writing do you put yourself in the shoes of the character and try to think how you would act in the situation?

January 15th, 2004, 11:26 AM
When I'm writing I usually do just that. There IS a problem with that tactic however and that is if you have multiple view point characters. Each of them needs to have their own distinct personality and putting yourself in their shoes will almost always make your own personality flow through the character which leads to all of the characters being basically the same with some superficial alterations.

A character who prefers to think things out rather than act will react to situations much differently than the brash bruiser character. It's hard to separate your own personality into just those aspects and you really wouldn't want to because then the characters woudl be one dimensionsal.

I am guilty of just that and constantly find myself trying to rewrite scenes because the character acted too much like ... every other character.

January 15th, 2004, 07:10 PM
I only try to write from my perspective if I want the reader to know how I would feel and/or react to a given situation or sensation. When describing scenes like that, I try to imagine what I would do if suddenly I were in that characters shoes. If that fits with the personality of my character, great, I'll use it. If not, I got a good exercise in writing.

For certain scenes where people would act similarly (such as smelling great food or experencing pain (physical or mental), I do try to write as if I were the character. What does it feel like to inhale that fresh baked bread? Can I write it so the reader can also smell the bread even though there's none around. Can I make the reader feel the hunger pangs of the character? or what it feel like the smash your finger with a hammer. Those things are common and everyone would be able to relate, though reacting to them could be completely differently.

Perhaps I'm rambling, perhaps not. The choice must boil down to how much your character is like you (or how much they're NOT like you).


January 26th, 2004, 06:39 PM
Have you ever written a bit of character-driven fiction and felt afterwards that the characters wanted to scream at you, "That's not how I'd done it?"

You have to write as if you were the character. Stepping into their shoes isn't enough - you have to become a whole different person. Otherwise you're writing about a dozen different 'you's'.

January 26th, 2004, 10:43 PM
Works for me, in particular with abuse stories, where you have to really get into the character's head for the emotion.

January 26th, 2004, 10:58 PM
No, I don't think of how I would act in a given situation. I think of what the character would do.

My characters seem to me like real people and if I think about it I can normally figure out what that "person" would do in a given situation, going by their background and personality.

If all the characters acted like me it would be a pretty boring book. :D

January 27th, 2004, 10:33 AM
Originally posted by Calis
when you are writing do you put yourself in the shoes of the character and try to think how you would act in the situation?

That would only really work if you're writing it from one character's POV throughout the story.

If you want to show the POV's of other characters and what makes each of them tick, you'll need to enter a different mindset for each one, and try to think as they would, rather than vice-versa.

It helps if you have multiple personalities. ;)

January 27th, 2004, 06:00 PM
Originally posted by kahnovitch
It helps if you have multiple personalities. ;)

I'll have to agree there. Each of my characters has a bit of me in them, but are their own being. It's kinda eerie.