PDA

View Full Version : Character Persona vs real life persona.


SFFWorld.com
Home - Discussion Forums - News - Reviews - Interviews

New reviews, interviews and news

New in the Discussion Forum


Pages : [1] 2

Holbrook
April 15th, 2004, 05:28 AM
Something I have thought on often.

For the most part the characters I create are nothing like me, now and then they might say out loud some of my ideas and thoughts about the world, but not very often. As I try to create characters that reflect the world I am creating.

But as with all things there are exceptions to the rule. One character I have always thought of as my alter ego. He does and often says the things I think of doing, sometimes the things I actually do on both counts.

I have been aware of this from the moment I created him and a few close friends and family members, were I thought, the only ones that made the connection.

What gobsmacked me the other day was reading Juzzza's posts on the Collab thread, his handling of Albert's character. The way he had him act and speak sent a shiver down my spine. Because I knew that Juzzza had not read the complete story. The only thing I could think of was that he had read the first three chapters, which were on this site for a while...

So I asked him, he said he was basing Albert on my online persona. Which gave me the willies.... to say the least. Is Albert so much a part of me that he is there for all to see or do I slip into Albert when I post and write on the forums.

A thorny question and one I can't answer

juzzza
April 15th, 2004, 05:35 AM
Glad I could rattle your cage old boy :D

I should clarify actually, it is more to do with your PMs and MSN chats with me than your actual posts in threads, Albert's dialogue is much like your own 'online' conversation, complete with *grins* and FOCLMFAO's... Does that make sense?

Of course we could be reading too much into it and I am simply as insane, rude and cheeky as you and so manage to capture Albert not quite as well as his creator, but almost... ;)

Holbrook
April 15th, 2004, 05:49 AM
Originally posted by juzzza
Glad I could rattle your cage old boy :D

I should clarify actually, it is more to do with your PMs and MSN chats with me than your actual posts in threads, Albert's dialogue is much like your own 'online' conversation, complete with *grins* and FOCLMFAO's... Does that make sense?

Of course we could be reading too much into it and I am simply as insane, rude and cheeky as you and so manage to capture Albert not quite as well as his creator, but almost... ;)

Rattled it! You knocked it off the stand! That's even worse! I am Albert.....:eek: :eek:

It had surprised me that I could slip back with such ease into writing both him and Daniel after a break of nearly two years since I wrote "the originals"

No wonder I confuse folks..... but I admit to being insane, rude and cheeky some of the time... other times I am quiet, shy and very "british"

It never stops amazing me, how through writing, we create and uncreate ourselves and others. How small things creep into the flow of words, sometimes unknown and often undesired in some ways.

Writing is in a way a window into the writer's dreams and memories...

juzzza
April 15th, 2004, 05:53 AM
You are absolutely correct, I once handed my completed MS to my oldest friend and asked him for comments...

He told me he did not like it at all LOL, but he couldn't put it down because it was like reading a transcript of my soul :eek:

Holbrook
April 15th, 2004, 12:56 PM
It was not my intention or desire, when I started to write, to open up a window in my soul. To let strangers see "me"

Is the process one over which, we, writers have no control?

That it is our subconscious dropping little bits of "us" into the work even though we don't want or are trying not too?

Is it only with our first works or does it happen all the time?

Do we, once we realise it, stop it, making the words more structured?

Or do we have to open the window to make the words flow?

Do we, as writers, want to stop it happening?

More important should we?

Do these little bits of "us" burden the reader in ways we can't imagine?


Sorry rambling...over tired and in a bit of pain tonight, always think on such when I am....

PaxNoctis
April 15th, 2004, 04:44 PM
For me anyway, I really have very little say over how my characters come across. When I try to force a personality on them in accordance with my goals, the writing becomes mechanical and stops flowing. The only way for me to get more organic feeling writing is to let the characters go on their own tangents.

Sometimes, this does lead to aspects of my own personality coming across strong. The Montgomery character from Sleeping Dragon thinks like I do, and does a lot of things I'd *like* to do. Other times, I end up with someone whose totally unlike me, a character I can't even relate to outside of the work he's in. It's the latter kind of characters that (I'm told) are my strongest, but I also find them hardest to 'channel'. Like Milo from the work that's been plaguing me for months now. It takes a monumental effort to conjure him up, and then I get out maybe half a chapter before he goes away and I feel like I've just run a mental marathon. And yet people keep telling me he's one of my best characters ever.

I think the more familiar a character is, the closer you can get to him in your writing, but at the same time the level of comfort you have with the character makes you almost 'lazy' about writing him. When it's a real struggle, you agonize ever every sentence, and those are the ones that turn out memorable.

kahnovitch
April 15th, 2004, 05:00 PM
Online personas are a side of us that may not get to see much light of day in the real world, but here we can open our souls a little more if we choose thanks to the anonymity and relative safety of the internet.
It kind of like the ringing the Samaritans and telling whoever is one the other end all your trouble and strife, or having a deep conversation with a total stranger at midnight in a pub when your both very drunk, have never met before and yet go straight into a chat about your innermost fears or ambitions and start deciding what's wrong with life and the world in general.
The environment itself, makes people less inhibited.

JRMurdock
April 15th, 2004, 07:01 PM
With all the characters I've killed over the years, I sure hope I'm not one of them.

But seriously. I had a friend read my first books and he said HEY! You're Willie! Mostly becuase I talk almost exactly like the way I type the characters speech. It was kinda funny. All my characters I write have a small piece of me in them. That's why they're so personal to me.

I read somewhere that all writers (know it or not) are observers. Most are introverted and spend more time listening to a conversation than participating in one.

That pegs me. A listening introvert.

As for Online personas, this is a place where I -- and the rest of us introverts -- can come, say our mind, and NOT be interrupted. I know when I'm in a conversation and the other person gets louder than me, I'll stop talking and listen. Here, that doesn't happen. Kinda nice. :)

milamber_reborn
April 15th, 2004, 10:59 PM
I find it strange reading posts on here about people putting themselves into their characters, but each to their own and all that.

Me, I sometimes run with a theme that I believe in because it's easier to write about, but otherwise, my characters are just that -- characters. I can write about rapists and murderers and chauvanists, and write the sadistic endings I prefer, but it is far removed from who I am. I put myself into the shoes of characters that are quite unlike me for the sake of the story, and enjoy doing so.

kahnovitch
April 15th, 2004, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by maus99
I read somewhere that all writers (know it or not) are observers. Most are introverted and spend more time listening to a conversation than participating in one.


I used to spend a lot of time in pubs (nowadays I'm quite happy at home with some tinnies), but I used to find a lot of inspiration just observing people and recognising certain archetypes of character and watching how they behaved.
I often incorporated them one way or another into characters in stories I wrote.
I suppose you could call it "research" of a fashion, as stories need a certain diversity of personalities or they all end up being slices of the same pie (i.e. the writer) with no real distinguishing features or characteristics.