Author Topic: Character Building  (Read 51 times)

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Offline Varg the wanderer

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Character Building
« on: March 03, 2017, 04:17:07 pm »
For those of you who write fiction from an outline (or at least a mental one): Do you flesh out your characters before you start writing? If so how do you go about doing that?

For those of you who don't, how do you prevent your character from growing (I cannot make a static character to save my life) in a way where they would not act in a manner the outline requires?

I am trying to create an outline for a story (in hopes it leads to me actually finishing it), but I am concerned about characters changing in a way I don't anticipate. For instance, Rika from Wet Cement is nothing like Carol, the name of the original girl in that position. Carol changed in ways both by her experience and historically as she had to pull things from her past to get through situations. In the end, this meant that the girl I started with couldn't be the girl I wrote about later, since the later girl (now named Rika) has a past and history that Carol couldn't have had and acted the way she did in the beginning. Does that make sense?
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Offline Glycanthrope

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Re: Character Building
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2017, 02:00:45 pm »
Hi Varg,

when I write stories (that are longer than what I post here,) I always start with a synopsis.
That's basically the whole story told in five pages or less.

I have a rough idea for each character and I follow them through the synopsis, from start to end.
Sometimes the characters change a lot from the original idea, but they usually come out more interesting, and with more depth.

Finally, I flesh out the synopsis with words and although the characters can still change quite a bit, I know they can remain more or less
defined because of the existing synopsis.

Very often, you don't WANT your characters to remain static either. You'll want them to grow and learn from their experiences in the story.

That's one method that has worked for me.

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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Character Building
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 10:08:52 am »
I have read that it's best when building a character one should
write a simple biography of the character from it's birth to grave.

Now if your writing a series you probably would want the charcter
to grow according to the story. Kind of like Harry Potter did in that

Make sure your character works well for the story. Though stories
are usually wrapped around the character it might not fit.

Try to make your character likeable for the reader. Not just a goodie
two shoes, but have something people like or respect. Perhaps even
something they would like to be. Say very smart or inventive.

Sherlock Holmes treated others terribly, but he very smart. That is why
most people liked the character, and a good mystery is always popular.  :)

Also one doesn't need to work up biographies for all characters, just
the important ones in your story.

There are some good books on building characters. If you interested I can
mention the one I read.
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