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jacklevin123
October 27th, 2013, 11:20 PM
1. Gocay
2. Wang-Long
3. Julius
4. Kane
5. Sesshu
6. Snark the Mystic Wizard

http://p.lui.li/img-31027_20131027204148_j-r-med.png

ViKtoricus
October 29th, 2013, 12:51 AM
I don't know what to think. Could you describe to me their personalities? Could you show me their backgrounds?

Robert_S
October 29th, 2013, 01:27 AM
purged

jacklevin123
October 29th, 2013, 01:35 AM
Gocay is a native american warrior who live his tribe. He's wise and a serious person.

Wang-Long is a young chinese kung fu martial artist who is very cheerful and likes to cook. He loves to fight his opponents.

Julius was originally a statue from Greece. He became a real person. He's an homosexual who wants to bring peace and love for all mankind.

Kane is an alien from an distant planet. He has 2 sons.

Sesshu is a japanese ninja from his clan. He's very strong and fast. He also has a scary mask.

The wizard Snark is a 5000-year old wizard who uses magic orb to survive.

Robert_S
October 29th, 2013, 02:29 AM
purged

avid
October 29th, 2013, 02:29 AM
Quite a random band of misfits. I don't really know what to say about any of them without knowing the backgrounds or anything about the world they're in.

Tyrannohotep
October 29th, 2013, 03:55 AM
I have a feeling this thread would fit better in the Visual Arts section of the forum.

The Tourist
October 29th, 2013, 01:27 PM
They sound and are described as right out of central casting.

Why not add a touch of realism? If you want to include the bushido lifestyle in your story, why not make Sesshu a togishi, it would be more likely, and not many even mention it. For example, the polishers got all of three seconds in the Tom Cruise movie, "The Last Samurai."

Gamer_2k4
October 29th, 2013, 04:44 PM
I think your characters are the one thing mine aren't: faces. I don't even know what most of my characters look like; I only know who they are.

Staff Deployment
October 29th, 2013, 07:41 PM
No young man, let me tell you about 2 of my mains:

Dante
Weakness: Doesn't care about people. He is angry and rather insulting toward others. He was a rising guitarist in a band that criticized politics, but when they started to attack corporate America, their gigs dried up and so did their careers. His brother was one of three corporate protestors killed 15-20 years ago when police used heavy handed tactics to break it up. Feels the American public is to blame for the current state of America. During the course of the story, he witnesses a man being beaten and does nothing. Calls his brother an idealistic idiot. When he learns the human race is approaching its moment of truth (an alien name I'll give later, but it means they are nearing a global nuclear war), he says "let them burn."
Need: Needs to care about the people he was trying to help with his music.

BES
Weakness: As a very unique individual (she is a cybernetic computer/intellect), she feels isolated. Her only source of companionship has been Ro'shaan and those who she installs and merges Ro'shaan's memories into.
Need: Needs to see pure organics as friends and be accepting of their friendship.

Give your characters a weakness or two and a need that they fulfill at the end. Make them human. Humans have weaknesses and needs.

Characters aren't weaknesses and needs, either, Robert! Even assuming they are, these character descriptions are missing an important element.

For example, you define Dante's weaknesses by things that happen to other people ("his brother was one of three corporate protestors killed") and through examples of things he does in the story ("witnesses a man being beaten to death and does nothing") but these don't necessarily give an idea of his character. He's still not very cohesive in my head.

Neither is BES -- even her weakness seems less like a weakness and more like a single trait. Isolation and uniqueness isn't a weakness; that's just being introverted. It's also not clear whether the "need" is her personal need or an objective need from a story standpoint. If the latter, I take offense. Again, being introverted isn't a weakness. Nor is it very compelling as the basis for a character.

Not too long ago I finished a story where the main character was a sadistic, self-absorbed teenaged girl happily obsessed with violence. The character you're thinking of: that's her. I've described her in such a way that you've already got a (likely very accurate) picture of her in your head in terms of behaviour and mannerism.

I could do that with any of my characters, really. Take the evil wizard legitimately concerned for the welfare of his kids: instantly you've got a good idea of how he would interact with others in a story, and, if he was the protagonist, what his own story would be. Despite the lack of detail, both these characters have a personality, a potentially fatal flaw, a personal need, a dilemma that could kick off a plot, and even possibly an implied backstory.

Creating characters isn't filling in the blanks ("this is his weakness, this is his need"), even though it's really easy to fall into that trap.

Morkonan
October 29th, 2013, 09:23 PM
1. Gocay
2. Wang-Long
3. Julius
4. Kane
5. Sesshu
6. Snark the Mystic Wizard ..(pic)

In writing, these are your characters. You paint with words, not pencil and crayon. Out of all of these, the best one so far is "Snark the Mystic Wizard." Why is that? Answer that question and you'll know how to make your characters great.

The Tourist
October 29th, 2013, 11:29 PM
In a strange twist of irony, the Asian girl I took to senior prom called me "Wang-Long." I don't have a drop of Asian blood in me, so I assume it's a pet name...

Robert_S
October 29th, 2013, 11:48 PM
purged

Gamer_2k4
October 30th, 2013, 02:10 AM
In a strange twist of irony, the Asian girl I took to senior prom called me "Wang-Long." I don't have a drop of Asian blood in me, so I assume it's a pet name...

Oh you.

avid
October 30th, 2013, 02:13 AM
^^^ can't help but laugh

The Tourist
October 30th, 2013, 12:16 PM
^^^ can't help but laugh

While I'm always glad to provide some comedy relief, there is an overall method to my madness.

I'm a big proponent of stressing the "creative" part creative writing. I'm not big on every character being a Navy SEAL or a comely babe, and when I read stuff like that I dismiss the writer as a hopeless hack. I mean, you have the entire landscape of a your fertile mind to write anything about anyone in any time period, and of all those choices you pick a super-human Mary Sue?

This extends to picking names for our leads and villains. I open a novel and the hero's name is Pristine Goodbar who fights an evil genius named Rouser Deathmonkey and the book gets flipped right into the bargain bin with the rest of the Zero-Mock-Thirty and zombie retreads.

And it's not just us. Ian Fleming once admitted that he needed a name for a spy, and couldn't think of one. On his desk was a horticulture reference book written by "James Bond." He just stole the name.

Having said that, I cannot wait to read about the adventures of Rouser Deathmonkey, former Airborne Ranger, with strap-steel thighs and who bench-presses old Zil limousines just to impress his main babe, Skylar, a former Victoria Secret model who lost her job because she was simply too pretty.

Spolier alert! He's killed by Lance Doucheman, half-cyborg half liberal democrat, and the only albino ninja west of the Pecos...

Robert_S
October 30th, 2013, 12:42 PM
purged

The Tourist
October 30th, 2013, 12:45 PM
Can't blame the entire problem we have on liberals alone. It's a problem of our current state of politics. The republican party is at its lowest approval rating in history because of the forced shutdown.

It was meant to be funny. Besides, most albino ninjas do support ObamaCare.

I was looking for the most ridiculous example I could, that's all.

Tyrannohotep
October 30th, 2013, 06:43 PM
I'm not big on every character being a Navy SEAL or a comely babe, and when I read stuff like that I dismiss the writer as a hopeless hack.
C'mon, comely babes are always awesome. Then again, I am a horny twentysomething male, so I'm biased.

The Tourist
October 30th, 2013, 09:54 PM
C'mon, comely babes are always awesome. Then again, I am a horny twentysomething male, so I'm biased.

Been there, done that, invented half of it.

I've dated a lot of pretty women, and after getting to know them, it made working on a greasy bike engine in a frigid February garage a real treat. It was warmer there...

But I stand on the premise. A writer who relies on "perfect characters" isn't a writer, at all. He just likes to play with paper dolls. You want to test a man's mettle, toss him into the imperfections of life. It's the same with the leads in our stories.

Tettsuo
October 30th, 2013, 10:34 PM
Gocay is a native american warrior who live his tribe. He's wise and a serious person.

Wang-Long is a young chinese kung fu martial artist who is very cheerful and likes to cook. He loves to fight his opponents.

Julius was originally a statue from Greece. He became a real person. He's an homosexual who wants to bring peace and love for all mankind.

Kane is an alien from an distant planet. He has 2 sons.

Sesshu is a japanese ninja from his clan. He's very strong and fast. He also has a scary mask.

The wizard Snark is a 5000-year old wizard who uses magic orb to survive.
What exactly are these characters for? If it's a video game, they're fine. If it's for a novel, you have a lot of work to do.

Robert_S
October 31st, 2013, 12:06 AM
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jacklevin123
November 2nd, 2013, 12:41 PM
Gocay is a native american warrior who live his tribe. He's wise and a serious person.

Wang-Long is a young chinese kung fu martial artist who is very cheerful and likes to cook. He loves to fight his opponents.

Julius was originally a statue from Greece. He became a real person. He's an homosexual who wants to bring peace and love for all mankind.

Kane is an alien from an distant planet. He has 2 sons.

Sesshu is a japanese ninja from his clan. He's very strong and fast. He also has a scary mask.

The wizard Snark is a 5000-year old wizard who uses magic orb to survive.

Staff Deployment
November 2nd, 2013, 01:05 PM
The former is what lead to his selfishness and disregard, the latter being examples of immoral behavior on his part.

* rubs hands gleefully *

Why is selfishness and disregard part of his character? Remember that people reading it for the first time don't have the chance to ask these questions and receive clarification -- generally it's best to sum up the character and worry about the specifics for later. Otherwise, the crux of the character (the ratio decidendi, if you will) gets lost.


So her weakness is an obsession and the rest is just filling in what the obsession is about. As long as the obsession is detrimental. Your description sounds more like a moral weakness.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha you fell into my trap! And a rather obvious one, too.

The sadism, the self-absorption, and the violence aren't necessarily weaknesses! They are simply what defines the character. An antagonist merely being "evil" is not a weakness, as there is no need for it to change in order to have a coherent story!


All the [sic] really matters is what lead to his current state.

Nope! All that matters is his current state.

(doesn't have to be 'shocking', but it certainly can't be misleading or ambiguous)

Oh man I miss this literary mind-unravelling. Darn exam season. I must study dutifully, henceforth.

The Tourist
November 2nd, 2013, 03:06 PM
At the end of the day my response to any character--even a villain--is visceral. I can see a good man turned "bad" because of events that pushed him to it. Heck, that's the overall theme of every Schwarzenegger movie that ever turned a profit. I have no intellectual connection with these character treatises, at all. Not one bit.

Besides the idea of two dimensional Mary Sues, I'm not a big fan of stereotypes. Put me in a suit and you wouldn't recognize who I was. Most people are like that, and our characters should reflect that same condition.

Not all Asians know karate. The pinnacle of Japanese society is not the shogun or Samurai, it's an executive from Sony. Painting these characters with that brush would be akin to an American lead stopping every ten minutes to toss a crate of tea into the harbor.

It might have historical undertones, but it's an impossible anachronism.

Robert_S
November 2nd, 2013, 03:16 PM
purged

Robert_S
November 2nd, 2013, 03:49 PM
purged

Busterfriend
December 20th, 2013, 10:52 PM
Gocay is a native american warrior who live his tribe. He's wise and a serious person.

Wang-Long is a young chinese kung fu martial artist who is very cheerful and likes to cook. He loves to fight his opponents.

Julius was originally a statue from Greece. He became a real person. He's an homosexual who wants to bring peace and love for all mankind.

Kane is an alien from an distant planet. He has 2 sons.

Sesshu is a japanese ninja from his clan. He's very strong and fast. He also has a scary mask.

The wizard Snark is a 5000-year old wizard who uses magic orb to survive.

Heh, Wang Long.

Justin Rocket
December 21st, 2013, 12:01 AM
Try to make them more stereotypical. Try to make them as stereotypical as you possibly can. I mean, in all ways (their methods of approaching problems, their motivations for dealing with problems, what gives them a sense of purpose, how they evaluate the world around them, etc.)

Then, do the opposite.

For example, (just for fun) take each of the characteristics you just listed and randomly (by rolling dice) assign them to a character. Then, try to create backstories for each character which make those tags make the most sense for the character they've been randomly assigned to.

Arcopitcairn
January 26th, 2014, 05:38 PM
The reason I like your picture is because it is sincere. You made characters and then drew them. I love doing that, and it's a lot of fun. Draw their entire bodies. I would like to see those:)

Jecon
January 27th, 2014, 04:43 AM
In order for us to raise our suggestions for your future project, you need to explain briefly the plot in which these characters meet.