History SoYouWantTo / MakeInterestingCharacters

23rd Mar '18 11:20:55 AM slvstrChung
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* DesignatedHero: Having flaws is a must but a writer must remember to balance a characters flaws and a characters sympathetic traits. If you have too much of the former then don't be surprised if a reader isn't as invested in your main character as you hoped. Especially if your main character is more rephrehensable than the antagonist.

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* DesignatedHero: Having flaws There are two metrics of likeability that a character can be rated on. One is a must but a writer must remember to balance a the question of whether other characters flaws and a characters sympathetic traits. If you have too much of in the former then don't be surprised same work like them. This is important because the sum total of characters, as a whole, are the AuthorAvatar; if a reader isn't as invested in your main character as you hoped. Especially if your main the character is more rephrehensable than liked or respected by (most of) the antagonist.other characters, then we know that The Author wants ''The Reader'' to like that character too. The other metric, however, is whether The Reader ''does'' like that character. '''In general''', the answers to these two questions should always be the same; readers should like the characters you want them to, and dislike the characters you want them to. If the answers are ''different'', then something is very wrong with your ability as a writer. You need to spend some time questioning what virtues your characters are supposed to feature, what flaws your audience is finding in them, and how you got from one to the other.

The most basic tenet of Audience Reactions is this: '''''The audience is always right.''''' It doesn't matter what you were ''trying'' to do, it matters what you ''did''. And, for good or ill, if the audience doesn't like what you did, they don't have to give you money anymore. And money is probably something you need if you want to continue making interesting characters. When in doubt, assume the audience knows their head from their ass, and adjust accordingly. This does not mean you have to completely change how you write characters, or which virtues and flaws you want to assign them; it means you have to step back, {{deconstruct}} those flaws and virtues, and ask yourself what makes a character sympathetic (or not), and why.
19th Jan '18 12:40:21 PM NoSpoilerz
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** Canon Sue - AuthorAvatar: While it's not bad to [[{{Escapism}} give your characters exciting lives]], if they are simple {{Author Avatar}}s, have no real defects and struggles, and are used as a medium just to fulfill [[WishFulfillment your desires]],
[[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief your character won't be believable]] as imperfections make characters human and therefore [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief "more realistic" and deep.]]

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** Canon Sue - AuthorAvatar: While it's not bad to [[{{Escapism}} give your characters exciting lives]], if they are simple {{Author Avatar}}s, have no real defects and struggles, and are used as a medium just to fulfill [[WishFulfillment your desires]],
desires]], [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief your character won't be believable]] as imperfections make characters human and therefore [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief "more realistic" and deep.]]
19th Jan '18 12:39:38 PM NoSpoilerz
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** Canon Sue - AuthorAvatar: While it's not bad to [[{{Escapism}} give your characters exciting lives]], if they are simple {{Author Avatar}}s, have no real defects and struggles, and are used as a medium just to fulfill [[WishFulfillment your desires]],[[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief your character won't be believable]] as imperfections make characters human and therefore [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief "more realistic" and deep.]]

to:

** Canon Sue - AuthorAvatar: While it's not bad to [[{{Escapism}} give your characters exciting lives]], if they are simple {{Author Avatar}}s, have no real defects and struggles, and are used as a medium just to fulfill [[WishFulfillment your desires]],[[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief desires]],
[[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief
your character won't be believable]] as imperfections make characters human and therefore [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief "more realistic" and deep.]]
7th Jan '18 11:38:20 PM MeaJae97
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** Canon Sue -AuthorAvatar: While it's not bad to [[{{Escapism}} give your characters exciting lives]], if they are simple {{Author Avatar}}s, have no real defects and struggles, and are used as a medium just to fulfill [[WishFulfillment your desires]],[[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief your character won't be believable]] as imperfections make characters human and therefore [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief "more realistic" and deep.]]

to:

** Canon Sue -AuthorAvatar: - AuthorAvatar: While it's not bad to [[{{Escapism}} give your characters exciting lives]], if they are simple {{Author Avatar}}s, have no real defects and struggles, and are used as a medium just to fulfill [[WishFulfillment your desires]],[[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief your character won't be believable]] as imperfections make characters human and therefore [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief "more realistic" and deep.]]
15th Apr '17 3:34:18 PM nombretomado
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However basing your characters on people you know has drawbacks: sometimes people don't like seeing themselves in fiction. Also in the case of an ongoing series, a change in relationship with the author might lead to [[RealitySubtext abrupt changes in the story]]; there are some particularly [[SomethingPositive nasty]] [[ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse examples]].

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However basing your characters on people you know has drawbacks: sometimes people don't like seeing themselves in fiction. Also in the case of an ongoing series, a change in relationship with the author might lead to [[RealitySubtext abrupt changes in the story]]; there are some particularly [[SomethingPositive [[Webcomic/SomethingPositive nasty]] [[ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse examples]].
9th Oct '16 1:01:32 PM eaterofworlds
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* ThisLoserIsYou: A character that's all flaws can sometimes be as annoying or even more so than [[MarySue one with none]] - that's the importance of balance.

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* ThisLoserIsYou: A character that's all flaws can sometimes be as annoying or even more so than [[MarySue one with none]] - that's the importance of balance.balance.
* DesignatedHero: Having flaws is a must but a writer must remember to balance a characters flaws and a characters sympathetic traits. If you have too much of the former then don't be surprised if a reader isn't as invested in your main character as you hoped. Especially if your main character is more rephrehensable than the antagonist.
26th Jun '15 6:26:42 AM 1810072342
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* ThisLoserIsYou: A character that's all flaws can sometimes be as annoying or even more so than [[MarySue one with none]] that's the importance of balance.

to:

* ThisLoserIsYou: A character that's all flaws can sometimes be as annoying or even more so than [[MarySue one with none]] - that's the importance of balance.
6th Feb '14 6:21:13 AM kensu
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Added DiffLines:

However basing your characters on people you know has drawbacks: sometimes people don't like seeing themselves in fiction. Also in the case of an ongoing series, a change in relationship with the author might lead to [[RealitySubtext abrupt changes in the story]]; there are some particularly [[SomethingPositive nasty]] [[ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse examples]].
18th Dec '13 7:13:20 AM Kesar
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However, if a character is solely flawed, this can leave a feeling of sourness in The Reader's mouth. "Why am I bothering with this story? I came here for {{Escapism}}, not to see [[ThisLoserIsYou my own problems reflected back at me]]. I want a character who is ''admirable''. That's where the virtues come in. Having said that, this is why the third word in our heading is '''bonding'''. The Reader responds differently to virtues and flaws. Simply put, a Virtue is something that makes The Reader say, "I wish I were this guy," whereas a Flaw is something that makes The Reader say, "I ''am'' this guy." (We have also just breezed right by the pitfall on the other end of the sliding scale: a character that is all "virtues" is inaccessible because while he's admirable, The Reader does not and furthermore ''cannot'' empathize with him. He is like the moon: awesome, but irrelevant to The Reader's life.)

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However, if a character is solely flawed, this can leave a feeling of sourness in The Reader's mouth. "Why am I bothering with this story? I came here for {{Escapism}}, not to see [[ThisLoserIsYou my own problems reflected back at me]]. I want a character who is ''admirable''. " That's where the virtues come in. Having said that, this is why the third word in our heading is '''bonding'''. The Reader responds differently to virtues and flaws. Simply put, a Virtue is something that makes The Reader say, "I wish I were this guy," whereas a Flaw is something that makes The Reader say, "I ''am'' this guy." (We have also just breezed right by the pitfall on the other end of the sliding scale: a character that is all "virtues" is inaccessible because while he's admirable, The Reader does not and furthermore ''cannot'' empathize with him. He is like the moon: awesome, but irrelevant to The Reader's life.)
23rd Sep '13 12:06:30 AM Fireblood
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* RapeAsBackstory: If your character suffers from RapeAsBackstory, don't treat it lightly. Being violated in such a way tends to have mental and social effects on someone. How they treat, it should be an integral part of their character.

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* RapeAsBackstory: If your character suffers from RapeAsBackstory, don't treat it lightly. Being violated in such a way tends to have mental and social effects on someone. How they treat, treat it should be an integral part of their character.
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