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Character dynamics
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Character dynamics:

 26 loganlocksley, Mon, 19th Dec '11 5:38:14 PM from On the ceiling
Occasionally Smart
On an off-topic note, I've never understood where this stereotype that Joss Whedon is some kind of character-killing maniac comes from.
Here's an appropriate quote:

"People love a happy ending. So every episode, I will explain once again that I don't like people. And then Mal will shoot someone. Someone we like. And their puppy."

edited 19th Dec '11 5:39:44 PM by loganlocksley

He's like fire and ice and rage. He's ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of time. Rory punched him in the face.
 27 nrjxll, Mon, 19th Dec '11 5:51:48 PM Relationship Status: Not war
...Except he doesn't actually do that (and one-shot characters don't really count anyway).

I've never liked killing off characters. I mean, I'll make them unhappy for plot related purposes - very very unhappy - but I don't usually actually kill them.

 29 nrjxll, Mon, 19th Dec '11 5:59:16 PM Relationship Status: Not war
See, that's actually the opposite of my approach. I'm much more inclined to kill a character outright then put them through a Trauma Conga Line.

...Although what this has to do with character dynamics is beyond me.

 30 Noir Grimoir, Mon, 19th Dec '11 6:38:04 PM from San Diego, CA
Rabid Fujoshi
[up][up]See, I'm like that too, but it's kind of weird. In one of my recent stories I'm working on, I actually have quite a few characters die pretty early. I love those characters, but it doesn't feel so horrible if you plan it ahead of time before you really fall in love with them. Especially if they get killed off kind of early before they get really entrenched. Only the good die young, and all that.
SPATULA, Supporters of Page Altering To Urgently Lead to Amelioration (supports not going through TRS for tweaks and minor improvements.)
 31 Major Tom, Mon, 19th Dec '11 6:42:08 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
So, does anyone have any idea how to replicate each shows' runaway success with characterisation?

Simple, make the characters like people, not characters.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
Yes, I know that. That's like saying "You can swim by moving your arms and legs around".

 33 Major Tom, Mon, 19th Dec '11 6:50:39 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
So, do that. Don't make characters fit into roles. Envision people as how you do that.

For example, say you have the Six Student Clique. Model them all off how actual students are and how would they relate to each other to work out that way. One may be the sweet innocent cute girl but maybe she has a fondness for say soccer. Another one in it might be the jock. Knows everything about sports, could care less about school much. Naturally this makes those two have common ground.

Delving further a third one has an interest in journalism covering everything from news to sports and more, additionally he's friends with the jock. Fourth could be the casual basketball player with a knack for cracking jokes. Fifth is the Genki Girl cheerleader. (Go figure...) Sixth is the brains of the outfit, not so much skilled at sports or well-connected but he fits in by being the brains everyone can turn to for help in a tight spot.

There you go, six different characters not complete set into six archetypical roles. Some overlap but each could stand on their own if expanded upon right. Alternatively, it gives you countless relationships/team-ups for countless plot possibilities.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
 34 Aniventerie, Mon, 19th Dec '11 7:02:08 PM from Imagination World
Detective Extroadinaire
ON TOPIC MODE: ACTIVATE.

One approach I've seen used to create casts is to make a set of character sketches and write a throwaway scene solely of them interacting. See how they bounce off each other. Who's dominating the scene? They'd probably be moving the plot forward the most. Who's holding things back or causing too much strife? Drop them; they'll only hinder the story (be sure to keep the sketch written down somewhere for reuse though). Keep writing the scene and look out for interesting/compelling interactions that move the plot and reinforce the story's themes. Those are the dynamics (and by extension, characters) you'll want to keep.

I can't say much about this approach's effectiveness since I've never used it, but it seems like it would help.

Now, on the subject of individual characters:

One thing I will note is that it's important to recognize the difference between a character who's rounded and one who's simply a mess. Throwing random traits into a character might make them slightly more realistic, but will definitely make them less compelling. Depth before breadth, basically.
Need a tall, brawny fella to come by and inspect your pickle? Perhaps I may be this fella.
 35 loganlocksley, Mon, 19th Dec '11 8:03:33 PM from On the ceiling
Occasionally Smart
Except he doesn't actually do that

True, but that's where the perception comes from.

Back on topic, the best way to get to know a character is to write them a scene. Just get started, you don't need to know everything about them before you start writing. Just go for it. That's what works for me, anyways. The best way to see how two or more characters will interact is to do just that - make them interact.

edited 19th Dec '11 8:03:41 PM by loganlocksley

He's like fire and ice and rage. He's ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of time. Rory punched him in the face.
 36 Noir Grimoir, Mon, 19th Dec '11 8:08:04 PM from San Diego, CA
Rabid Fujoshi
Yeah a lot of time I can't even pin my characters personalities down well until I've actually written them in a scene, then they kind of solidify on their own. A lot of time they become rather different than I original thought they'd be.
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