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Need Help With Character Dynamics:

 1 burnpsy, Wed, 21st Dec '11 5:45:29 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
[Information Removed]

I can tell from the posts made so far that this isn't going to get me anywhere. Nothing to see here, move along.

edited 22nd Dec '11 4:38:47 PM by burnpsy

 2 nrjxll, Wed, 21st Dec '11 5:46:20 PM Relationship Status: Not war
My first and most important question: is there, in fact, any reason why you actually need romance in the first place? Couldn't this plan wind up not working?

And honestly, if you're terrible at writing romance by your own admission, why would you make a central feature of your plot? I'm a little confused here.

edited 21st Dec '11 5:47:48 PM by nrjxll

 3 burnpsy, Wed, 21st Dec '11 5:53:06 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
[up]It sorta just ended up that way.

Also, his plan can't not work, or their planet is done for.

That said, my being bad at writing romance does not mean I can't try to improve by asking how to write it.

edited 21st Dec '11 5:54:17 PM by burnpsy

 4 nrjxll, Wed, 21st Dec '11 5:59:30 PM Relationship Status: Not war
I'm just a little baffled as to why you would knowingly choose to focus a story around an element of writing that you aren't very good at - it would make more sense to practice writing romance elsewhere, and then make a story focused around it.

Do you have any of these interactions actually written down? It would be a lot more helpful then an itemized list.

I'd also note that there are some unfortunate implications attached to this whole thing.

 5 burnpsy, Wed, 21st Dec '11 6:23:05 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
I see your point. When I started, I was basically thinking from the perspective of how Bakuman。 is still a good work, despite the rather central romance elements being sub-par. In that same way, I figure that everything else can make up for a badly written romance, but I'd rather not have that part weighing the whole work down, so here I am.

In any event, I am aware of the Unfortunate Implications. The characters themselves point this out after they hear everything.

And, as for the interactions, I do have a few of them written. Some from my rough draft, some from my current. I'll copypaste a few:

http://pastebin.com/sXyvT5CC

edited 21st Dec '11 6:58:54 PM by burnpsy

oh no the snack table
I can't make heads nor tails of what this is supposed to be about.
It's beautiful and so full of deep imagery that it doesn't surprise me to find that it has gone WAY over your head
 7 USAF713, Wed, 21st Dec '11 7:29:31 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
A terrorist group known as DOGS attacks the central government offices...

You made it to there before you lost credibility with me.
I am now known as Flyboy.
 8 burnpsy, Wed, 21st Dec '11 7:39:31 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
[up][up]Was I really being that confusing? I mean, I'd understand if it was, since a whole lot of stuff in the work is context-specific, but I thought I was being perfectly clear.

I'm not even trying to explain what the work is about, either. I just want to come up with realistic interactions between the characters I listed in the situation I provided.

[up]I explicitly stated I suck at names. Most of them are honestly placeholders I put there For the Lulz.

edited 21st Dec '11 8:13:51 PM by burnpsy

oh no the snack table
Yes, you are being that confusing. I can't figure out why any of these characters are doing any of these things or feel any of these things about any of the other characters. Without knowing that, their interactions are meaningless, and they are not characters in any meaningful sense.
It's beautiful and so full of deep imagery that it doesn't surprise me to find that it has gone WAY over your head
 10 burnpsy, Wed, 21st Dec '11 8:38:50 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
You see, my work is, as I said, extremely context specific. If I tried to explain absolutely everything, even in short form, I would end up with merely an updated version of the 28-page "short" summary I started with. There is literally too much behind everything for me to explain it in a way where people will not be all "screwthis.png" and leave. That said, I summarized the premise here in the names thread.

In any event, I may as well try my best to clarify. I'm fairly sure I said the girls all feel that way because the leader of the terrorist group moulded them to be that way since the day they were born. They are only capable of loving the partner said leader picked out for them, and he made sure that they did love them. So, basically, the girls feel that way because their brains cannot comprehend any other way to feel about the dudes. Unfortunate Implications, yes, but it's the villain doing it.

As for the guys, I have not set why they like the girls in stone yet. They can be anything, really. You see, I haven't decided on the whys because I have no idea how to write convincing whys that don't feel extremely forced and match the characters. This is why I needed help.

I listed character traits for all ten characters who are directly involved. If you need more information to be of help, then ask specifically for what you need, so I can be nice and concise about it.

edited 21st Dec '11 8:39:49 PM by burnpsy

 11 nrjxll, Wed, 21st Dec '11 8:48:14 PM Relationship Status: Not war
To be honest, villain or not, I just don't see any way how this can avoid Unfortunate Implications if you intend these romances to be seen as serious.

 12 burnpsy, Wed, 21st Dec '11 9:07:06 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
As I said, the characters themselves acknowledge the Unfortunate Implications. I'm not trying to avoid it in any manner whatsoever. I'm merely implying that I made it highly questionable stuff because, in my opinion, villains should be doing highly questionable stuff.

edited 21st Dec '11 9:07:56 PM by burnpsy

oh no the snack table
If you need more information to be of help, then ask specifically for what you need, so I can be nice and concise about it.

Okay. You need to stop thinking in tropes and start thinking about how the characters' motivations and feelings. Your summary and samples both ape cartoonish genre fiction, which isn't going to teach you to make anything but cartoonish relationships. You acknowledge your inability to write realistic relationships: this mimicry of childrens' fiction is why it exists.
It's beautiful and so full of deep imagery that it doesn't surprise me to find that it has gone WAY over your head
 14 burnpsy, Wed, 21st Dec '11 9:32:41 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
I actually don't know that much childish fiction (most stuff I read/watch are generally tagged as being for mid-to-older teen audiences, so anything that looks like it is purely coincidental). I wrote them in tropes because that was the shortest way to write it. I do have a general idea of what their motivations are.

[Information Removed]

Good enough?

edited 22nd Dec '11 4:38:49 PM by burnpsy

oh no the snack table
No. Very much not good enough. I asked you how the characters feel, and you didn't tell me one thing that Magnet feels, just that he has some unspecified feelings. Spark's only feeling is boredom. Ruyo feels like he's the odd one out... but how does that affect him? Some stuff happened to Tom and Haidrow... but how do they feel about it? The girls want some things... why? Shi knows things... how does this make her feel?

Characters are not pieces on a chessboard. If you want characters to have relationships that are not just "Shi takes Magnet, which takes Rook, " then you need to think about what everyone actually feels about what they know and what's happening, not just decide that they do things just because.
It's beautiful and so full of deep imagery that it doesn't surprise me to find that it has gone WAY over your head
 16 burnpsy, Wed, 21st Dec '11 10:22:17 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
OK then.

Quick correction to myself, I mistyped Shock as Spark in my previous post. Quick correction to you, TORN, not TOM (written in caps here because one can actually tell which letters that way, my username gets the same issue).

[Information Removed]

edited 22nd Dec '11 4:38:50 PM by burnpsy

oh no the snack table
I think you're reaching far out of your experience and writing some cartoonish characters, and it's going to lead to some dead ends. If you want to soften the cartoons and develop the underdeveloped characters, sketch them. A good way to do that (and help develop chemistry between your characters) is to write "boring" conversations between your characters in your notebook. Have them chat about the weather, debate what to have for lunch, argue about politics, shoot the shit, whatever. Just get comfortable with the characters and see what comes of their personalities organically.
It's beautiful and so full of deep imagery that it doesn't surprise me to find that it has gone WAY over your head
 18 burnpsy, Wed, 21st Dec '11 11:30:28 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
Oh, I have done just that. Quite a few of the traits I mentioned come off as being a lot more subdued than what I've been describing, if I don't want them being hammy (which I don't). I ended up like this:

[Information Removed]

I pretty much got the guys down. As an example, watch as I piece together a scene about one of the topics you suggested on the spot, the weather:

Location: Acero Beach (Magnet's home); at night, raining.

Everyone's sitting around a table in Magnet's small shack.

Haidrow: "This is quite bothersome."

Torn: "What's wrong this time, Haidrow? Trouble deciding whether you should use your powers to stop the rain?"

Magnet: "That's precisely what he's thinking. But, Haidrow... I'm sure you've though of this already, but wouldn't that just be needlessly messing with the natural order of things?"

Haidrow: "I'm worried. There might be someone out there who may get trapped in a mudslide or something if I let the rain keep falling. At the same time, there might be a group of farmers nearby who count on the rain. I just don't know whether I shou-"

Shock: "Interfere? I'm fairly sure there are no farms around here. Think about it, this is a beach. How many farms do you see near beaches? But, at the same time, is the rain so bad? Considering that we mostly get clear skies around here, the rain feels like a nice change of pace."

Ruyo: "You people are forgetting something more important here. We can't see the auroras in the night sky with the rainclouds blocking our view!"

Everyone gives Ruyo a blank stare. Awkward slience.

Magnet: This is strange. Shock isn't being trigger-happy and getting ready to point out that you can see those all the time.

Haidrow: "Whether or not people can see the beautiful auroae isn't nearly as important as whether or not people die or have nothing to eat."

Shock: "...But I told you. There are no farms around here. Speaking of which, I don't think mudslides are possible in this region. Can you go check, Ruyo?"

Ruyo: "Understood."

Ruyo leaves with his teleportation jutsu.

Magnet: "In any event, why are you guys even still here? We can continue this tomorrow, I need my sleep. Or would you rather your though processes dull when you need them the most?"

Shock: "Nope. See ya."

Shock leaves at the speed of lightning.

Torn: "I suppose you're right. Let's go, Haidrow. We can use your power as an umbrella."

Torn and Haidrow exit. Ruyo teleports back in, wet.

Ruyo: "I'm done surveying the are- Where is everyone?"

Magnet: "We decided to continue this tomorrow. Go home."

Ruyo: "Understood."

Ruyo teleports out.

I didn't even need to pause at all. You see, I have a good handle on what they'd say in a mundane situation. Knowingly developing actual relationships, however, is something I do not have experience writing.

edited 22nd Dec '11 4:38:53 PM by burnpsy

They think me mad
Is the dialogue writing in your story in the same sort of format or style as your post there? Something really stands out to me beyond the content of the dialogue itself and I'm wondering if your story is the same way or if it's just because you rushed it a little to make a post.
To the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee.
 20 burnpsy, Wed, 21st Dec '11 11:50:14 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
[up]Considering the intended medium, I write scenes in that way because it is the closest to what it will actually end up as at the end of the day. It's basically a script.

Most of my rough draft, and my original summary, are in paragraphs, but I'm writing it like this right now:

Scene ## (Location; other information)

Speaker: Thoughts. "Statements."

Actions.

edited 21st Dec '11 11:51:16 PM by burnpsy

oh no the snack table
That is not any kind of script format. That is just prose formatted poorly.

This is how you write a script.
It's beautiful and so full of deep imagery that it doesn't surprise me to find that it has gone WAY over your head
 22 burnpsy, Thu, 22nd Dec '11 12:08:35 AM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
[up]I'll read up on that and adjust as necessary... when it's not 3 in the morning. But really, it's not like I'm a professional and therefore need to adhere to pre-defined formats, especially since nobody sees a script when viewing the work itself.

edited 22nd Dec '11 12:12:05 AM by burnpsy

They think me mad
The other thing aside from the formatting itself:

Everyone's sitting around a table in Magnet's small shack.
Everyone gives Ruyo a blank stare. Awkward slience.
Ruyo leaves with his teleportation jutsu.
Shock leaves at the speed of lightning.
Torn and Haidrow exit. Ruyo teleports back in, wet.
Ruyo teleports out.

These are the only sorts of actions I'm seeing in your scene up there. Just basic exiting and entering stuff, and one moment of blank stare. There's nothing indicating what tone anyone is speaking in, their body language, facial expressions, etc. Nonverbal cues are a big part of communication.
To the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee.
 24 nrjxll, Thu, 22nd Dec '11 12:20:27 AM Relationship Status: Not war
Technically, there's one bit of nonverbal communication in there. But it's certainly something that you've left out.

 25 burnpsy, Thu, 22nd Dec '11 12:21:54 AM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
That is, again, a quirk of the intended medium. The medium doesn't give nearly as much freedom as most others would with body language, limiting it to a select few recurring reactions unless it's animated/CG, and that only happens to particularly major scenes. I should probably have omitted the blank stares, too.

I've just grown to naturally remove it because it likely won't be in the finished product.

Tone, however, is something I should add.

edited 22nd Dec '11 12:23:32 AM by burnpsy

Total posts: 28
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