Author Topic: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story  (Read 12682 times)

Leto85

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Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« on: September 22, 2011, 07:43:42 AM »
Note: This is a topic for all the writers out there who want to make the characters in your story behave more realistically in all the situations, and especially disaster situations which you will confront them in your story. You can still be succesfull with writing without reading furter, but this topic is specially for all of you who are willing to put that extra attention in your story.

As you all may know the success of a story depends mostly in how far the reader can have sympathy for the characters in the story. All characters will behave differently in all situations in your story based on their personal character, the mood they have at that moment and the relationship they have with the other character in that situation.
The best thing you can do to define a character in depth is giving each important one a personal profile, just like professional book writers, script writers for movies and soaps, comic book writers and every self respecting writer that is out there have for the characters in their story.
Depending on the story it is up to you which character traits will have a benefit in the story and the given situation but the more important your character is the more indepth his or her personal profile should be.

What also is important, and what easily can be forgotten in a characters personal profile is their opinion about other characters. Based on that opinion, and on the traits that character has, including the mood he or she has every character will act differently compared to another. This defines all the scenes where monologues plays an important issue. Monologues are therefore a very important way to show the character of the person to your writher.

I've found a file on my computer (from 23 June 2004 17:51) with the questions you should know the answers from about the character of your story. What you should put in your characters profile is an Interview with each important character to give them more depth. This file contains the following information:


CHARACTER INTERVIEW

THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAITS OF A CHARACTER THAT NEED TO BE ANSWERED

What is the most important trait in my character?

What is the quality of a man/woman (opposide of the sexe of the inverviewed character) which I prefer?

What do I prefer the most in my friends?

What is my most principal shortcoming?



OTHER QUESTIONS

What is my favorite pastime?

What is my dream of happiness? (don't confuse this with lifetime wish. This can be different in the story you're writing.)

What will be my greatest mistake?

What do I want to be?

In which country would I really want to live?

What is my favorite color?

The flower I love the most?

Favorite bird?

My favorite prozawriter?

My most favorite poets?

My hero (male and or female) in the world of literature?

My preffered composers?

My preffered painters?

My heros in the daily life?

My heros from history?

My favorite names?

What I loathe above all?

The historical figures I loathe the most?

Militairy event I admire the most?

The reforms I prefer to see implemented?

One power of nature I would like to possess?

How do I want to die?

My mental condition at this moment?

Shortcomings who will inspire me the most to allowance?

My motto/slogan?

Offline ombradellarosa

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2012, 12:25:26 AM »
Hey Leto, just came across this and it is helpful, thank you. I am about to embark on a storytelling adventure and it is good to remember these things. Thank you :)
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Leto85

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012, 05:35:35 AM »
You are welcome. :)

SimBlip

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2012, 06:53:37 PM »
Sims seem very much defined by their personality traits. But as a writer, you can virtually make them think, feel and act in almost any way you like. As a writer, you may come across a Sim, well known for such or such personality trait, and still be surprised. That's where one has to go with heart, rather than a set character. I find that observing my Sims, gives me prompts to their true nature. I appreciate your list of questions to ask, but I like the way most of my characters seem to grow organically into very distinct persons, and that, all of their own right. :)

Leto85

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2012, 04:31:10 PM »
Sims seem very much defined by their personality traits. But as a writer, you can virtually make them think, feel and act in almost any way you like. As a writer, you may come across a Sim, well known for such or such personality trait, and still be surprised. That's where one has to go with heart, rather than a set character. I find that observing my Sims, gives me prompts to their true nature. I appreciate your list of questions to ask, but I like the way most of my characters seem to grow organically into very distinct persons, and that, all of their own right. :)

What a nice observation.
I have read your post before but didn't know how to responce to it so I left it for the moment. But I agreed with what you are saying here, which is in contradiction to my first post here, which I'm fully aware off. :P

The irony, oh the irony.

Offline Schipperke

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2012, 04:36:59 PM »
I've never noticed this topic before, but now I'm wondering why it is in the Miscellaneous Stories Board.  Wouldn't it make more sense for it to be in the main Stories board with all the other stickied threads about improving your writing skill, etc?  Leto, it's your thread, so I'll leave it up to you, but I think this thread would get more attention in the main board.  :)
 
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Leto85

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2012, 04:39:22 PM »
I've never noticed this topic before, but now I'm wondering why it is in the Miscellaneous Stories Board.  Wouldn't it make more sense for it to be in the main Stories board with all the other stickied threads about improving your writing skill, etc?  Leto, it's your thread, so I'll leave it up to you, but I think this thread would get more attention in the main board.  :)

First reaction: It's mine, MINE you hear! Mine. Not yours, MINE!!!

(... thinking...)

Second reaction: Okey, off to the main Stories Board with this, if you say so. :)

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Offline ladyaya

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2012, 08:51:34 PM »
First reaction: It's mine, MINE you hear! Mine. Not yours, MINE!!!

(... thinking...)

Second reaction: Okey, off to the main Stories Board with this, if you say so. :)

Lol, I love your reactions Leto.  ;D

Offline ombradellarosa

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2012, 11:33:46 AM »
Lol, I love your reactions Leto.  ;D

I know, he's so ridiculous :P in a very cute way, Leto, and that is a compliment.
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Offline ladyaya

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2012, 12:40:37 PM »
I know, he's so ridiculous :P in a very cute way, Leto, and that is a compliment.

Oh yes it is.  :D

Leto85

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2012, 07:06:30 PM »
I am thereby happy to announce that both ladyaya as well as ombradellarosa are dangerously offtopic now, ehehehehe.

Ow, how I LOVE to exploit my Moderator powers! :D

Offline ladyaya

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2012, 09:02:18 PM »
I am thereby happy to announce that both ladyaya as well as ombradellarosa are dangerously offtopic now, ehehehehe.

Ow, how I LOVE to exploit my Moderator powers! :D

Yeah, but it was all your fault in the first place.
Anyways, does a sim really need as much detail as that? It's a sim. I mean yes, they do need personalities, but favourite writers and flowers and such?  :o

Offline Ricalynn

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2012, 09:08:30 PM »
Yeah, but it was all your fault in the first place.
Anyways, does a sim really need as much detail as that? It's a sim. I mean yes, they do need personalities, but favourite writers and flowers and such?  :o

Leto isn't just talking about how you play the game.  He's talking about characters in a story being written.   Would my Grims really be the Grims if the Boss didn't exist? 
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Offline ladyaya

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2012, 09:18:30 PM »
Leto isn't just talking about how you play the game.  He's talking about characters in a story being written.   Would my Grims really be the Grims if the Boss didn't exist?

That's true.

Leto85

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2012, 01:19:14 AM »
Leto isn't just talking about how you play the game.  He's talking about characters in a story being written.   Would my Grims really be the Grims if the Boss didn't exist? 

Hm, couldn't say that better myself. Rica's got my back. :)

Offline Emily Redbird

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2013, 03:16:19 PM »
Hi! Interesting thread, really something I can learn from :)
I have something to share. I have a lovely Danish book by the name of "Skrivetrang", which translates to "urge to write", and in that book there is a list of random things you should know about you main character, at the very least. To avoid plagarism, I'll take the best ten:
Was X bullied or popular?
How does X feel about taking baths?
How many days can you use a pair of socks?
How often does X spray on perfume?
Does X know the latest gossip?
Does X prefer chocolate or gum?
What is the worst thing X's friend(s) has ever done to him/her?
Who is X's favourite family member?
Does X have a secret hotmail account?
What is X's biggest lie?
Is X good  at math?

These are some of the random things that are good to know about you characters:)

Emily
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Offline ombradellarosa

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2013, 04:30:10 PM »
Secret hotmail? What does that mean?
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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2013, 08:37:40 PM »
Secret hotmail? What does that mean?
Hotmail is an email service.  Not necessarily important to know  :P
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Offline Margerita

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2013, 01:22:23 PM »
I think Emily means : Does your sim have a secret email-address? Either for mischief, privacy or whatever, in other words one he/she isn't inclined to give out to almost anyone.

Offline Emily Redbird

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Re: Hint: How to give more depth to the characters of your story
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2013, 04:13:00 PM »
I think Emily means : Does your sim have a secret email-address? Either for mischief, privacy or whatever, in other words one he/she isn't inclined to give out to almost anyone.
Exactly! I'll have to go back to correct that.

~Emily^^

Edit:
Another good resource is the NaNoWriMo Young Writer Program guidebook for high schoolers. It's also a great resource for inspiration. It has almost 50 questions for you about your character. And not just random ones. There are deeper questions too. "What is your character's relegion/philosophy of life?", for example.
Link: http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/workbooks

Hope that helped anyone, not just making you more confused :)

~Emily^^
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