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Is this a normal thing for writers?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by srebak, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. srebak

    srebak Troubadour

    For quite some time in my older years, my mind has been running amok one time too many. I watch an increasing amount of television and movies, and in recent days, my mind has gotten into the habit of replaying certain scenes in ways different than what was originally shown, usually in ways that make the characters i like seem immature, rude, naive or just stupid. What's more, my mind makes the characters do things that go against their basic character. It's embarrassing to think about.

    So, i have to know, is this something all writers experience in some way or do i just have issues personally?
  2. JRFLynn

    JRFLynn Sage

    I haven't gotten too far with my book yet to really know some of the major problems, making them believable has been rather tough. Sometimes I have trouble with trying to get them to be serious, or at least be taken seriously. They do tend to wise-crack a bit too much. When my anti-hero isn't killing things, he spends most of his time smoking a pipe or craving a drink. He's got issues...which is normal I guess for an anti-hero, but he could definitely use some depth.

    There's a similar situation with his apprentice. She tries to act tough (and she certainly is) but she's actually very vulnerable, so that dual thing is very hard to convey and sometimes she comes off as immature or too girly for a hardened fighter.

    Personally I think it's okay to let the characters take over or veer into a different direction, you never know where it could lead. You can always go back and edit if things get too ridiculous. It may actually reveal something in their character or at least give them a quirk or two. I wouldn't be embarrassed, srebak. This sounds like a common problem among authors. Maybe not everyone, but I do think it's a natural part of the process when trying to thrash out a plot.
  3. Guy

    Guy Inkling

    I think a certain number of inconsistencies or contradictions make a character more authentic and believable. For example, someone might be the very image of civilized and enlightened, but let someone threaten their child and they turn into a complete savage. Likewise, even the toughest people have their moments of vulnerability. Intelligent people do stupid things from time to time. A character who is just one thing is a cardboard cut out and quite boring. Human behavior has a certain amount of inconsistency and authentic characters should be the same.
    Jabrosky likes this.
  4. Ginger Bee

    Ginger Bee Scribe

    When I was a kid, I'd pick a character in a movie I was watching and pretend that was me. When "I" did something stupid, I would feel extremely embarassed or uncomfortable, or when the character won, I was elated.

    It's not what you experience, and I quit doing it a long time ago, but was another way of having a personal connection to what unfolded onscreen.
  5. Sam Evren

    Sam Evren Troubadour

    I don't know about making them do more foolish things... As I get older, I do notice a marked tendency to wonder why some of those folks are doing the foolish things they're doing - and why their writers/directors thought it would be a good idea to ever have them do it.

    I try to think back across the years to my younger days, when I was prone to some incredibly stupid and dangerous habits... some of what I see might slip by, but, as reckless as I was, there's still a considerable amount of foolishness that I probably would have balked at.

    Pretty sure that was the sound of another grey hair loping out of my skull.
  6. I'm not sure If I'm fully qualified to post here, amongst all these ancient people.... *evil laughter*

    But, I don't know if it is odd or not, I mean everyone here is probably a bit nutty... but in a really awesome, Chosen One *shivers at the use of that overused cliché* way.

    I certainly don't think about things in that way, but I remember that, a couple of years ago, I liked to put myself in fantasy books that I liked, but as a new character, and I liked to see how that changed the story. (I have very fond memories of doing this with Eragon, before I read asoiaf, amongst other books, and realised how complete clichéd the whole book is.)

    But I do like the idea of making the characters do silly, stupid, odd things. humans are like that, we are often contradictory, we do silly things by nature, and all of us have flaws of some sort. It just makes the character realistic.

    HOPE THIS HELPS, AND GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR WRITTING SIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

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