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Character obsession

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Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:35 pm
Crouching Tuna says...



Well, I need some ideas on obsessions characters would have.
I tried to find this, indexed, in tvtropes but I couldn't find it (if someone know where to find it, please tell me! :D )

So far I only have several examples, which are the common ones found in many works:
- The gamer.
Characters who is a game freak, who play games all day, talk about games all day, and think about crafting/levelling/finding rare items when they found themselves bored in their daily work/routine.
Uses many game reference when talking or thinking, friends with other gamers, and would rather get this super rare sword than going to their sister's wedding.

- The playboy.
Always checks out every female that moves. If he's the main character, the plot would be heavily motivated by the presence of girls. Easily leads to sexual remarks, but not always.

- The mad scientist.
There's a trope I found in tvtrope, which is listed under character motivations: For science. The nerd, does things for science, likes science, would even go as far as inventing a way to create their preferred air to breathe, maybe. Plot advancements approved by this types of character would be anything related to science and robotic/biological/metaphysical improvements or the likes.

That's all I can think of.

I'm sorry if the title or the term I used (character obsession) sounds misleading. I just don't know how to exactly define this, which may be the reason why I can't find it in tvtropes.
Character traits? Character addiction(unfortunately this one leads to caffeine/alcohol related)?

So, yeah. Any other inputs? It's for this main character I have, in this novel that's written in 1st person. Somehow I feel this MC is not yet...alive. The fact that he's an angel, and that the universe is medieval-ish, the game, playboy, and scientist one wouldn't really fit. Even the fact that he's an angel itself already limits my choice from anything a human would be obsessed with.
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Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:51 pm
Dynamo says...



If you want to find what kind of obsessions you can give a character, I think first we need to look at what an obsession is. By definition, obsession is an idea or feeling that completely occupies the mind. Some may mistake it as addiction, but an addiction is actually another word for devotion. When someone devotes so much time into a certain activity or substance that it interferes with other aspects of their lives, that's an addiction. In this respect, the gamer you listed would actually be considered as more of an addiction than an obsession.

If you keep this in mind, I'm sure you can think of some more ideas. I hope this helps.
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Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:02 pm
Crouching Tuna says...



I have problem defining what I'm talking about too. I'm sure "obsession" is not really the most correct word for it.

Hmm, but in general, it's what interests a character. Like the gamer, playboy, or scientist I said earlier. This matters a lot in my case because, the MC really needs one revealed at this time so I can show his thoughts/reaction to the upcoming plot.

Lets just say my MC is human, and she LOVES plants. Not so much for animals, just plants. The upcoming plot is, maybe there's a bonsai festival in town, which this famous botanist from overseas will attend, and etc.

My problem is, I have the plot, and the story could go on without the MC having this so-called "interest" to anything.

But I still want one for my MC. :D Especially since it's written in 1st person.

Well, I realize I'm kind of working backwards here, but finding something(like a hobby) that angels would be interested in is not that easy for me.
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Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:53 pm
Dynamo says...



If that's the case, then maybe enthusiast would be closer to the word you're looking for.
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Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:56 pm
Crouching Tuna says...



That might be the word, but I still can't find it in tvtropes.
I found Otaku, but the page lists only the game, anime/manga, movie, etc otaku.

Anyways, any other ideas about some things a character would be obsessed on?

Food is another example, by the way. Only counts if the character talks about that particular food 24/7, and even referencing the food in conversations.
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Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:54 pm
Dynamo says...



Well, let's step back a moment and take a look at the main character you're planning on putting in your story. He's an angel, right? That means he came from heaven, or some other astral plane. If we treat his home in the sky as a different country or culture, what would this new, medieval-ish culture have that would be so interesting to this person? I guess it might be better in this case to treat the angel as an alien. If he came from another planet, what would Earth have to offer that would amaze him because his own planet doesn't have it? Maybe he likes to ride horses because there are none where he came from, or maybe he's into literature from that time? In this case, your main character would not be limited from what he likes because he's not human. On the contrary, what would be seen as common place for a human would be a new experience for him. This is where research into the time period you're story takes place in will come in handy.
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Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:49 pm
Crouching Tuna says...



Thanks!

That's a nice way of putting it. Though in my case, this angel has been around since pretty much the beginning of time, and seen pretty much everything that have happened.

On the contrary, what would be seen as common place for a human would be a new experience for him.
I tried looking for something like this too. Unfortunately, the story is not really about himself (another way of saying it: the title of the book is not something like "the adventure of angel X" or such). i.e The story did not start as the angel first seen the human society.

But at least I figured something else for the angel, which is just as important to sorting out his hobby. That is, his view and opinion of the world, a goal (rather short term, and not really related with the story. It's there to define his character, among many other purpose): the angel wants to make up/devise an adventure. Let me just copy paste it from my note.

post-beginning situation:
always thought the world is boring, works/goes in such a boring way.
wants to make/arrange an epic hero-bigbad adventure, find the chosen one,
hand him the sword of plot advancement, etc etc. maybe even show up as the gandalf/the mentor.




This is way out of topic, by the way.

So what's up there is not really an interest coming from him, more like his reaction to the situation. I'm still trying to find something for him, something that can make him simply go : "I like games. I play games and I want to play game now.", for example. Something that he can have without depending on the situation or the history of the world.
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Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:47 pm
SkyeDreamer says...



Maybe he's into music? He wants to be around music constantly, but can't find music that lives up to his expectations in the age he's living in. It becomes his obsession to find (or create) the type of music he craves, and it drives the plot. That's all I can think of; I hope that helps!
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Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:37 pm
Dynamo says...



I don't know about the music. To me, it feels like this angel might be more interested in literature more than anything else. Think about it, he's been around since time imemorable and he'll be around even after we're all dead. Why not have him want to learn everything there is to know about anything? He obviously has the time to spare, so why not make his favourite place a library between a pile of books?

But I like that idea for a story. Instead of having it focus on the hero and his adventure, you focus on the being who is orchestrating the whole thing. I wouldn't mind reading something like that.
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Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:35 pm
Crouching Tuna says...



It's already starting.

I decided to try out having some angels play some kind of "Role Playing", but it seemed to have a different meaning for angels. It involve being the Wise Old Man, the Eerie Voice as the Hero takes the Sword of Plot Advancement, conspire both Hero and the Last Boss to acknowledge their roles, etc.

I like the idea so far. Still working on the flow, though.
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Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:52 am
Pundit says...



He could get addicted to drugs. He would probably never think that he could fall prey to drugs. And he's not human, so it could affect him worse(while not killing him), which could affect his personality, and thus, the plot.