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Advanced Character Development

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Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:22 pm
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thunder_dude7 says...



Well, I recently came across some great information I’d like to share with you on character development.

So, to show you how to do this, you’ll need to start by making a small list of four or five good traits for your character, in addition to some traits like age, career, ect. Done? Let’s move on.

My character will be a man named Steven, who has a good memory, fun to be around, reads a lot…that’ll be enough for our example.

Now, think of each trait like a double-edged sword. For every good trait, there is a bad one that goes with it.

Trait A) Memory - Can’t keep a secret
Trait B) Reading - Neglects other things
Trait C) Fun - Untrustworthy

That make sense? OK, so now we have a realistic, semi-developed character. Now, our next step is to formulate his past. We must ask ourselves what genre the book is going to be now, because that’ll affect this. Let’s say, to make this simple, Stephen is living in the present.

Now, why might he have these traits? We must try and formulate a past that could result in them. Maybe his family moves a lot, so he doesn’t attach to friends, thus trait C. That could also result in trait A, because he wants to remember people. Lastly, maybe he likes books because the characters in there can’t be taken away by a move.

See? Now we have an idea of what kind of person Steven really is. Now it’s very easy to look into his life and learn about this person. Doesn’t he already feel real?

Now, from this, we can even formulate a story. Perhaps his dad works for the military, causing all this moving. Maybe his dad retires, but he already has become a social outcast. Maybe this leads to depression, an alcohol addiction…

There are so many ways you can make a plot just by developing a character. When you follow this process, you can make your characters realistic and relatable, which can really sell your novel.
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Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:35 am
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Moriah Leila says...



Your advice sounds really good, but I am having a really hard time giving my character bad traits...could someone help? Here are her good traits:

1. Courageous
2. Finishes anything she starts
3. Good sense of right and wrong
4. Stays in good shape

I'm lost after that...Help???
I am not addicted to reading, I can quit as soon as I finish one more chapter.




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Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:07 pm
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Neena says...



Hey, Moriah. Maybe this will help.

1. Courageous - Trouble trusting others?

2. Finishes anything she starts - Obsesses over unfinished tasks?

3. Good sense of right and wrong - Has a hard time accepting/respecing others dicsons?

4. Stays in good shape - Overachiver?

Just some off-the-top ideas. Hope it helps!




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Fri Nov 28, 2008 7:59 pm
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Krazyskooter says...



Moriah,
Courageous - Reckless, two sides of the same coin.

Finishes anything she starts, sounds like she could have a good work ethic but is a bit obsessive.

Good sense of right and wrong, Doing the right thing all the time isn't always the right thing to do, and sometimes doing the wrong thing is actually the right thing. Since she doesn't see the shades of grey that could get her into some trouble.

Stays in Good Shape. May not be able to relate to people who do not have the same drive to stay in shape.




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Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:36 pm
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tori1234 says...



I've got a problem. It's hard for me to find bad traits in my charactors.
The first charactor is:
humble
compassionate
funny
and is a go w/ the flow kind of person

My second charactor is:
hilarious
happy-go-lucky
adventurous
makes good choices
reckless

Can someone help me find some bad traits?




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Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:58 am
thunder_dude7 says...



I'll jump back in here and help out. These are just suggestions, so feel free to adjust them as you desire.

Character 1...

humble - Low self esteem?

compassionate - Obsessed with pleasing others?

funny - Funny can be a bad trait at certain times.

Go with the flow - Easily loses control of situations?

Character 2...

hilarious - Makes fun of others or uses humor when it is inappropriate

happy-go-lucky - I've heard this term, but the meaning is something I don't know.

makes good choices - Tries to control others decisions?

adventurous - reckless
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Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:52 pm
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tori1234 says...



Thanks for that! it really really helped!




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Fri Jan 30, 2009 4:28 pm
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tori1234 says...



Hey, does anyone else have any other ideas for bad traits for my charactors? (Scroll up!) They need more than just four.
And does any body else know what happy-go-lucky means? I have a rough idea, but I'd like to know the full definition.
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Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:15 pm
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Moriah Leila says...



Wouldn't happy-go-lucky be someone who is really optimistic. So a bad trait for that could be that their naive? Idk, I had a hard time with my traits too
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Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:57 pm
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KailaMarie says...



First charactor:
humble - doesn't give themselves enough credit
compassionate - doesn't take enough time to worry about themself
funny - again, it can just be at the wrong time
and is a go w/ the flow kind of person - push over

Second charactor:
hilarious - can hurt people's feelings
happy-go-lucky - some people get annoyed with people who are too much like that
adventurous - well the reckless goes with this
makes good choices - can over think things
reckless - goes with adventurous
... :D ...
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Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:18 pm
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mandeyy says...




One .
humble
Unable to laugh at yourself ?

compassionate
Pushover

funny
Doesn't take anything seriously

go w/ the flow kind of person
Can ' go ' with the wrong flow , ie take the wrong path
Also can be slow to react to bad situations when things go wrong
Aimless .


Two .

hilarious
Thinks they are hilarious but people think he's annoying :D
A flirt ?

happy-go-lucky
Naive . Absent-minded . Gullible . Hedonistic .

adventurous
Overconfident . Abrupt audacious .

makes good choices
Thinks they are above everyone else . Hypocrite in extreme cases .

reckless
Inattentive ( doesn't pay attention to surroundings ) . Clumsy ?

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Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:01 am
cm57105 says...



Thanks that helped a lot!
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