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Need Ideas For Developing These Characters

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  #1  
Old 02-20-2018, 07:05 PM
DwayneA (Offline)
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Default Need Ideas For Developing These Characters


Before I can start on the story, I need to figure out how I am going to develop certain characters. I also know how to develop my protagonist, primary heroine, and the antagonist. Now I have a secondary hero and secondary heroine to develop and I need ideas for them.

He's a member of the resistance against an enemy force that invaded their world. His great grandparents fought alongside the protagonist's great grandfather in a war nearly a century ago. Basically, he wants to live up to their legacy. He becomes a close friend of the protagonist because he considers it an honor to fight in the resistance together with the great grandson of the man who fought alongside his own great grandparents. He is engaged to marry the heroine's sister,

She's a representative of another kingdom which has also been invaded by the enemy army. However, since their base of operations is nearby, all other kingdoms assume that her kingdom is in league with the enemy. Furthermore, she wants to redeem her family's honor as it one of her relatives who inadvertently released the dark sorcerer from the curse that imprisoned him at the conclusion of the war nearly a century ago. It is because of what the relative did that allowed the sorcerer himself to rebuild a new army which is now invading the world.

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Old 02-21-2018, 04:18 AM
eripiomundus (Offline)
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Sounds like you've already got the skeletons - motivations, histories - of who they are. You just need to flesh them out gradually as you go. If you want extra believability throw some quirks in there, but otherwise I, for one, prefer it when I'm not force-fed an entire description of the protagonists at the onset. I prefer the character development to be incidental to the plot, and I like it when I'm not told who a person is but get to decide who they are by what they say and do:

Without further provocation, he drew back and hit Frank square in the jaw.

Rather than:

He was sometimes violent, and in this instance he hit Frank in the jaw.

Mystery is a strong motivator to keep people reading, so spelling everything out early on can be, for some, a turn-off.
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2018, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by eripiomundus View Post
Sounds like you've already got the skeletons - motivations, histories - of who they are. You just need to flesh them out gradually as you go. If you want extra believability throw some quirks in there, but otherwise I, for one, prefer it when I'm not force-fed an entire description of the protagonists at the onset. I prefer the character development to be incidental to the plot, and I like it when I'm not told who a person is but get to decide who they are by what they say and do:

Without further provocation, he drew back and hit Frank square in the jaw.

Rather than:

He was sometimes violent, and in this instance he hit Frank in the jaw.

Mystery is a strong motivator to keep people reading, so spelling everything out early on can be, for some, a turn-off.
This is really sound advice. I think everyone just goes straight into telling the reader everything about the character before then proceeding to some dialogue or event as beginners. Kids do it. It's just what occurs to you as the simplest way forward when you're first starting out -- I was certainly guilty of it when I used to write.
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:13 PM
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another idea, the secondary heroine is later revealed to be the protagonist's half-sister.
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:48 PM
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Start with where they are when first introduced. What's their situation and mental state at this point?

Then, decide where they must be at the end of the story. Will their situation be very different? Will their mental state be very different?

You know the main events and you know the characters' histories.

You can project what changes they will require to get to the state you want them in at the end. Pair up each of those plot-points with one necessary change in a character's mind-set that will take him and her toward the goal you've set.
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Old 02-24-2018, 02:49 PM
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Something I found in the past five years that I wished I had discovered fifty years ago is the Heroes Journey developed by Joseph Campbell. If you google it, you find that there are many variations and spins on this archetype. There was even a memo circulated among major Hollywood studios a few years back that broke down the archetype. They concluded that every script they greenlighted need to have those elements. Sometimes the language may change, but you can basically tell any type of story along these guidelines--fantasy, romance, Western, whatever. At first, I thought it was too simplistic, but I later found myself adapting the archetype without realizing it, because it gave me a definite starting point, a road map, and a way to pull it altogether. And so, I was starting every story in "the ordinary world" even if the world wasn't ordinary (it started in whatever "the normal" was for that character). Now, when I get a story idea, I start plugging it into the archetype and I'm able to see what's missing.
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Old 03-24-2018, 11:02 AM
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I've been thinking about the secondary hero, if he's struggling with having to live in the shadow of his great grandparents and struggling to make something of himself, maybe he shouldn't be engaged to the primary heroine's sister seeing as how the heroine is a princess. Perhaps instead it is a more successful member of his own family that is engaged to the princess' sister. Maybe instead, he should fall in love with the secondary heroine during the story, and his relationship with her is the start of the rest of the world attempting to rebuild relationships with her kingdom.
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DwayneA View Post
another idea, the secondary heroine is later revealed to be the protagonist's half-sister.
Oh, dear, then she can't be his love interest...
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:26 PM
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I said protagonist, not secondary hero, as in the main character. Those are two completely different characters. The secondary heroine is the protagonist's half-sister, but the secondary hero can be her love interest and vice versa.
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