Real questions about imaginary people.

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0answers
197 views

Where should I go with this short story? [closed]

I've been working on this piece for about a week in a creative writing workshop. We need to wrap up our current stories at a minimum of six pages to a maximum of eight pages. I've always had a tough ...
43
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20answers
5k views

How to name the characters of your story?

I find it hard to name my characters. Every normal name sounds funny if applied to a product of my fantasy. If I take a common name, I may get the image of someone I know into my head. And that may ...
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3answers
107 views

How should I handle this many characters?

I am writing a series of mini-novels based on a group of teenagers who all have different backgrounds and ethnicities. How should I introduce each character? I mean, they are all kind of main ...
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2answers
208 views

What connotations do these character names confer?

I'm currently brooding over good character names for a novel I want to write. I was looking at some of the books I read recently, trying to understand why the authors picked the names they gave their ...
4
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2answers
226 views

Stupid Villain rather than Dark Lord

In many high fantasy settings, there is a "Dark Lord" that is undoubtedly evil and will cause doom to the world if he is not stopped. However, when I read "The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity", I ...
9
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4answers
433 views

Balancing loads of equally-important characters

If you have a dozen good guys, but four of them are the protagonists and the other six are more in the background, it's not that hard to skew the pagetime of each character towards those that are more ...
2
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4answers
395 views

Does my story structure for an ensemble zombie story sound effective?

I'm working on a novel about the psychological struggle of 7 characters. It's got an ensemble cast, where every character has the same importance. I've got a structure for this that sounds good to me, ...
7
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7answers
3k views

Is it OK to refer to some characters by first name and to others by last name?

I'm writing the outline for my first novel, which has three main characters. I'm very happy with their names, however I recently noticed that I was naturally referring to the first two by first name, ...
-2
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1answer
587 views

Ideas for nicknames of characters in a story

I'm translating a short story into English. 1). The protagonist is a woman in her mid-forties. There was a time when she used to copy out verses from poems and paste them on her wall. The people in ...
8
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3answers
290 views

How to tell or retell basic character and setting information in a series?

I am writing a short children's novel and I want to expand this into a series made of several short novels. I intend to write the whole series at once so that the internal universe is consistent and ...
7
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6answers
2k views

Killing off a character: deciding if, when and how

Killing off a character is a serious issue. Secondary characters or even extras can pass away without too much negative response from the readers but main characters are a whole different matter. It ...
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9answers
3k views

Source ideas for monsters in a fantasy novel?

Does anyone have any suggestions on where to go to get some ideas on different types of monsters that can be created for a fantasy novel? I'm not talking about different variations of zombies or ...
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2answers
55 views

Characters time spending: Are there any good limits for time spending on characters of secondary list?

Are there any good limits or rules of proportion between time (or pages) spending on characters of primary list and secondary list? I mean, that if character of secondary list appears only at the ...
6
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3answers
222 views

How can I keep my characters' identities a mystery successfully?

There was a similar post about keeping a character nameless in order to contribute to his closed off personality. My concern is is keeping all my characters nameless, only describing their actions (...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

How to refer to character of focus in a story

I find that when I write, I'm not always sure how to refer to the character of focus. You can only say "he/she" so many times before it feels choppy and repetitive. Constantly referring to character ...
6
votes
9answers
660 views

Problems with character development?

I'm 1/4 through my first novel, with a pretty solid 12 page outline of the whole thing. After years of reading books about story structure, I think I have a good grasp on how to make a plot work. My ...
9
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5answers
797 views

Is this character generator useful?

After some feedback from this site and a training course, I developed a little tool to help with character generation. It's called "20 Questions" and works just like that: It picks 20 questions (or ...
6
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5answers
829 views

Character Development - How much is too much?

I've read loads of books where the reaction and development of characters seems to extreme for the events that effect them in the story. However not having any development makes the character boring, ...
9
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2answers
565 views

Is it typical to add variation to the words used for a character's name to keep it spicy?

A friend has asked me to read through a chapter of his story and give my opinion. Lets say he has two main characters Mr John de Havilland and Mrs Sally de Havilland. I've noticed that the author ...
15
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3answers
1k views

How/When to create deliberately boring characters?

Among a million other ambitions under the general heading of "Writing," I have this fantasy where I write a major series, several books long with a giant cast. But I started thinking. In giant series ...
19
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5answers
8k views

How to describe the point-of-view character without using mirrors

In fiction, the main character is often the first person we meet in the story. Given that the story is written from his/her point of view, how would you describe what they look like? The classical ...
16
votes
3answers
655 views

Is there a quick way to know I have created a Mary Sue?

For those who don't know what a Mary Sue is: see here. The problem is, there are far too many ways a character can be a Mary Sue, as seen here. Many websites that offer tests to see if your ...
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6answers
1k views

Sympathetic portrayal of an evil protagonist with good motivations

I'm contemplating writing about a character with good motivations whose actions would be considered evil. In short the story would be about a necromancer killing an entire nation so that he can bring ...
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1answer
1k views

Literary criticism term for character espousing author's ideas?

Is there a term in literary criticism for a character who espouses the points of view of the author? Especially, but not necessarily, if that character has no other role in the work. (This is ...
2
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1answer
231 views

Will 9/11 fiction get a writer into trouble with the US Government?

I want to write about the very interesting topic of 'what really happened' on 9/11. How close can I possibly get to real characters and facts without getting sued? Facts I might include in my work: ...
4
votes
1answer
977 views

When to use the character's name and when to use she/he?

This is the first short story where I'm using actual names for the characters. Here is a sample: "Sorry for the question," Jun said. "But why don' you have friends?" Ling glanced at him, then ...
6
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2answers
1k views

How do you develop a strong female character?

Are there specific characteristics that one should strive for when trying to develop a strong female character? Is it truly dependent on the genre of the book, or are there certain elements that carry ...
5
votes
2answers
163 views

What exercises will help me write my co-author's character?

I'm working on a novel together with my co-author, K. K's come up with this great character - a sassy were-cat name Garlic. Unfortunately, I'm having a really tough time writing for Garlic - K has a ...
9
votes
3answers
9k views

How to create varying, yet realistic, speech patterns

Different characters speak differently. If someone reads me a letter written by an immediate relative, I can tell right away who wrote it. I believe --and correct me if I'm wrong-- that giving each ...
3
votes
3answers
976 views

Organization for epic fantasy writing [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Organizing your Universe? I have some issues on the organization of my fantasy story. For instance there are many factions that come into play during the story and I ...
3
votes
6answers
545 views

Can a likeable character be unsympathetic?

I believe an unlikable character can be sympathetic, although that's tricky. But can you go the other way? Can your character be likable but at the same time unsympathetic? I've been trying and ...
2
votes
6answers
321 views

Is it acceptable for a book to not have a dominant lead character?

I saw this question posted in another forum, and it didn't have any responses, so naturally I decided to bring it over here. :) I realized, 80% of the way through my first draft, that I don't have ...
4
votes
3answers
808 views

First Person Voice - Same as speaking?

When writing in first person, if the POV character talks with a certain dialect or type of diction (eg. "I ain't got all day! Hurry it up, will ya?") should they narrate with the same accent, or can ...
3
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4answers
298 views

Multiple POVs in a single scene

This question came up in another forum, so I thought I'd share it here. Should there be only one POV per scene? Is it OK to go with multiple POVs? An example is a scene with two characters facing off,...
4
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5answers
1k views

Writing character cards?

I read somewhere that authors sometimes use cards to write down information about the characters in their stories. I assume these were small cards so what was written them had to be concise. What sort ...
17
votes
4answers
372 views

Resources about different people types?

I'm native German, but trying to write in English for various reasons. One of the big points in a story is to keep the characters very distinct from each other, and that requires some knowledge about ...
10
votes
9answers
460 views

Sympathetic portrayal of devout, rule-abiding characters

I'm having trouble portraying religious, devout characters as protagonists or viewpoint characters. When I try, I get the sense that the reader - not sharing the characters' beliefs - will have ...
3
votes
2answers
204 views

Character with extreme manners

My objective is victorian style tea-drinking "upper class" lady characters. (it's more of a writing challenge) Does anyone have any useful resources or tips for creating such a character? Personality-...
16
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3answers
2k views

How do you make a character quintessential, but not cliched or cartoony?

I think it's hard to make a character standout and embody their traits without becoming cliched or cartoons. How do you do this? What are some tips to enlivening a character and making them memorable?