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Eminence

The Writers' Room

Recommended Posts

Mokrie Dela

Ok guys, can we talk character development for a moment?

 

I'm really struggling on developing one of my characters. ATM he's a bit boring, a bit flat. I usually just have it happen naturally but it's not this time, and I'm wondering shat methods you all use to build your characters up from a concept to a fully fledged interesting person.

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ainsz

Without knowing too much about your character Mokrie, I'd suggest going crazy on brainstorming some kind of history for him. Nothing that has to get mentioned in the story, just a long chain of events leading up to his current self - as crazy as you like so you can figure how he has overtime formed. That's how I'd go about it.

 

PS: I take you'll you have some exciting stuff to write about with the new Fallout coming out eh?

Edited by ainsz
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Ziggy455

Ok guys, can we talk character development for a moment?

 

I'm really struggling on developing one of my characters. ATM he's a bit boring, a bit flat. I usually just have it happen naturally but it's not this time, and I'm wondering shat methods you all use to build your characters up from a concept to a fully fledged interesting person.

 

This is a problem that constantly bothers me, but lately I feel like I'm kind of getting it down. What I like to do is plan my character in four stages:

 

Appearance, Personality, History, General.

 

What I like to do, so as to not overthink my characters, is to think of their general info, height, weight, build, nationality--all general stuff, and then I think about their personality, and their backstory, and how they are who they are at the start of the story, which is in their backstory as to how they have become the person they are.

 

APPEARANCE is where I plan how they look, how they dress, weight, scars, skin color, eye color--NOT EVERYTHING will go into the story but having these notes helps me keep track of them.

 

PERSONALITY is where I plan their personality. I look at traits and how I want them to be, and then I think of their backstory and how that affects them as people and I jot down some notes on how they come across, how they act, what they are like etc, etc.

 

HISTORY I need to make sure who is worthy of a decent amount of backstory, but only my round characters will have a sort of quick, rough timeline of their life which includes important memories, good memories, events that changed them as people, their beliefs and outlooks ect, etc.

 

GENERAL is just general things like what they normally wear, what they wear in the story. All of this planning is rough and shouldn't take longer than half an hour tops if you're fast.

 

I always find myself losing track of my own process but this seems to help me alot. The trick is not spending MORE time on your planning than your actual work. The second the planning detracts from the writing, stop and realize you can probably begin to write with the information you have.

 

A general rule I like to use is like so:

 

ROUND CHARACTERS are allowed two pages of notes, including all backstory and such. Any more, you're going on too much.

FLAT CHARACTERS are allowed half a page to a full if need be.

Edited by Ziggy455

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Mokrie Dela

Hmmm

 

I've always struggled with the process. Usually it just kind of happens. This time it's not.

 

I think I might need to bring some of the characters conflict to the front. He's kind of bored with life, and wants more. He wants belonging and to become something but feels his true identity is something that prevents this. He sees liars and craziness all around him, but all the whole doesn't want to appear to be the young buck or weak. He wants respect but feels he never gets it.

 

That's about it but it's something to start on

 

 

And no, I don't think I'll do another Fallout story. The failed one has become something else. I've used the story that would have been as a background to build a character for s new story 'in the shadow of man' which is sorta post apoc but original (not fan-fiction). It'll be a while but that will be coming here - hopefully this year, maybe early next year.

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Ziggy455

Hmmm

 

I've always struggled with the process. Usually it just kind of happens. This time it's not.

 

I think I might need to bring some of the characters conflict to the front. He's kind of bored with life, and wants more. He wants belonging and to become something but feels his true identity is something that prevents this. He sees liars and craziness all around him, but all the whole doesn't want to appear to be the young buck or weak. He wants respect but feels he never gets it.

 

That's about it but it's something to start on

 

This seems to do more with his inner demons, and his motivations and goals within the story. Just sit down and think about what physical, and what inner goals he wants.

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chasethevillain

I'm having trouble writing this crime/gangster story without it being too cliche. I need help with making up a plot device or something to bring a unique curve to the story. Anyone know how to come up with that?

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Ziggy455

I'm having trouble writing this crime/gangster story without it being too cliche. I need help with making up a plot device or something to bring a unique curve to the story. Anyone know how to come up with that?

 

Tell me about this story then I can help.

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Mokrie Dela

 

I'm having trouble writing this crime/gangster story without it being too cliche. I need help with making up a plot device or something to bring a unique curve to the story. Anyone know how to come up with that?

Tell me about this story then I can help.

And I recommend doing so via private message - you don't want to give away too much in a public topic, although I'm sure we'll all happily help.

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Ziggy455

I think I have finally done it. I think I have finally come to a place where I can plan and execute plot and character in way that suits me so that I am positive and actually getting writing done. For the longest time I have been hindering my own development because I have tangled myself up in overplanning, overwriting background information, and being lost, unknowingly shooting myself in the foot and causing me to doubt myself. Every time I've tried to write for the last few months it has been with a quiet resentment because I feel like I am not in full control of what I'm trying to get from my head onto the page, but with Eminence's help, and my own work, I have finally figured out a way to plan, create, write, and edit.

 

I give myself breathing space, allowing me to edit the story and plod along, but at the same time can create the plan I want for the story & characters so much that I feel like I'm optimistic and that the story doesn't go stale with doubt and me focusing on planning problems for the most part.

 

I've set myself a goal of rewriting Portland Chase as sort of a test run, and already I've looked back at what I've written and everything just comes off so much better in my eyes. My work isn't perfect, but it is to the point where I feel like I want to continue it and not give up and throw it all away and pretend I'll redo it again someday. I've got unfinished project after unfinished project and that has been mostly to my own white whale in the form of overthinking, overplotting, and going in the wrong directions with how I develop, plot, and create characters in my head.

 

However with this test run, I feel like I did before. The writing is coming back and I feel like I used to. I just hope that other people enjoy what I'm going to upload in the next couple of days. I'm so glad to be at this point where I'm not tearing myself apart.

Edited by Ziggy455
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Mokrie Dela

I've always enjoyed your stuff, Ziggy. Sure, some were better than others, but yeah. Great to hear you're back at it again. Eminence knows his stuff, what can i say?

 

Hopefully this place will pick up a little. I've been toying with posting a sneak peek of 2 projects I'm working on, but they're not there yet. One is original... sort of a spiritual reincarnation of Fallout, mixed with a couple of projects that never saw the light of day.

 

Things are coming together, albeit it slowly.

 

My FF was missing something and because I'd been "acting" out a supporting character's events that happen off-page, as it were, I decided to write a chapter from his perspective and it felt like the missing piece. Get your stuff up soon* Ziggy!

 

 

 

*when it's time, obviously.

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AEsob

You are finally back, Ziggy, that's great.

 

I am going mad stuck at a certain paragraph, and can get no further. Deleting, rewriting, thinking, going with the flow...nothing happens.

 

I would absolutely love if someone found the time to discuss.

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Mokrie Dela

Section's slowed right up. Come on guys, we don't want the admins to delete us now do we? :D

 

I've been having some decent progress on my story as of late. I had a minor character that I've elevated to protagonist, and that's filled in a lot of the gaps. It's also made me think it might be a good idea to relegate another protagonist to supporting, as the perspective is starting to suffer.

 

Things really seem to go well when i delve into the characters' psyches, usually via internal monologue. I do need to pick up the pace, however. I want to start uploading it in the next few months.

 

Then there's the second, original, story, which I'm still struggling in connecting the plot up without it getting tedious. I've spent too long not writing, and gotten too f*cking rusty.

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Cebra

I've spent too long not writing, and gotten too f*cking rusty.

Same here. Last year I was really in to writing things, both short stories and working on my current WIPs, but after procrastinating for so long I've lost touch. Finally got to posting another chapter to my Vice City FF though and I'm not gonna put it off this time around. I know you're the more experienced one here, but feel free to PM me too if you want any opinions on your writing.

 

I'm still working on a longer story though and that should come around in the next few weeks/months.

Edited by PhilosophicalZebra

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Mokrie Dela

My gta FF is coming along okay. I'm taking a different approach - write the whole thing, then edit then upload (COL and JIF was done chapter by chapter)

 

I am pretty happy with my overall plotline. The set up, back setting etc. I'm good with it. It's got that "V" sort of vibe, and it's actually a sequel to City of Lies (JIF can not be canon with GTA V). And I'm enjoying writing it. Fallout impacted my confidence and I think that's part of the problem I've had. I've thought and planned this story a lot, more than any other, really, and I'm hoping it'll pay off.

 

I don't usually like sharing my work with others much, tbh - i'd rather just upload it, but I'll keep that offer in mind. Applies the other way round, too - for anyone.

 

I'm hoping to start uploading by Oct/Nov. Gotta push myself to write more. It's great to see you back, Zebra. I've often found that if you keep at it, the quality will return. Read and write.

 

I wrote a chapter today of Michael reflecting on his life, and then the set up to a "job" and it felt like i was writing COL/JIF, and that makes me happy, in a way. Knowing my luck, though, the day before i upload it, R* will announce SP DLC and ruin it (that actually happened to my Assassin's Creed story, which i'm still bummed about).

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Geralt of Rivia

I had a dream (Very rare nowadays) that I just had to write down immediately. As it stands, the way I dreamt it...It doesn't make much sense lol. But I wrote down the basic premise, the important characters, some traits for them, and how it ends. I can fill in the rest with time and some thinking.

 

I've had a few book/novel/story ideas before that I started, but that never came to fruition. This one is different, though. I dunno, I just feel like I'm obligated to do it. I wouldn't say it's wholly unique or anything. There's just something about it. Something special.

 

Maybe it's just a rare case of optimism or really wanting something.

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Mokrie Dela

I too had a dream, and the concept I can't get out of my head! Just gotta iron out a few details, mainly the trigger. Sometimes dreams are a real blessing.

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Geralt of Rivia

Just created the rough traits and descriptions for the most main characters. Next up is refining them and setting up something concrete.

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Osric

I had an idea, an overhauled reboot of Build Up Your Army. I know we tried bringing back Build Up Your Survivor, and it never really got off the ground, but I had an idea for the new, reworked BUYA.

 

The original Build Up Your Army from 2009 was just a re-skin of the old Build Up Your Gang games with a frankly far-fetched World War III scenario (To be fair, I was sixteen years old at the time I made the game) whereas this would take on a more realistic historical premise (with potential for alternate history scenarios), most likely a Cold War setting that is turn-based. We begin in 1950 and each turn is one year of in-game time. In addition to using money to build your military might, you can strike alliances with other players, adding a diplomacy element to the game. In addition, the list of weapons and vehicles will update as time passes in-game, and player decisions in-game can alter the course of history, adding the possibility of the Cold War continuing past 1991 and maybe into the 21st Century.

 

There would be ten playable factions at the very beginning of the game in 1950, five capitalist, five communist. As more players join, more factions get added, both in terms of nations and terrorist/paramilitary groups. The ten nations are at the beginning of the game as follows....

 

Capitalist Countries

United States

Great Britain

France

South Korea

West Germany

 

Communist Countries

Soviet Union

China

North Korea

East Germany

Poland

 

Again, just brainstorming for now, but I thought I could put the idea on the table.

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Geralt of Rivia

Because my dream was a dream about No Man's Sky, I've decided to temporarily name my project 'One Man's Tale'.

 

Doesn't sound right to me at all. I don't like it. But rough draft.

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Mokrie Dela

Osric, I'll be honest, man, any form of community writing project is highly unlikely to work. It's nice having a little bit of activity lately, but in all seriousness, this section is not active enough for it to be feasible. I like the concept of community writing projects - that, the Bar, my favourite - One Shots - but at the moment I can not see them working at all. I'd hate to see you go through so much effort, for it to just fester away. It'd be better to put that effort into a story or something of your own. I commend you for the idea, though, but I'd keep that on the back burner until this section gets busier again, which I'm hoping will happen.

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Osric

Mokrie Dela, you bring up an excellent point. Best to put that idea on hold and work on some solo projects for the time being.

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Mokrie Dela

Yeah. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but moreso, I;d hate to see your efforts wasted. But then, I could be wrong. If you know more people that are interested in writing and your idea and can get more visitors to this area (though I'd rather few serious writers than lots of idiots ;) ) then perhaps your idea might have some life to it.

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Geralt of Rivia

Here's my first rough description of the main character:

 

Protagonist: 18 years old. Tall and lanky, with some toned features that are coupled and overshadowed in places with signs of malnourishment. Disheveled, dark brown hair that is matted down with dirt and grime. Overall body is dirty due to lack of hygiene. Clothes are also dirty, and have many holes in them.

 

Has no set home, but goes to a High School as a senior. Sometimes does odd-jobs to get money, but usually steals or “borrows” food and anything he needs. Is good with his hands. Knows his way around engines and such. Is also a natural pilot, and took “Flyer’s Ed” classes in school.

 

Has no family; no parents. Has never told anyone why, or what happened. Gets uncomfortable and/or violent when people talk about the subject, depending on the context (Just asking, bullying, etc.). He just showed up into town one day, enrolled himself in school, and has somehow kept himself alive.

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Ziggy455

Been frequenting some writer forums and the sheer amount of unoriginal effort, egotism, and pompous douchery is at an all time high. Literally most posts consist of people not offering constructive feedback, but jesting and insulting the original poster's efforts with such replies as "Well, when I self-published my first book, I had the intelligence to do this and that's why my book sold two hundred copies on Amazon."

 

Seriously. No wonder it's like this. Makes me want to blow my brains out when people on these sites come out with wank like this. Another one I found was a woman, who I asked for help in the past, reported a story because it involved violence, degradation, and cursing.

 

f*cking shoot me in the head and bury my dead body far away. Writing coves on the internet seem to be a rarity when it comes to originality, effort, and respect between one another.

 

freshprince.gif

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Mokrie Dela

That's one of the things I won't tolerate while I'm led-by here. Anyone showing disrespect won't be welcome. Sure some of us are better than others. I wouldn't place myself in that catagory, though. But If you want to post here, you have to be willing to help. Then people will help you.

 

You're always welcome here, Ziggy, and we'll all do our best I'm sure to keep quality high.

 

 

 

 

I have a new story on its way. It's not that long, but tbh It's pretty f*cked up. Its all come from a dream i had which was actually more a nightmare. Hopefully it'll be a sort of Horror, though I've never done horror before. Thriller? I dunno.

 

And as i Suck at titles, It's just called "Run"

 

Written a first chapter, and I just wrote the entire plotline out. I plan to write and upload it episodically, over the next few months, starting very soon. My GTA and apocalyptic ones will take more time and I'm enjoying having a side project, even though I have next to no time to do it! :( The recent activity here has inspired me to actually pull my finger out and I think I should be posting more.

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Geralt of Rivia

I am finding it impossible to find a name for my main character lol.

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Mokrie Dela

Names can be tricky. Sometimes they just come to you, sometimes not.

 

Every name has a meaning, so you can consider your character and what you'd want his name to mean, and choose it that way. Personally I find that works best when it's a fantasy sort of story, or the character's "destined" for his quest.

 

Names are important but personally, I don't think it matters too much. What I tend to do is think of how the name sounds. My Fallout story, the guy was called Mark for two reasons.

1) In the games he's called "Mokrie" and Mark was the closest "proper" name I could get to that. So i used that as a stand-in. But then i found that:

2) It's short, sharp and snappy, and fit his character. He's direct, he's a bit rough (which the K gave; Marc with a C wouldn't have had the same effect)

 

Also consider the origin of certain names: David, Jacob, James, Paul - they're all biblical names, and often people would name their kids one of these for their biblical meanings, like David means Beloved, iirc, but also might make you think of King David. Or David Hasselhoff - naming a character is the same as naming your child. It's the label they'll wear. How do you want them to sound? What connotations do you want people to have when they hear the name?

 

Then there's foreign names, and of course, the less common names, like Calling your character Chevrolet Goldstein. Don't be afraid to make names up, but make sure they're believable. Don't invent a jewish/polish character called Scherro Descherbirowitz or a german called Hanz Leverschieber., unless of course, you're deliberately going for ridiculous.

Edited by Mokrie Dela

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Geralt of Rivia

That actually helps a ton. And with the story I'm going for, having a biblical name would make a lot of sense, and could tie into the story perfectly. I'll have to look into that more.

 

Thanks.

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Mokrie Dela

No worries

 

Remember you can always change the name up until you click upload or post it to a publisher.

 

My assassins creed (hiatus) story had a placeholder name which actually turned out to be perfect. My current side project's protagonist's name is currently just an abbreviation as a placeholder but I actually like it

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Geralt of Rivia

Lol my current guy's name is currently _______ in my Microsoft Word doc.

Edited by Geralt of Rivia
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