Author Topic: A Question about Characters and their Families  (Read 4023 times)

Offline 2par

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Re: A Question about Characters and their Families
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2013, 03:07:42 PM »
My children call me "mom."  Hope that helps! 

Offline Rain

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Re: A Question about Characters and their Families
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2013, 03:54:02 PM »
Oops  :-[ Sorry!

Offline ma100

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Re: A Question about Characters and their Families
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2013, 04:39:26 PM »
Both my MC and his wife are now without family. One through death the other through choice.

Much of my MC's life revolves round his past family life, but you never see them in the book, only now and again are they mentioned in passing conversations or seen through ghosts. But they play a major role in his goal albeit subtly all through the story. His wife's parents, pop up at the end and are even less mentioned. Yet they are still alive.

My writing, well it was a flippin' nightmare as I wrote it as scenes as they came to me. No logical order to any of it.
Some of those scenes will never see the light of day because they are back story. The influences on how my MC behaves today. It may seem like unnecessary writing now, but as I was getting them down, it gave my character direction and motivation.

But what I did do was write a short story from start to finish. I slotted in sub headings so I could get a logical order to those random scenes and see where the gaps were. Not a perfect way to outline, but at least I got the writing done this way. ;)

Offline Gyppo

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Re: A Question about Characters and their Families
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2013, 06:34:55 PM »
When I wrote Running Scared, a first person novel from the view of the a hunted man, the character had no family because he just burst out of my head one night, already running.  He never even had a name until about fifty pages in, when someone introduced themselves and he gave his first name automatically.  Then it was probably another hundred pages or so before I discovered he had a surname when he was being questioned by the police.

How was this possible?  Because I was so busy telling the tale of his now that background was almost irrelevant.  He was more interested in staying alive than thinking back, or even very far forwards, and being in his head  this seemed - and still seems - perfectly reasonable to me.  It was wonderfully liberating ;-)

Gyppo
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Offline 2par

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Re: A Question about Characters and their Families
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2013, 08:27:57 PM »
I like that Gyppo.  I want a good story.  I want to discover info along the way.  No info dumping is the key.  - Unless, of course, you're doing a character study, and even then you need to have a good balance with Show.

Offline Rain

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Re: A Question about Characters and their Families
« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2013, 11:35:38 PM »
I was so busy telling the tale of his now that background was almost irrelevant.  He was more interested in staying alive than thinking back, or even very far forwards, and being in his head  this seemed - and still seems - perfectly reasonable to me.  It was wonderfully liberating ;-)

Thank you so much for sharing, Gyppo. I'm always so worried about not having enough back story to build my characters on that I often forget the paradox of character development. That what happens now dictates what did and will happen. I'm not sure if this is a sign of OCD or not, but I have the most pathetic and crippling habit when it comes to world building.

I build everything. I flesh out the most obscure and irrelevant details like ancient religions on the off chance that they might play a part in the plot later on. Like I said, I forget the paradox. Which is kind of what makes writing fun.

Oh God, no wonder I've been seeing this as a chore for the past year. Being a part of this site has been so damn therapeutic in the shot time I've been here!

Offline bonitakale

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Re: A Question about Characters and their Families
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2013, 12:37:03 PM »
Just a thought--the lack of family of the main character might play off the over-family other main character very nicely, but you have to know what kind of family she doesn't have anymore.
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Offline Rain

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Re: A Question about Characters and their Families
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2013, 02:30:36 PM »
That's a great point, and I'll keep that in mind. Thank you for saying so!

Offline RScatts

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Re: A Question about Characters and their Families
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2013, 07:51:25 PM »
God, I'm trying so hard to force myself to 'just write'. I can't get the first words down, though. I've been staring at this blank page for months. And the saddest part is that the story is essentially already written. I've gone over it so many times in my head that I know what happens, but I just can't make my fingers type when I open my word processor. How did you do it? You must tell me! :'(

Usually when I'm having trouble getting started, I just start working on the main character. I have found when I start focusing on the character(s), I suddenly have things popping into my head and I start writing. Also, remember, you don't have to start from the beginning. If you have something in your head about what's going to happen later in the story, write that. It's a start. Who knows. You might even find that's actually where your story starts. That's happened to me as well.