Monday, January 25, 2010

When characters are too lifelike...

To be considered realistic.

Here I am again (I never learn, do I?) trying to type up a blog post at the same internet cafe in the middle of a busy shopping centre (or a mall, if you can count what we have in Australia as malls). I know I really should wait until I get home but where would the fun be in that? I got the sudden urge to create a post after a lot of people caught my eye.

When writing a story (whether long or short) people keep saying that you have to flesh out the characters, make them realistic or the reader won't believe the story. What about going from one extreme to the other, from flat 2d characters to characters that have very unique personalities that people cannot believe - because, nothing like that ever happens in reality.

But, what if real life unbelievable to begin with?

After seeing a woman trying to cope with five kids all under the age of five as they scream and cry and trying not to gawk at a grandma with short spiky hair that is coloured blue, purple and green, it made me think (oh no, here I go "thinking" again... no wonder my head hurts) that characters people can be boring, almost 2d in some aspects, or they can be outgoing and adventurous with little tidbits that most normal people would think were not possible or realistic.

How do you create boring characters without them seeming like they don't have a life, and what about characters that seem too extraordinary to be real, what do you do to tone them down?


Anonymous said...

Interesting post. How to create a boring, but "life-like" character? Perhaps describe him/her as wearing the same style clothes day in and day out. Have them speak with the same "dated" phrases. But give them a quirky hobby like taxidermy.

For those off the wall, goofball types, describe the purple hair with green streaks, punked out make up and triple nose rings. But make them a history buff or a crocheter.

In the end, every character must be true to themselves. If not, that's where they start to seem unbelievable, or unrealistic. :)

Thanks for challenging my cerebrum. Cheers!

Post a Comment

Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Her Lullaby kit by Irene Alexeeva