Home Forums Fiction Writing Characters Flat Character Help Topic

This topic contains 13 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Catwing 2 weeks, 4 days ago.

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  • #51490

    Aislinn Mollisong
    @aislinn-mollisong
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 255

    Oya, everyone, and welcome to Aislinn’s Crazy Topics!

    I’ve decided to make this topic for any and all writers having trouble with those annoying characters that

    Just.

    Stay.

    Flat.

    No matter what you do to them.ย  I have one of those myself, which I will address momentarily.

    The purpose of this thread is to ask for help, offer suggestions, and of course, have fun.

     

    Aislinn out! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Aislinn Mollisong: Hero!
    "BRING IT ON!!!"

    #51491

    Aislinn Mollisong
    @aislinn-mollisong
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 255

    So, my flat character. Her name is Anya, and she is Amber’s centaur mom. (yeah, I will explain.) I’ve been writing scenes with her, but she just sits there. Being uninteresting. And I want to fix it. Any ideas?

    Aislinn Mollisong: Hero!
    "BRING IT ON!!!"

    #51492

    Daeus
    @daeus
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3905

    @aislinn-mollisong Does this character have a great inner yearning? Something she desires from life?

    #51495

    Emily
    @emily
    • Rank: Eccentric Mentor
    • Total Posts: 1058

    @aislinn-mollisong Does she have a specific purpose for being in the story? You could really highlight that purpose. Also, is there anything that she really likes or dislikes? Questions like these and the ones that Daeus asked are good ones to consider when you are trying to flesh out a character.

    MBTI: ESFJ-T
    Title: The Perfect Grammatacallion

    #51496

    Emerald Flyer
    @emerald-flyer
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 27

    @aislinn-mollisong
    what helped with my flat character, but may not work well for made up names, is when you see the meaning of the name you picked for that character and how it may apply to the story. My flat characters name was Sol, which I knew meant sun in three different languages(at least) but I found out in Hebrew it meant peace and that somehow made my character have more of a purpose.

    #51524

    Shannon
    @shannon
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 621

    @aislinn-mollisong, what they said ; )

    MBTI: ENTP
    Dreamer, singer, & avid reader

    #51534

    Aislinn Mollisong
    @aislinn-mollisong
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 255

    @daeus Um. Not as of yet. I really can’t seem to think of her as anything but “Terah’s mom”.

    @emily I really don’t think she has a purpose other than “Being Terah’s mom” (see above).

    @emerald-flyer Turns out Anya means “gracious”. I’m not sure how to turn that into plot, but I’ll keep thinking,

    Aislinn Mollisong: Hero!
    "BRING IT ON!!!"

    #51548

    Emily
    @emily
    • Rank: Eccentric Mentor
    • Total Posts: 1058

    @aislinn-mollisong Ok. This is tough. What is her character like? A main theme or quality that she always tries to teach to her daughter and live by herself would also be neat. If you could incorporate that into the story that would be nice.

    MBTI: ESFJ-T
    Title: The Perfect Grammatacallion

    #51572

    Sarah Anson
    @sarah-anson
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 46

    @aislinn-mollisong

    Ooh…..flat characters are the worst. Hmm….*engaging Einstein mode*

    Ah! So….she’s Terah the centaur’s mom. Well….where’s Terah’s dad? If he’s still alive, what’s Anya and his relationship like? If not, how does Anya feel about it?

    Is she gracious as her name implies, or less so? (For humor, you could make her really clumsy and always breaking things.) Is the meaning of her name something she wants to live up to, or does she not care? Is she the opposite of her name’s meaning?

    Does she have an occupation? Did she ever have one? What does she do in her free time? How does she relate to the story? What’s her story goal?

    —————————————–

    I hope some of these helped!

    ~Sarah

    -Writer – Artist – Coffee Lover – Cowgirl – INTJ – Music Lover – Pianist – Queen of all Irony –

    #51582

    Aislinn Mollisong
    @aislinn-mollisong
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
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    @emily She’s rather…motherly? (I’m sounding so lame right now…) Well. Hold on.

    2 minutes later.

    Ok. What I’ve got so far is, she is very concerned with trust. She teaches Terah and Amber to be trustworthy above all else. (Trust happens to be my theme, if you haven’t figured out by now.) She is also rather secretive. (I can’t really say what she’s secretive about, because SPOILERS!!!) (If you don’t care about spoilers, read below comment.)

     

    @sarah-anson

    1. Ooh, I’ve been thinking about this! OK. get ready for some spoilers.

    So Tirnagh is supposed to be a colony island. But, what most people don’t know, is that it is a sort of banishment place. Most people are descendants of the original colonists, but once in a while people will come over who don’t talk about their past. They are completely mysterious.

    Anya is one of those people. Her husband was a rebel, who tried to gather a militia to overthrow the rulers of Ehren. The attempt failed, and her husband, (whose name might be Seamus) was killed in a skirmish. She was pregnant with Terah at the time, and the government sent her to Tirnagh to start over, in case she was rebellious too. So that’s that.

    (Also, Catriona, my mentor for Amber, has a similar story. stay tuned for more…)

    2. Um. I have no idea. *thinking in progress*

    3. I don’t think so, unless…wait. They have goats. Yep. Just decided that right now.

    4.ย  As the book progresses, we find out that Anya actually wasn’t the best mother. She was afraid to tell Amber she was the Ember-girl, (Oh, yeah. I forgot to say she knows that.) so she avoided teaching her the historic legends, and the truth about herself and Terah.

     

    Hold on, she isn’t so flat anymore! THANKS, GUYS!!!!

    Aislinn Mollisong: Hero!
    "BRING IT ON!!!"

    #51584

    Lady Iliara
    @lady-iliara
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 113

    @aislinn-mollisong โฌ†๏ธ Very sage advice up there. ๐Ÿ˜‰ My suggestion (since this is something I just did last night) is to ask yourself a bunch of โ€œwhyโ€ questions, all in a row, quickly, without trying to answer them just yet. Iโ€™ll just take my character Alex as an example (cause heโ€™s kinda flat ๐Ÿ˜)

    He is a spy? Why is he a spy? Who does he spy for? What is the kingdomโ€™s concern, to the extent that theyย have spies? Why did Alex become a spy? Did he want to? Was he forced to join? Did he join because his father was a spy? Is spying a guild? When did he join? Who taught him? What was the most important lesson he learned? What thing is he most afraid of happening to him while spying? Who does he report to? Is he afraid of him? Does he admire him?

    …Iโ€™d better stop ๐Ÿ˜„, but you get my gist. I find it opens up a lot of ideas Iโ€™d never even thought of!

     

    and…just saw your post ๐Ÿ˜†

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by  Lady Iliara.

    ๐Ÿ‘ฐ๐Ÿป๐ŸฆŠ๐Ÿ’ฅ
    ENFJ-T. Arbitrary. Greet at your own risk. *trips on a rock*

    #51588

    Aislinn Mollisong
    @aislinn-mollisong
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
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    @lady-iliara I do that all the time…. Also, thanks!

    Aislinn Mollisong: Hero!
    "BRING IT ON!!!"

    #51633

    Emily
    @emily
    • Rank: Eccentric Mentor
    • Total Posts: 1058

    @aislinn-mollisong I’m glad you got it figured out!

    MBTI: ESFJ-T
    Title: The Perfect Grammatacallion

    #51651

    Catwing
    @catwing
    • Rank: Eccentric Mentor
    • Total Posts: 1447

    @aislinn-mollisong Yay! You guys figured it out! What helps me is to write a scene from their POV. I don’t really write what happens next. Just a fun scene from their POV. Sometimes I skip ahead in the plot for this scene. Like their breaking point, redemption scene, tear-jerking scene, random scene. The scene may never even show up in my story. I just write one little scene. I did that for my six POV characters in Finding Secrets (that book that you are beta-reading for me). I ended up using five of them. Though one didn’t fit in. *blinks* I think that I forgot to take it off the end of the doc. *shrug* Oh, well…

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