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Characters

#1
What are your characters based on? For instance, are they canon characters or OCs? If the latter, are they based on friends or people you know, or even yourself? Or do you create them from thin air?
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By TwilightBlade of PC. =D
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#2
I have several different inspirations, normally. I think I usually find that my main characters all contain parts of my personality (although there are only so many personality types in the world!) and some have bits of my physical appearance or a similar age.

One character in one of my webcomics, Stevie, is based very heavily on one of my local friends; she even has the same surname and heritage. A friend of hers is based loosely on my best friend (including hometown and the number/ages of her siblings), mixed with a friend of mine who went off to do a nursing degree. I think it's nice to combine traits of people you know, as you'll know how they'll react, realistically, to the situations they are placed in, but at the same time they can't strictly be identified.

My other webcomic - one that I hope to be published one day - has characters much more distant from me. The main character shares my wardrobe, but that's about as far as the likeness goes. I've tried to make her the opposite of me!

I also have the opinion that no matter how hard you try, your characters will always contain parts of you... unless of course you're a much better writer than me, which is no doubt the case. xD

Great topic, I like it. :D Can't wait to see other peoples' comments.
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#3
My characters are almost invariably original ones, or sometimes obscure enough canon characters that I basically get to create them myself. In general, though, I don't really know how they come to me... They just do. Many of my favorite characters just sort of are born the way they end up being, somewhere deep inside my brain, and I can't really point to what made them that way. Sometimes there are features I can trace, like how Aaron's (from a NaNo of mine) grumpiness is from an anime character I liked or hoe Benjamin's (my very first NaNo that I'm still working on cleaning up) pacifist and shy tendencies come from me. Sometimes they are born the way they do just to play them off the other characters in the story. Jonathan from Electromancer is very diplomatic, very concerned with looks and impressions, and kind of evenly incompetent at everything, so the character I'm playing him off of - Andrea - sort of naturally formed to be a very frank, no-nonsense type character who's really, really good at what she does and doesn't know a thing about anything else. The contrast between them sort of teaches Jonathan some very valuable lessons. Or, well, I think it will, anyway. Ultimately, though, it's relatively rare that I can actually trace my character's traits anywhere with any kind of certainty. They're a very complicated mish-mash of different influences, but commonly they do have at least a little bit of me - I've yet to write a very important character who's very into fighting or violence, as per my own violence-hating tendencies.

Also, yes, most of my main characters tend to actually be male. I don't really know why that is, but even if I start with a female lead, almost always the most important male character just sort of takes the story over a bit. Maybe boys are just easier to write for me or something. I never really understood what was up with that. I mean, the overall gender spread of my important characters in a given story is generally pretty even, but the main-main character tends to be a boy or a man. I now have some story ideas lined up where the main character is definitely a girl, but we'll see how those end up going. Maybe someone else takes over again, maybe they'll get to keep their lead this time...
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#4
Apologies for posting in an old thread, but I just had to put in my two cents in since I'm currently planning out a story that I may or may not post here.

First off, let me warn you: I like making crossovers. I know I'll get a lot of disapproval, and while some of those stories never saw the light of day, I do hope that this one story will. So, yeah.

With that said, I'll first discuss my OCs. I tend to base them on a variety of factors. In the case of the story I'm planning out, the main character is based on myself to an extent. She's quite emotional, she likes anything that's cute, and she's not the most amiable person when she's in a bad mood. Most of those traits tend to be exaggerated, though, but it depends on the situation. Other factors that come into play for my characters are what I've seen in other media (TV and video games, specifically), people I know, and just about anything that comes to my mind.

As for any licensed characters, I try to do as much homework as possible concerning that before I take any creative liberties (which is very, VERY common in my stuff). Let's say that I was going to use Iris in a story at one point of my life. I know for a fact that she's quite agile, hates Ice-type Pokemon, and knows her stuff when it comes to Dragon-type Pokemon. If she were to be in a fantasy story of mine, Iris would avoid anything having to do with ice. Hell, I'd likely to go as far as making her afraid of ice cream due to the fact that ice would affect her negatively. On the other hand, she's in-tune with nature and is more than happy to help Dragon Pokemon in need regardless of their alignment (good guys or bad guys, etc).

Sorry for the long post, but I felt like talking about this.
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#5
Bumping old threads is quite fine at this stage, so don't worry about that. In fact it's encouraged. =)

As for crossovers I don't really mind myself, as long as there's some sense in it (unless it's a crack fic in which case less is more =p). Probably also a more challenging thing to try but certainly not undoable.


Anyways... I guess one of my favourite sort of characters are the eccetric sort; Miror B fits that bill (he's just so darn fun to write) but I've always enjoyed dealing wtih oddball characters and exaggerating bits of them. Tends to suit my preferred medium of comedy style fics as well, heh. I tend to rely on exaggeration of something a fair bit actually, although I do wonder at times if I am overdoing it.

Characters that are generally stupid are also ones I like to make and write about; probably because that's what I started out with way back when I did scripts.
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By TwilightBlade of PC. =D
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#6
Encouraged, you say? Here, have another bump then!

Eh, I don't mind crossovers in theory; I've seen a few really nice ones. I think one reason crossovers are unpopular is that it's difficult to find people who will be interested in all the fandoms being crossed over. It's great if the crossed-over elements can stand independently of their source, so that people who only enjoy one fandom can still have a good time without needing to understand all of what's being referenced from another, but I think most people assume that they'd need more detailed knowledge about a fandom they're not into and so avoid the whole thing to save themselves the confusion.

ANYWAY. I think a lot of my major/most interesting fanfic ideas are a pretty even mix of OCs and canons; I guess overall I have more OCs, but I like experimenting with both. Character creation is a lot of fun as it lets you see all of the elements that make a person who and what they are come together (whether you believe in controlled, conscious character creation or "they just walk into my head and turn out however they tell me they'll turn out"). I'm not really sure to what extent my major OCs have dictated their own personalities vs. what I decided for them—it's probably close to 50/50—but I do seem to fall back to a lot of similar character types, mostly either really pushy, abrasive people or really timid people; I do enjoy those characters a lot in my RPing and fic ideas, but I am working on branching out more. There are lots of other interesting types of people out there, self; get to know 'em better!

With established CCs you don't get the same creative experience, but sometimes it's more like getting to know an actual person better, you know? Almost like you have a chance to become friends with someone you've never met before (and someone you might not have been able to invent on your own!); while you do have some control over your portrayal of a canon character, at the same time you have to distance yourself from your own ideas and really get into someone else's head entirely. Even if you don't base parts of your characters on yourself or people you know (and, like Camisado, I believe it's kinda hard to truly make a character that's not influenced by anything in your personality or life), everything an OC does still ultimately comes from your ideas about how they'd behave; not so much with canons.

I do have the embarrassing tendency to overemphasize only one or two aspects of certain canon characters, and it always takes me a while to notice that I'm doing it and that I need to stop making them caricatures of themselves. For example, several of my most recent plotbunnies have involved Blue (Red's rival, not the girl trainer) in some fashion. I keep catching myself imagining him being obnoxious to the point of being unbearable and borderline stupid, and while he definitely is obnoxious (and that definitely was the best thing about him—screw these new "friendly rivals" and let's go back to the jerks who called you names and really made you want to kick them in the teeth), I have to remind myself that that's not the only potentially interesting thing about him, that he's grown up a little, and that I probably ought to treat him more seriously since none of these plotbunnies are outright parody or crack. I'm workin' on it, anyway.

I also notice that what starts out as a simple bunny with only a few character ideas manages to spiral into an out-of-control cast of thousands pretty quickly. It does make keeping things organized difficult, and when I give into these extra characters' constant pleas to be included in the story it usually contributes to killing my interest, but at the same time bouncing all these crazy people off of one another is a lot of fun. Anyone else have a tendency to come up with a lot of relatively important/prominent characters, or do your fics tend to focus more on select groups with the rest of the cast relegated to the background?
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