hp:characters

n-eophobia asked:

I've always been a fan of making OCs for roleplays, and it's been fine until I've realised that most of them are just versions of me which breaks the golden rule of writing doesn't it? (I can't remember who told me but someone todl me to never write characters that are like you). Now this isn't big things, but say one character has the same worries that I do, another the same temper, and I keep seeing myself in them. How do I stop that from happening?

WHOA WHOA WHO SAID THAT they are totally wrong. There a little pieces of me in every character, some big, some small. I promise you there is not one author out there who does not leave some parts of themselves in characters. It’s how you can understand and relate to them. Don’t be afraid of characters like you. There’s only one you, and you’re interesting enough to spread it around through those you write.

Now, what you may be thinking of is writers or rpers who put too much of themselves into characters, so much so that the character is a proxy of themselves and must get everything they want and never suffer. This is where writers go wrong, when they view their characters as extensions of themselves and nothing else. I don’t think this is intentional for the most part–it’s normal to get attached to characters and want them to succeed–but the key is keeping that line between what your character wants, what you want, and what’s best for their story. 

If you’re truly worried, and I’m not sure you should be, spent some time reading books or watching tv and look for character types you haven’t tried before, but seem interesting. Try to see if you can write someone like them. It might not always work–there’s aways going to be character types you won’t be able to write as a main character–but it’s a good exercise and it can help you branch out.

hanjisdoppelganger asked:

Hey there! I was wondering if you had any advice for writing a schizoid character? The protagonist in my book has schizoid personality disorder and I don't want to write it inaccurately in any way.

Hey :)

Hm… Well, first of all, as you can probably guess, it’s easy to ruin schizoid character just as it is easy to ruin any character with psychology specifics that author is not personally familiar with. 

But that being said, as long as you avoid following those extremely common tropes about schizoids being robot-like, incapable of emotions *at all* or just plain murderous psychopaths incapable of feeling guilt, you should be fine :) Also the “happily turning into neurotypical at the end” trope is bad, but you probably aware of it.

It’s just to keep a short tl;dr version on top, but as always I will elaborate *a bit*. ^^’ 

The “robot” bit. It’s common to view schizoids like that. Heck, even schizoids sometimes refer to themselves in this way. I do that sometimes too, yes. But it is one thing when you say stuff about yourself, and the other – when you find it in a book in reference to a character you probably relate to. First is your choice and your own views, and second is just yet another example of media being the disappointment it is. Can’t say it’d necessarily “hurt feelings” of many schizoids, but some would probably close your book with a sad sigh.

Emotions. Schizoids are not completely cut out of every single mood and emotion. At least most of them are not. It’s just those emotions are different, sometimes mostly inner, and sometimes they themselves are not aware of feeling anything, or it’s too shallow and too brief to notice it until it is gone. It probably won’t be as pronounced as it is for other people, but picturing schizoids by making sure it is repeated every single chapter that they don’t feel a thing isn’t likely a good idea :) The shallowness of emotions and how it is hard for them to understand other people being so emotional, on the other hand, could be somewhat of a highlight to a character. 

Or, alternatively, human emotions can be sort of a fascination of this character (just don’t overdo it). Most schizoids can feel (and, more importantly, realize what it is when they feel it) interest to some specific subjects. It’s likely to be narrow and not in the same way, let’s say, autistic person would experience it. Not necessarily obsessive kind of interest, and likely not a life-long constant fascination. Or maybe this interest just flashes for a while just to disappear for years, but always returns eventually. 

Apathy and lack of motivation can be another highlight, but it doesn’t have to be. Just as well as depression or some other comorbid disorders. Not every schizoid is constantly depressed, even though normal “mood” of most schizoids can be mistakenly viewed as depression from outside. Schizoid person may look grim, barely ever smiling, making it look like they’re unhappy and constantly sad, but on the inside this person could feel normal or even on the positive side of their regular mood level (no matter how narrow their mood range is). 

Schizoids are very different. No, seriously, it’s not the same as to say “people are different”. It is even pointed out in psychology books sometimes :) It’s hard to find two schizoids who would relate to each other in most aspects. More likely they’ll find each other just as far off as any other human they meet. Or maybe relatable in this and that, but this? Heck no, not even close.

And the “evil schizoid” trope. Well, just to illustrate it, though I mentioned this example before in this blog, but it’s popular enough to refer to and shows the point quite well. Sherlock and Moriarty. Schizoid and antisocial disorders, correspondingly (it is debatable whether Sherlock is also autistic, but he definitely has more than 4 schizoid traits to fit the criteria). I guess I don’t really have to explain what is different between those two characters? %) 

So yeah, it kinda sucks when someone views you as Moriarty when you are more of a Sherlock (minus being genius bit, among other things). And this is way too common for schizoids to get to know character, begin to relate to them, just to find out that author thought to make them a villain from the start. Sometimes it looks convincing enough for schizoid viewer to start to doubt themselves, like “maybe I am bad, after all? this character was so much like me, so maybe this is my future”.

And no, there’s nothing wrong with making characters in so called “gray morality” territory or making them just bad guys who are opposed to the hero. Just make sure if it’s schizoid bad person, they are not psychos with no motive other than having fun by jumping on dead corpses of stolen infants, not taking blood baths every evening and are not remorseless psychos never feeling guilt over what they do. There must be some reason for any action, no matter how morally-questionable it is. 

But yes, some schizoids are indeed capable of doing things that won’t always fit into common morality standards. They can fit into “doing what it takes” trope in some cases. E.g. after weighing all possibilities, they might come to a conclusion it is acceptable to sacrificing a whole planet full of people to stop a war that would last for centuries, taking away dozens planets more, therefore eventually saving billions of lives. And yes, I’m talking about one specific schizoid character, one of my favorites even, but won’t tell which one and where is it from to avoid spoilers (but can tell in PM if anyone wants to know). 

Oh, and the “curing” trope. Don’t try to make it look like being schizoid is just a starting point in your character’s development. It’s not. One of the worst things that can happen to a schizoid character - is suddenly ending up “unfrozen” but teh Power of Love or something (oh, by the way, I’ll link you something i wrote a while ago on this subject in private later). They were schizoid all their life, probably to a lesser extent in childhood, manifesting around early adulthood. This manifestation could be triggered by some trauma, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be just the way this person grows up in the society where they are alienated, not taken as equal, avoided or patronized, scared of, laughed at or ignored, even openly attacked or beaten. Or maybe none of it to a great extent. They might just not find enough in common with all those people just for no other reason than being different. There doesn’t have to be a reason to be schizoid just as there is no reason for being autistic or e.g. having blond hair. 

The “loneliness”. Schizoids are not immune to feeling lonely. But if loneliness is very pronounced whenever they are alone, it’d look more like social anxiety disorder or just introversion. Schizoids tend to crave for solitude at least sometimes. Some just need it as air and not sometimes, but most of their time. If they have no choice but to deal with people every day for x hours, it’d drive them insane or will end up in severe depression at very least. But don’t confuse social anxiety with schizoid personality, because while latter can look like they’re just shy and afraid of interaction, most schizoids (unless they also have anxiety) are ok-ish to interact with people when needed. It’s just having to do so regularly and out of their own control on how much, how often and in which way - that’s what exhausting about communication. 

Schizoids might have friends, people who are important for them. They are capable of caring for family. Just not necessarily in the same way other people do so. What’s important, though, is that if schizoid for some reason doesn’t have people they care about, it’s unlikely that loaning to find such person would be their driving force to find new contacts. They aren’t more likely to get intimate (mostly in emotional sence) with someone just because they’re alone at the moment. It can be a good example of “happily single”. 

Oh, and about asexuality. It is true that asexuality is rather common among schizoids, but allosexual schizoids are just as common. Some are explicitly sexually active and are prone to all kinds of non-standard sexual behaviors. It’s just that they’re unlikely to be romantically involved with their partners, at least not for long and not in this “emotional intimacy” way with limerence, holding hands and being sweet couple stuff. It’s still probably happens for some schizoids, though, so I’m not saying it should be out of question for your character.

Also probably worth to mention the “magical thinking” and “odd beliefs” bit of schizotypal disorder. Some schizoids have it, others don’t. Your character can be on either side here, it shouldn’t be too confusing. But just keep in mind that it’s different disorders and they don’t have to come in packs. If you aim to make your character unambiguously schizoid, it’s probably a good idea to not make them believe in stuff like telepathy or magic (unless that stuff is a well-known fact in your setting). 

The “rich imaginary world” is often mentioned in schizoids. Though having lackluster fantasy and no understanding of art is also mentioned sometimes. And yes, some schizoids don’t see it mutually exclusive and can have well-developed fantasy world while not really being in touch with any other kind of fantasies and not caring at all about fiction and art. 

Aaaan I can’t think of anything else by now. ^^ If I missed something of particular interest to you, just let me know and I might end up writing second wall of text about schizoid characters. There’s probably plenty important stuff I forgot (tbh I just don’t remember what’s up there in this wall of text and I’m not planning to re-read it before posting). 

My followers probably can add something to this, though. Also if someone has a few good and even bad examples of schizoid characters, even I myself would like to hear it :)

Anyway, good luck with your writing ^^ It’s so rare someone writes about schizoids in positive way. And if something, I’m always up to read more fiction with schizoid characters :)

yo i think a thing has gotta be said

im seeing this in just about every fandom ive ever dipped my toes in and just

LETS GET SOMETHING CLEAR

there is nothing wrong with canonly cis characters

there is nothing wrong with canonly white characters

there is nothing wrong with canonly straight characters

there is nothing wrong with canonly abled characters

there is nothing wrong with not writing/drawing characters with more diverse traits than they were given in canon because you want to stick with you know, canon traits because that makes that character them to you

you do not have to feel pressured to diverge from canon

you do not have to try and make your art/fics/posts the magic school bus if you don’t want to because you decide you want to draw LOTR characters as they are in the movies, which is as all white people

that does not make you racist

erasure would make you racist if they were poc

following canon does not

BUT if someone wants to headcanon that character as not any of the above, that’s fine too. good for them. i mean. come on. this is fandom. this is inherently petty and y’all got your panties in massive knots over imaginary people

no one is gonna be angry about Draco Malfoy being a cishet white guy because that’s what we’re given in canon

i mean yeah some people are overly aggressive about their divergent headcanons, particularly with characters who are ambiguous on some levels of demographics, but if there’s no concrete proof that someone is bi you don’t gotta feel pressured to make Draco bi, that’s their headcanon, and not yours

characters in fandom become coloring books and self inserts and devoid of anything people didn’t like in canon, and for better or for worse that’s just how it is, like i enjoy a lot of poc headcanoning of explicit/implied white characters

but i aint gonna shit on your day if you draw canonly white people as white

don’t be pressured against canon if you don’t want to be just do your own thing whatever it is and leave people be unless they’re actively harassing you

peace

10

Famous Oldies 

(by Alex Solis

As a dancer I hear the “you’re getting old” thing a lot playing around w friends, but I’m a true believer that age is but a number as long as you’re consistent with what you do; no matter how old you are you’ll be able to do whatever and achieve any goals that seem to be restricted by age.



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“I have the HUGEST obsession with Dipper Pines. Like, it’s not even normal. I noticed other people like him as well, and I didn’t even know other people were capable of doing so. It makes me jealous. Like, what the heck! He’s a cartoon character, and I want to fuck his brains out. I think it’s about time to find some help. I’m usually not like this! This is RARE I tell you.”

More Thoughts on Character Creation

So, last night I answered a question about character creation, and on my drive home from the office, I realized I didn’t really answer the question as it was presented. I apologize for that. My initial read of the question and the answer it prompted from me was really just scratching the surface of what it takes to create characters in stories. I realized that what was really being asked was about character dynamics.

So, let’s pick up where I left off in the last post: We have discovered a need for a new character, and we know what that character needs to do plot-wise in the story…but that’s only the beginning.

Now we need to flesh out that character, breathe life into it. And the question was about character dynamics – not the what of a character but a why and how.

For this discussion, let’s talk about Lexa.

So, Lexa. She serves a very specific purpose/role in the world of “The 100″ – she’s the Grounder Commander, leader of all 12 clans, which she alone was able to forge an alliance between. That’s a lot of story. But who is she?

When the writers determined that the Grounder Commander character needed to be introduced, there were so many ways that could happen. It became clear that we needed to upend the expectations people had about what the Grounder Commander would be. On the surface it seemed logical to expect that the Commander was an older man, someone who has lived a lot of life and has used his experience to forge alliances. But we also expected that Commander to be ruthless. After all, the Commander sent 300 Grounders to attack the dropship at the end of Season One. Clearly the Commander is someone who should not be underestimated.

And yet, that’s exactly what you do when you meet her. The writers determined pretty early on that the Commander should be a woman, just to go against what most would assume was a masculine role and position. That was the easy part. The more difficult part was deciding what kind of woman she was. Early on an idea was floated that the Commander was a child; Jason had the notion that the Grounders would believe in reincarnation as a way of selecting leaders, much like the Dalai Lama, an intriguing idea that made it seem possible that these tough, warrior people would actually choose to follow someone so young. Ultimately we aged up the character, as it was unrealistic to hire a 10 year-old to be the Commander, logistically. Also, we knew this was not a ‘one-off’ character. The Commander would have a role for most of the second half of Season Two, and work rules for children being what they are, it would have been very difficult to execute that idea. 

Then, the discussion of character dynamics came up. We knew this Commander would be working with Clarke, and a lot of talk was specific to their relationship. How would they relate to each other? Would they like each other? Respect each other? We also knew that we wanted to introduce non-heterosexual relationships into the show, so the idea that Lexa was attracted to women came up. Everyone liked this idea a lot. And the idea that Lexa would be attracted to Clarke, who had just killed the boy she loved…well, that was juicy for storytelling. The big question was if we could tell a story about Clarke having interest in Lexa beyond their mutual respect for each other as leaders. There are to date very few leads of network TV shows who are bisexual or homosexual. This would be something “new” for most people, even if it wasn’t a huge deal for us as writers, it could be a huge deal for viewers. Fortunately, the studio and network were supportive of the story, so the writers were able to execute their vision.

In talking about those early interactions between Clarke and Lexa, it was clear that the two would approach each other cautiously. Lexa would even come to see Clarke as the leader to the Arkers, even though she spent time with Kane and Jaha. Clarke was, after all, the one who orchestrated the Ring of Fire and was responsible for the deaths of her warriors. Given what we had already learned about the Grounder culture, that act alone was enough to make Lexa consider Clarke a force to be reckoned with. It would only be through their conversations and actions through the season that these two leaders would bond on a deeper level. Clarke would finally have someone who could understand her burdens of leadership, as would Lexa (yes, Bellamy gets it too, but the story dictated he be active in the Mount Weather story, so someone else would need to fill that void in Clarke’s life). 

When you talk about characters, you work hard to get into their headspace, try to understand what they are thinking and feeling in every single moment of the episode. You talk about what has happened to them in their lives, how it shaped them and how current events are changing them in small, subtle ways. Lexa explains her philosophy to Clarke in episode 209 that “love is weakness,” based on what she experienced with losing the girl she loved to the villainy of the Ice Nation. But Clarke chipped away at that – and by episode 214, it was clear when Lexa kissed Clarke that she had moved away from that philosophy enough to take that chance that Clarke might too feel a connection to her. And she does…but Clarke’s experiences through the season had changed her too – she killed Finn, and she had to heal from that, and she wasn’t done healing by the time that kiss happened. But Clarke didn’t pull away. Clarke wanted connection, but realized she wasn’t quite ready for that kind of intimacy with Lexa, though she definitely was attracted to her.

All of that was discussed at length in the room. The actors bring so much to the table though in their portrayals and no matter how much writers talk about how the characters feel and act toward each other, it goes to another level when you finally can see it on screen. And those performances certainly help shape the story and characters going forward…

I hope this is helpful to writers who are trying to understand their characters better. You have to think like them, and try out different scenarios until you get to the character dynamic that feels right. And of course those dynamics change over the course of the story. Certainly how Clarke and Bellamy interact now is far different than it was in the first episode, and it will continue to change.

The fact is as writers, you are a small god, dictating the world you create. But it is also true that when you begin to know your characters, they speak to you, and before long, it feels like the story and those characters guide you.

And that is just one of the many reasons writing is something I love so much. That feeling when the story, the characters and their scenes begin to sing…nothing else compares.

The signs as 'blonde Disney characters'
  • Aries:Helga (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)
  • Taurus:Rapunzel
  • Gemini:John Smith (Pocahontas)
  • Cancer:Arthur (Sword in the stone)
  • Leo:Aurora
  • Virgo:Charlotte LaBouff(The Princess and the Frog)
  • Libra:Elsa
  • Scorpio:Tinker Bell
  • Sagittarius:Eilonwy (The Black Cauldron)
  • Capricorn:Cinderella
  • Aquarius:Kida (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)
  • Pisces:Alice (Alice in Wonderland)