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    Conversations, Characters, and Challenges with Cat: What Does Your Character WANT?


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    Join date : 2015-12-22
    Age : 29
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    Conversations, Characters, and Challenges with Cat: What Does Your Character WANT? Empty Conversations, Characters, and Challenges with Cat: What Does Your Character WANT?

    Post by Cat on Thu May 04, 2017 4:21 pm

    Hey guys! Cat here today with brainstorms, advice, and ranting! I've been thinking a lot about writing and characters lately(well duh, that's what I do...) and I've come to a big conclusion.

    If I'm not giving my characters desires and goals, I'm making boring characters.

    End of the line. Boring. Passive. They only do things when other characters spur them into action. These characters can have a great personality, fantastic backstory, and great writing put into them. And they can still be boring. Or even annoying. Why?

    They don't want anything. So they don't DO anything.

    So What Does Your Character Want?

    I've been reading over character sheets, old and new. Something struck me about my character Frankie. She is one of my absolute favorite characters I've ever made, and I was wondering why. She's hilarious, yes. But so are some of my others.

    But she wants so much. Even the little things. Especially the little things. I mean, her entire "life goal" for a good long while was just to catch a clown fish. So what did she do? She traveled all over tarnation, fishing everywhere she went. Because she was going to catch that clownfish.

    That's a simple goal, connected to the simplicity of MineCraft back when we used to roleplay through it. But it still applies. Frankie was always chasing after something she wanted. It got her into scrapes, weird situations, and gave her an entertaining flair that some of my characters don't possess.

    So, number one, give your characters SPECIFIC GOALS.

    These goals, desires, and wants will give your character gumption and the will to keep going. Even if it starts off small. Just don't make it obscure.

    Contrast Frankie, who had a list of goals and desires a mile long, to Evandra, who basically only every had one goal: Stay out of trouble/live peacefully. All she ever did was run from trouble. Or cause it without meaning to. Evandra, while a great character, became boring. Passive. Why? I'll tell you. She didn't want anything.

    Secondly, give your characters MULTIPLE GOALS.

    Frankie wants catch a clown fish. She wants to learn how to sword fight. She wants to successfully spit on someone's head from a tree. She wants to find a long-lost treasure/family heirloom. She wants a brand-new fishing pole, and a mouse that actually likes her. It's endless.

    Evandra? Man, I really need to rethink her motivations. This is exactly why she got so boring. I mean, right now, her only motivations/desires are: Stay out of trouble, don't die, and marry Nilo. Okay, yay! ONE of those is good.

    But how would playing her transform if she had more goals? More personal ones? "Learn to cook with Ellery and Nilo. Pull pranks with Liniel. Repair friendship with[insert wronged person's name here]. AVOID ZI AT ALL COSTS." Those are all little. But that would totally reshape the whole character. Instead of a grumpy lump, Eva would actually DO more. Now, I understand that I deliberately took some of the goals/motivation out of her life as she struggled with depression, sanity, and the likes, but this can't go on forever.

    Thirdly, and most certainly not least: give your characters CONFLICTING GOALS.

    All stories need conflict, right? Yes! Well, a lot of times that conflict within a group of characters in a story will be personality clash, stupid bickering, and pointless conflict. I believe that character goal conflicts are very important as well. Maybe two goals one character has conflict. To achieve one, they have to fail the other. (Internal conflict~) Even if it's simple, small, and between two of your own characters. Like if Liniel and Lochannar both want to eat the same piece of pie. It's silly, but can you imagine how entertaining that roleplay would be?

    So, your character has specific goals. That's awesome. They will be actively pursuing things, which will drive stories onward. Now they have multiple goals. Fantastic! Now they have different  desires pulling them in different directions. Maybe even creating internal conflict with that. But then their desires clash with someone else? Now THAT is fun!

    *Cheers on a fight for the pie!*

    So what do you think? Do your characters have specific goals pushing them onward? Do you have any fun examples of past RP's that really show this? Any ideas, tips, pointers, input? I'd love to hear it all. TIME FOR CONVERSATION! Writers, unite and share your thoughts!

    I hope this was helpful.~


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