Jump to content

What type of Character development do you prefer?


W_L

Plot development of a character  

13 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you prefer a Character who triumphs over adversity or a character who must live with his experiences?

    • I want to read a character that inspires me to be better and/or can rise above his/her circumstances
      2
    • I want a character that I can relate to and/or must deal with what life has given him/her without plot twists that saves the day
      4
    • Can I have both
      7
    • I prefer stories not centered on human beings or human experience
      0


Recommended Posts

In stories, there are many types of characters and plots. Some people prefer a character who inspires them to be better people through their plot development. Others prefer to relate to characters and have those characters suffer in order to live with new experiences.

 

This is an aged old debate in Comic books, usually between the fans of DC's two leading characters: Superman based on inspiration and Batman based on experience, but it is also true for general storytelling as well. The principle focus of plot development can lead in both directions for characters as well or in neither direction, if you are trying to write a transcendental story.

 

What do readers prefer is a question that I like to raise and any examples of what you like in character arcs that make up your choice.

 

I prefer experience based storytelling method, allow the characters to suffer and don't give them an easy way out. It makes the story far more gritty, but it leaves people with a bit of a sour note, because tragedy can never be resolved with plot twist or gimmicks, the characters will forever be scarred by it. One of the stories I loved writing other than 0's and 1's is my short story Last Run to Mosul, there's undercurrents to tragedy due to experience, attempts to leave it behind like we are all taught to do with unhappy experiences, and the revelation in the end that you can't leave it. The argument could be made that I almost give my characters an easy out or simply torture the narrative, but I think happiness is hard to come by even in our modern world where gay relationships are becoming more accepted, those of us still seeking partners know this truth. I am not against writing happy endings, but my characters must go through their necessary trials and be human.

 

What about you guys?

  • Like 5
Link to comment

@MrM you say it perfectly and eloquently.

American stories are usually 100% predictable, the good guy will win, the bad guys get smashed.

European stories are more true to life and do not necessarily have a happy ending, thus they are less predictable.

Perhaps a survey of the stories on this (American) site would reveal (I predict) 80% happy endings. The other 20% with not quite so happy endings, but I doubt many stories finish in tragedy!

  • Like 5
Link to comment

I prefer the gritty to the glitter and I think it's because I struggle writing happy romance tales. I've tried and it just feels...wrong when I do it. Some authors do very well with writing tales which lead to happy endings. I applaud them for staying true to their writing. Does a happy ending make a story bad? Heck no. I have read a few stories with happy endings on this site that I really enjoyed. 

 

 Personally, I'm a fan of the  tortured soul who ends up in his grave even after being redeemed. I love the anti-heroes. My characters lead me. Some may find love, redemption, and a possible rainbow with wall-to-wall sunshine along the way. While others just go bat-s**t crazy and end up thinking they're riding a rainbow to the sun. lol 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
7 hours ago, William King said:

@MrM you say it perfectly and eloquently.

American stories are usually 100% predictable, the good guy will win, the bad guys get smashed.

European stories are more true to life and do not necessarily have a happy ending, thus they are less predictable.

Perhaps a survey of the stories on this (American) site would reveal (I predict) 80% happy endings. The other 20% with not quite so happy endings, but I doubt many stories finish in tragedy!

I just wrote a prompt, where the lead is killed.

  • Like 3
  • Sad 1
Link to comment

If I wanted "slice of life" or realism, all I need to do is walk out my bedroom door. No thank you. Give me a Good SciFi or Fantasy story any day of the week. Escapism, that's what I want. How the character develops in an Escapism story, is of little concern. The story can be Dark or an HEA, but the main focus should be to put the reader in a whole nother world. Life is too short to read about the Real World.

  • Like 2
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
4 hours ago, R J Drew said:

I prefer the gritty to the glitter and I think it's because I struggle writing happy romance tales. I've tried and it just feels...wrong when I do it. Some authors do very well with writing tales which lead to happy endings. I applaud them for staying true to their writing. Does a happy ending make a story bad? Heck no. I have read a few stories with happy endings on this site that I really enjoyed. 

 

 Personally, I'm a fan of the  tortured soul who ends up in his grave even after being redeemed. I love the anti-heroes. My characters lead me. Some may find love, redemption, and a possible rainbow with wall-to-wall sunshine along the way. While others just go bat-s**t crazy and end up thinking they're riding a rainbow to the sun. lol 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can appreciate that.  In western barding the Thalian Mask of Comedy and the Melpomenean Mask of Tragedy both hang together on the wall thanks to our Greek forefathers. They well knew the place for both kinds of story to be told, though they always did so with a message to be gained from either the comedy or the tragedy. 

 

I endeavor to wear both masks in my writings, hopefully.

 

7 hours ago, William King said:

 The other 20% with not quite so happy endings, but I doubt many stories finish in tragedy!

 

Alas, I may give you maybe one of the 1% that do end in tragedy. I promise to make it worth your while though. Sometimes the tragic can uncover a truth so fantastic that it can only lead to lasting and meanigful joy in the long run. I have found that in life that the closing of one door often leads to the opening of another. Tragedy closes and opens. If it didn't, there would be no hope at all. I refuse to write hopeless stories.

 

There is always hope! Always!

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment
6 hours ago, BHopper2 said:

If I wanted "slice of life" or realism, all I need to do is walk out my bedroom door. No thank you. Give me a Good SciFi or Fantasy story any day of the week. Escapism, that's what I want. How the character develops in an Escapism story, is of little concern. The story can be Dark or an HEA, but the main focus should be to put the reader in a whole nother world. Life is too short to read about the Real World.

Amen to that! :P

Link to comment
22 hours ago, William King said:

@MrM you say it perfectly and eloquently.

American stories are usually 100% predictable, the good guy will win, the bad guys get smashed.

European stories are more true to life and do not necessarily have a happy ending, thus they are less predictable.

Perhaps a survey of the stories on this (American) site would reveal (I predict) 80% happy endings. The other 20% with not quite so happy endings, but I doubt many stories finish in tragedy!

 

Well, a lot of my stories have tragedies :o:(

 

When you can't have what you want and must inevitably destroy what you yourself have created, it is to me the tragedy of tortured humanity that we see in our lives. People will try everything to keep relationships going, even if there's no hope.

 

An interesting LGBT film from the 90's from Hong Kong called "Happy Together" deals with this concept very well. I guess for me, it is a point of extraction, (Sadly, I've seen more than a few Asian LGBT films with tragic endings, especially Chinese ones, Farewell My Concubine or Soundless Wind chimes).  In recent years ,there have been fun and comedic films or happy "American" ending type films, but the darkest realms of relationships filled with unequal status, torturous longing, and tragic cycles seems to still be something LGBT films carry on in Chinese tradition.

 

14 hours ago, BHopper2 said:

If I wanted "slice of life" or realism, all I need to do is walk out my bedroom door. No thank you. Give me a Good SciFi or Fantasy story any day of the week. Escapism, that's what I want. How the character develops in an Escapism story, is of little concern. The story can be Dark or an HEA, but the main focus should be to put the reader in a whole nother world. Life is too short to read about the Real World.

 

I can offer you both, under Speculative Fiction, Science Fiction of the near future where modern technology has already achieved enough at present to warrant an imagination of what will come very soon. It's fictional escape, but on the other hand, it wil;l come true sooner rather than later.

 

Take for example, 3D printing and how fast they're coming along, if given enough ingenuity and effort, we could end up with new industrial lines of products without the need for human beings. However, as this future nears, what will the world be faced with in terms of traditional forces and people adapting to a post industrial world? Star Trek came up with the fictional concepts of Cell Phones and personal computers, we've achieved those in 30 years, they also predicted neural interfaces and the "famous" replicator technology, which we are now experimenting with great progress.

 

To me Sci-fi is a reflection of today, so why not take what we have today and asks what will we do about it tomorrow rather than 400 years later?

 

14 hours ago, MrM said:

 

I can appreciate that.  In western barding the Thalian Mask of Comedy and the Melpomenean Mask of Tragedy both hang together on the wall thanks to our Greek forefathers. They well knew the place for both kinds of story to be told, though they always did so with a message to be gained from either the comedy or the tragedy. 

 

I endeavor to wear both masks in my writings, hopefully.

 

 

Alas, I may give you maybe one of the 1% that do end in tragedy. I promise to make it worth your while though. Sometimes the tragic can uncover a truth so fantastic that it can only lead to lasting and meanigful joy in the long run. I have found that in life that the closing of one door often leads to the opening of another. Tragedy closes and opens. If it didn't, there would be no hope at all. I refuse to write hopeless stories.

 

There is always hope! Always!

 

I too am one of those who are part of the 20% of tragedies in GA's Stories.

 

Tragedy should hold hope of something better, if you just make it bleak, no one would want to read it. When the reversal happens, the reader should be able to see how the bad outcomes happen, not just due to a malicious plot twist like some Twilight Zone storylines, but something in the foreground that has grown throughout your story.

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment

There is a place for reality stories, tragic or not, I like reading and writing in the real world. There is also a place for sci fi and fantasy, I like escapism too, but I like when it embodies something about relationships, the possible future or has a message, something to say. Then again, if it is well written and engaging, it could just be pure escapism!

 

I like reality stories that show you another world, so it might be tragic, it might have a happy ending, but whatever it is, it takes you somewhere else. A good example is Cornfield Fraternity it puts you in Africa like you never knew that world existed, because unless you had actually lived there, how could you? That I find fascinating. It's a new book by a new (African) author.

Link to comment

It depends what I'm in the mood for. Sometimes, I want to read a story where I feel like the characters will find their way and reach a form of happiness by the end. But other times, I do want to feel the darkness and the tragedy of a story and let it engulf me in a less optimistic light. Stories that can do both of these things well are quite rare but they are usually the ones that I love the most. That's why I am a big fan of Stephen King's work, he tends to be able to merge these two aspects of character development quite masterfully. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..