Comic Talk and General Discussion *

Characters that take on the life of their own?
Ozoneocean at 12:55AM, Sept. 14, 2016
posts: 28,826
joined: 1-2-2004
This was inspired by a Korean TV series that Tantz Aerine recommended called “W”

The show is about a manga artist who does a super popular webcomic. He wants to quit doing it and has decided to end by killing off his main character, but his main character seems to have ideas of his own about that…

Tantz and I thought about how that could apply to us real webcomicers. That's a fantasy situation, but if it could happen, which of your characters would do that?
Which one is independent enough from you that they would want to take on a life of their own and fight you?


For me, with my main characters in Pinky TA, only Cc would do that.
Pinky is too much me in the way she thinks, not independent enough from my mind. Ace Kinkaid isn't developed enough, he's all reaction and plot moving rather than his own thing. Betty and Colin are just voices for the story, still not full entities in heir own right.

Cc is her own developed character. She is independent enough of me that I don't really feel like I guide her thinking. She's different enough from anything in my brain to be a separate person. If any of my characters could come alive and be an antagonist to me, it'd be her.
Tantz_Aerine at 8:46AM, Sept. 14, 2016
posts: 1,989
joined: 10-11-2006
I would say from Without Moonlight the one that would oppose me more, most likely, would be either Fotis or Martha, depending on how they'd process my decisions are right or wrong. If they felt I was wrong or unfair, they'd do what they could to control the story themselves, and be my antagonists. Otherwise they'd work with me. But I would need to convince them.

Also, Martha would win. She's a damn sniper.
Ozoneocean at 9:37AM, Sept. 14, 2016
posts: 28,826
joined: 1-2-2004
I can see that with Fotis!

If Cc wanted to control her own story or actively oppose me, I would be afraid. That would be a hard battle to fight and I don't know if I'd win. I would not like it to happen, I would NOT like to face that.

If Pinky came to oppose me, it wouldn't be much of a problem, I would see her point of view and we'd reconcile pretty amicably. We'd make friends.
Not Cc.
usedbooks at 10:55AM, Sept. 14, 2016
posts: 3,357
joined: 2-24-2007
Off-topic tangeant:
Killing off a main or empathetic character, unless it has significant plot purpose, is just lazy writing, imo. It's a way to evoke emotion without making any effort. Killing off antagonists is lazy too. It's an easy-out solution most of the time. I find it diaappointing.

On topic:
My characters would hate me. Mike would hate me most of all. Kaida would murder me for real. Others might just sit me down with a list of grievances.

I have actually had some legitimate “negotiations” with my characters when it comes to writing, mostly with Tristan, who tends to write himself into stories. If an arc isn't working, I try to get in the minds of characters to gauge realistic reactions rather than force the plot. More than a couple times, the solution was, “There's no way Tristan wouldn't get involved in this.” (It happens with other characters too, but he seems to do it the most.)

Characters who would approve of my writing are far fewer. I imagine Raidon would. He's pretty well-written and gets his way a lot. Valentine might. Along with Tristan, both of them have taken over the writing, in a way, by sheer strength of character. Most of the others are more along for the ride than trying to take the wheel.
KimLuster at 12:54PM, Sept. 14, 2016
posts: 795
joined: 5-15-2012
What is this ‘taking a life of their own’ you speak of…?!! My character Kimber Lee not only has a life of her own, but is trying to decide whether I should have one or not…! :P

Seriously, I've read of this phenomenon. Somewhere on DD here we brought it up once (may have been in the comments of someone's comic)… No matter - it is a real thing! Anne Rice once described the obsession she had with the Vampire Louis when she first started her chronicles. Lestat was supposed to a flamboyant supporting character, but she said there was something about him, how he wouldn't just go away, how he demanded to be front and center of the series and sorta forced her hand to make it so (annoyingly so in later books…).

It's the ‘forcing’ that is interesting. I don't know how many Godstrain pages and scenes I've started where I had a definite idea of what was going to happen, but when I was done, it seemed like Kimber Lee put a stamp on it in ways I never anticipated; said things I didn't want her to say. Sometimes when I wanted her to shine and be positive, she'd hang on to that dark cloud tenaciously!!


I've read of people that believe in the many worlds/multiverse theories (there gazillions of parallel realities right beside us), and they think the inspirations we have about literary characters is really us just vibing in to the ‘bleed-over’ of other beings in these alternate realms… I don't believe it *at all* (patently ridiculous IMO) but it does make good sci-fi fodder… Plus, I just can't sleep at night thinking characters like Cthulhu, Hannibal Lector, and Donald Duck might be real, right beside us, unseen, but influencing us all the same…

bravo1102 at 5:20PM, Sept. 14, 2016
posts: 6,113
joined: 1-21-2008
It's kind of like the book The Velveteen Rabbit

At what point does an imagined character become “real” cease to be a stuffed animal or a collection of ink squiggles?

As always there is a Twilight Zone episode about this. “A World of his Own” with Keenan Wynn. But there the author retained final control with the ability to just throw the character description into the fire to make their “real” avatar vanish. He was even able to make Rod Serling vanish. The creation taking over from the creator? Well look at that we've arrived at Frankenstein. Mary Shelley wrote about how her creation dictated to her and took a leading hand in its creation with her as the pawn. How much of that is the passionate romanticism of her era has been subject of never-ending discussion.
last edited on Sept. 14, 2016 5:25PM
Amelius at 11:31PM, Sept. 15, 2016
posts: 394
joined: 1-6-2004
To be honest almost all of them for me. It's to the point where I hardly feel like I have any right to claim them as creations– just observations of strange people I know that just happen to not really exist materially. Hell, once I even said aloud I wanted to draw more fan art of my own character!

On the note of that drama, wacky multiverse theories and meta writing!

I had a strange dream years ago about something similar to this topic. In the dream, I was invited to a closed RP forum, which started off positive, sharing OC's and their pictures, collaborating on world and story for the characters to exist in, though I was really doing all the heavy lifting at their insistence. But the conversation started escalate from slightly to really creepy and off-putting, they refused to interact OOC (out of character), and started getting pushy and demanding that I write fanfic for their characters.
Disconcerted and frustrated, I decided to leave the forum but the “roleplayers” began cyber-stalking me, still “in character”. So I took a break from the internet and then I started seeing things– word documents opened on my computer with the same creepy messages, the characters showing up on TV, in graffiti, advertisements, packaging, tags on clothing, text in books. All writing would change to start communicating with me. They wanted me to come back and finish making the world and telling the story because, as it turned out, no one in the forum/chat besides me was a real person– just “6 characters in search of an author.”

They were abandoned characters, ones that young artists had put a lot thought and love into for the briefest moment in time, but never gave them a purpose before abandoning them and shoving them into the scrap folder of their gallery and moving on to newer characters. But taking that initial invite and helping to build some semblance of purpose for them started to give them real life, and the more writing I did for them the more they actually began to bleed through into this dimension. I interrupted the process when I decided to stop writing; they were stuck in the walls, scratching at the thin barrier between worlds, and they were gonna harass me until I helped them finish their arrival. (There is actually a concept for imaginary things becoming real through concentration, it's called Tulpa or thoughtform!)
They also made no attempt to hide that they had some real cosmic evil in mind when they fully arrived in this reality.

Do you read Sutter Cane?

In the end I had to seclude myself from all media, and died alone in the middle of a wheat field! Yay fun!

Ozoneocean at 7:13AM, Sept. 16, 2016
posts: 28,826
joined: 1-2-2004
F**K! Amelius! That was a dream?
That would be an awesome horror story for the present day. That's amazing. A real RPG horror story.
KimLuster at 11:34AM, Sept. 16, 2016
posts: 795
joined: 5-15-2012
That… is one intense hell-a-dream!!
bravo1102 at 7:16PM, Sept. 16, 2016
posts: 6,113
joined: 1-21-2008
I brainstormed something similar for D&D called something like “a party in search of a DM” or questions for the Game Master.

Once I got Internet there's tons of fan fiction like this already.

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