You’ve gone through the arduous process of fleshing out your world, the themes and the lore and you’re standing back looking at your shining new playground; but there is a blight standing right in the centre that you can no longer ignore. You hate your characters. Maybe it is the secondary characters, your central villain or, heaven forbid, the protagonist! Lucky for you the realm of fiction is infinite!
Most problems revolving around characters has to do with how well they have been explored and fleshed out. If you’re hating your players have a look at what it is about them that annoys you. Are they lacking complexity or flaws? Do they have little motivation to work towards enhancing the theme or plot? What is there stake in the story? Take the time to understand where it is they are coming from. It might be that the character can be used in a different story altogether or, alternatively, you can always rework the plot slightly to give them time to grow.
Your character, regardless of their part, has to want something. It is not character traits that drive a plot but desires. It could be that the player in question is lacking any drive to move the plot forward. From here there are two choices. You either redesign them to have desires (also referred to motivations) or you create a scenario where they are forced to act upon a desire. This could be as simple as revenge, anger or even the simple task of delivering a parcel. They need a reason to want to move.
Of course, the situation could be a reflection of what is going on with you. At times we hit roadblocks with our characters because we feel like, “it has been done before,”. The drive to constantly be unique handicaps many creators. Just remember that people are always looking for similar themes and tropes, so much so they become genres. So if you’re struggling with the idea that it’s been done before, put that aside for a moment and looking at your own desire as to why you want to explore that aspect of a character or story. It might reveal some interesting results.
Have you had characters you hated? How did you deal with them? Let us know in the comments below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST) where we’ll be talking about this topic!
Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, Aug. 31, 2018
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