Character Depth

discussion

#1

Tell me a bit about your story.

  1. Characters- includes MC/ sub characters, etc
  2. Plot
  3. Elements
  4. Genre

You get the point.

And for the fun of it. When it comes to certain things in the story. Which can be the abilities of the characters, and even weapons and so forth. It’s just an example.

Most importantly, your protagonists flaws. What is their driving point, and why?

How do you expand your characters? Which includes enemies as well. Have fun talking about all sorts of different arrangements ^^.


#2

I suppose it would be fair if I said a bit about my story. There are three books so I will give the general idea.

The protagonist is someone who fights for an eternity. They are full of imperfections, but those imperfections becomes a driving force that pushes the storyline onwards. They are neither good nor evil.

The Genre is fantasy in short. Though it’s complex, morals, principles, etc.

Now the flaws of the protagonist…well too much to list. Though the general idea is that their selfish desires is what is most important. This factor here pushes the story onwards. It eventually comes to the point where they clearly admit their flaws, but shows no signs of changing(or not much either way). Those imperfections also becomes a force which connects the protagonist, and others in more of a pleasant way, but it also serves to bring tragedy.

I expand my characters through several means. The most important is to revisit the past as to expand on why events took place, it serves as well to flesh out the characters themselves, and really sympathize with them.

This is just a rough idea of it all.

Books in relation:

Restoration: https://www.wattpad.com/story/181681302-restoration

Restoration: Dark Days : https://www.wattpad.com/story/182707768-restoration-dark-days

Restoration: The Great War : https://www.wattpad.com/story/183260914-restoration-the-great-war

These are the links to the story, and placed in order. The third book is complete, but I haven’t had time to completely release it yet. It’s quite a bit to go through.

Rather than spoiling too much information, feel free to give it a look if you want ^^


#3

“They are full of imperfections, but those imperfections becomes a driving force.”

This! That’s such a powerful way of looking at your character motivations.


#4

That was the idea. I tried to keep it realistic. We are all filled with imperfections, and in reality. Those same imperfections shapes our own life in the end. I wanted the character to have a relatable point, which turned out better than I hoped. Point is, follow your instincts.


#5

Damn. You’re a little guru xD I agree with what you’re saying so much! I know that in real life, I find myself motivated by the parts of myself that I don’t think are perfect. When I run into that in writing, it elevates the story so much. A lot of people have yet to understand that a ‘perfect’ character will never reach an understanding of themselves that changes their life.


#6

Yeah, stories with perfect characters I would avoid, since it’s not believable. Hero’s for instance aren’t believable much if it’s to an extreme length. The protagonist was designed neither to be good nor evil, but a character who acts based on their selfish desires. Book 1 it’s hinted, but that’s the point. It’s not supposed to be fully known in the first book. Book 2 the prequel which goes back to where it all began dives into the life of the protagonist. Where you really see that the protagonist is much different from book 1, but still maintaining some relevant qualities. Then book 3 ties it all together. It is the sequel to the prequel.

If anything it was hard to write such a character, and even harder to make it feel natural. Hell I’m still editing from time to time to improve the story. Book 3 is done, but i’m currently releasing it when I can.


#7

Okie!
My story’s a bit unorthodox, hope you’re interested by it!
It’s called Eardwulf, and it takes place in an area of the same name. It’s based off of Alaska, Canada and Greenland. It centers around wolves organized in feudal unions of pack-families (called ‘bloods’) that integrate Feudal monarchy and natural wolf pack hierarchies. It’s an anthropomorphic high fantasy with no magic.

Oof, I think I’ll only talk about one of the main characters at the moment, since there are four and describing them all would take too long XD

His name is Fergus Mac’Mellan, and he’s the second son of Blood Mac’Mellan’s leaders, Sephys and Scylla Mac’Mellan. He’s a prince of sorts. He’s emotionally abused by his mother Scylla and physically abused by his older brother, the heir Leonardo. He has had nobody to turn to as Scylla keeps him isolated and friendless. He’s looking for someone to share his pain and anger with, a Prince Charming to come rescue him. Except that’s another one of my main characters, Asha Arcturus. She’s a bean <3
All three Mac’Mellan sons are abused by Scylla and deal with it in different ways. To alleviate the pain and feel better about himself, Leonardo takes it out on his younger brothers. Rory Mac’Mellan is a pup and cries it away at night. Fergus doesn’t have the heart to do either, so he bottles it up and hopes the anger goes away, but it never does. He’s prone to emotional outbursts. He knows if he doesn’t do something about his emotions, he’ll go haywire someday and seriously injure or even kill somebody. He constantly lives in fear of that happening. Every day is a fight to control himself. He’s in a quandary because he has no way of getting rid of the anger inside him but he knows it’ll overcome him soon. He has no role models and nobody to look up to. The other deltas and omegas of Blood Mac’Mellan envy the privileged life he lives. I dedicate a lot of the book to his internal struggles and the road to recovery for him. He strikes a very personal chord with me and I’ll flesh out all the harsh and terrible things he has to go through and has to overcome. I’ll have a lot of fun with him!

P.S ‘Fergus’ means ‘the angry or wrathful one’ and the name Mac’Mellan is inspired my the prefix Mac or Mc meaning ‘son of’ and melanin and/or melanism. His last name essentially means “son of the dark.” He has a pitch-black pelt with green eyes.

Here’s a drawing I made of him:


#8

It’s a Fantasy story in a modern setting with different POVs, but the ‘main’ character is Cypress. He’s the guardian of a magical tree that can grant people powers in exchange for something precious to them. The more precious it is, the more powerful the power will be, but there’s no guarantee it’ll be anything amazing or even good. So the focus is on what would drive people make this sacrifice, how it affects them, and how they deal with the situation.

Cypress’s ability is being able to control his age, which basically makes him immortal. So he’s grown numb from dealing with the tree on a regular basis and seeing the same things happen to people over and over again to the point where he can be blunt or downright hurtful. It also doesn’t help that outliving his loved ones has left him very lonely. He’s extremely honest about the tree, but dodgy and often lying about his personal life. It’s not until new guardians start living with him that he starts opening up a little bit at a time. His main driving point is fulfilling his duty and protecting the tree as his ancestors have for generations.

Right now there’s other two guardians with a third saved for later. One of them is a dog that can take a humanoid form, while the other is a man who can turn into a beast. Due to gaining human-like intelligence, the dog has a split mentality that changes depending on what form he’s in. If he’s a normal dog, he’s very small minded and child like, while in his other form he can think on a far deeper, more mature level. His main conflict is coming to terms with this, currently rejecting ‘big thoughts’ to focus on ignorant bliss. As for the man, he hates powerless humans and focuses only on those with powers who need his help. He’s very smart, but equally nosy, which is what’s pushing Cypress to open up.

So give it a read if you’re interested? Link here.


#9

A story of abuse. Hmmm…not enough detail, but the concept of it is definitely worth checking out. Seems interesting.


#10

would you like more? What kind of detail are you talking about? Thank you for the compliment!


#11

Not a unique idea, but definitely well thought out. The concept behind man and beast is where the conflict lies. I’ll give it a read and see, the ideas are pretty common, but it can be executed in many different ways. However I do like the idea of it, which is why it’s worth a shot.


#12

Nah I think I got the general idea. In such a case I would end up making this a spoiler, It’s better if I read it for myself.


#13

Oh, alright! I’m talking about the road of recovery, but whether he really recovers or not is still a mystery ;3c


#14

lol well I added it. Now that the books I wrote are truly complete, I have time to read.


#15

thank you!! I wish I had time to read, lol, but all my time is working on Eardwulf and animating XD


#16

Alright, well you asked for it…

Story: Into the Underwood

  1. Characters:
    Sylvia: The MC. She’s the daughter of an English dressmaker who was kidnapped at the age of 10 by Der Erlkönig, the supernatural king of the Underwood, after she was sent away to the countryside to escape the 1940s Blitz. She is already a skilled seamstress by that age, so she is put to work under the King’s tailor in his atelier, where she lives and works for 15 years. She is quiet and withdrawn to begin with, and only becomes more reclusive during her years as a prisoner. She spends most of her time alone, reading and doing embroidery in her spare time. She is borderline agoraphobic, rarely leaving the atelier, and she avoids anything that scares her, especially the King. She is also very naive and submissive, making her a perfect target for anyone who might want to manipulate her.
    Der Erlkönig (The King): The Antagonist. The ancient hunter king who rules the Underwood, which is described as the place where all the woodlands meet. He kidnaps Sylvia as a child and keeps her prisoner for several years, telling her he will only release her once she settles a longstanding family debt. He puts her under the guardianship of his tailor, and when she attempts to run away at the age of 13, he beats her with his belt as punishment. He only becomes interested in her again, at the age of 25, when he discovers that she is able to conjure living things from her embroidery. Personality-wise, the King is described as being emotionless, coldly-rational, and manipulative. Conversely, he has a genuine concern for the well-being of his kingdom, and takes his role as King very seriously.
    Sashenka (Sasha): The love interest. Sasha grew up in the Soviet-controlled Ukraine and suffered under the collectivization of the farms and the resulting man-made famine. She went out hunting everyday to keep her family fed, but runs away to the Underwood after coming home to find her house raided and her family vanished. There, she worked in the stables for several years as the groom’s assistant, and eventually became the King’s gamekeeper. She meets Sylvia one day and they very quickly become smitten. Afterwards, Sylvia’s embroidery begins to come to life. Sasha is very independent, protective, and distrusting of authority. She has some food insecurities over the trauma of living through a famine, and refuses to rely on anyone to meet her basic needs.
    Burchard: The King’s tailor, Sylvia’s foster father. He is forest spirit with multiple arms and eyes like a spider. He practically raises Sylvia from the age of 10 into her 20s, caring for her and helping her to progress her skills as a seamstress. Though he is kind and loves Sylvia, on more than one occasion, he turns a blind eye to the King’s abuse, towards her and others.
    Alouette: The King’s chambermaid. Sylvia’s only friend. Also a forest spirit with the ability to shapeshift into a swan. She is one of the few female spirits with the ability to procreate with her spouse. She has three children with her husband, Ceorl, who can also change into a swan. They both share the ability to read each other’s minds.
    Ceorl: The groom in the King’s stables. Alouette’s husband, Sasha’s foster father. Took in Sasha when she first arrived in the Underwood, asking the King to let her work for him to keep her under his protection. He is a deeply devoted husband and father, and treats Sasha as his oldest daughter.

  2. Plot: Sylvia is sent to the countryside with her brothers to escape the Blitz. She is abducted by Der Erlkönig while wandering the woods one day who tells her that her family owes him a debt. She is put to work as a seamstress in his atelier where she lives and works for 15 years before she meets Sasha. After meeting Sasha, her embroidery begins to come to life for the first time since she was a child. She entices Sasha to come visit her in the atelier by promising to mend her clothes, and the two quickly begin spending all their free time together. One day, the King comes to the atelier with a torn jacket, which she quickly mends for him, but accidentally reveals her abilities in the process. The King then asks her to take on a few sewing projects using her “talents,” promising that they will be used towards the fulfillment of her debt.

  3. Elements: Sylvia’s driving motivation is to return home to her family in England, where she had a sense of love and belonging. Her life in the Underwood has left her feeling alienated and isolated, a feeling which is only alleviated by Sasha, who she feels is the only person she can open up to. Over the course of the story, she progressively emerges from her self-imposed isolation, becomes more courageous, and less submissive to the King. Even as she endures the worst of his abuse, she comes to the realization that she cannot solve her problems just by keeping her head down and complying with his wishes. If she wants to be free, she will have to fight.

  4. Genre Dark Fantasy/Historical


#17

XD well good luck. I juggle between work and programming. It’s a wonder how I have time to read and write as well.


#18

Now this is a story I can definitely give time into. The darker theme makes for quite a catch.


#19

Yay! I hope you like it!

https://www.wattpad.com/story/166914741-into-the-underwood


#20

Cool!:grin: