Discussion Character development in a novel

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by Nyann, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. Lukha

    Lukha Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I prefer character development! It gives me great satisfaction and joy to watch a character grow, regardless of if they are relatable to me or not. Learning why a character is the way they are or how they're going to be after the story's events -- these things make me definitely sympathize and enjoy a story 100% more.

    Although, I find that most translated works I've read seem to have very very slow/gradual/minimal amount of character development; especially in the Chinese transmigration novels I've read. It seems they favor the character having a steady personality and being badass from the get-go than gradually developing as a person. This gets to me sometimes, but I still get my satisfaction from reading revenge stuff, fufu. :blobspearpeek:
     
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  2. oblueknighto

    oblueknighto Blue Person

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    If it's interesting then it's fine. Character development can definitely be interesting but forcing it just for the sake of it usually doesn't make the novel any more interesting.
     
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  3. Jatron

    Jatron Well-Known Member

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    I'll go against the grain and say plot is more important but I like stories with both. The story needs to be larger than the character like in WoC, TNE, ORV. I rread Otaku Code of Practice and it's honestly not interesting anymore.
    1. The MC has a straight BF and is a bottom.
    2. they get a fucking kid
    3. MC face no true difficulties
    4. Never improves
    5. The world revolves around him.
    Those are all things that cause me to drop a novel because they're signs of the plot being subpar. If I had to rank character development it'd be, developed by overcoming adversity>no character development>>>>>character development due to romance.
     
  4. nachte

    nachte Active Member

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    The plot vs. character development is an interesting discussion.

    I inhaled The Legendary Master's Wife over the course of 2 weeks. I absolutely loved the first 1/3 of the novel. The plot was exciting, there was emotional development and personal development in the MC's skills. Unfortunately the emotional development got cutoff soon after the MC and ML got together, and it stagnated for all of the other character relationships too. Eventually the novel felt like it was just going through the motions of powering up the MC and defeating the bigger and badder villains, and everything felt lacking. Yeah, the MC went on an incredible journey and he grew a lot, but looking back at the novel at the whole, I can't help but feel empty at most of the book because of the lack of emotional development for the last 2/3 of the story. Yeah, the plot was also lackluster at the end, so that contributed to it, but the emotional disconnect has completely colored my dissatisfaction with the novel. There's a lot of dynamics at play with developing story and characters, but still to me, I need that emotional connection to the characters in order to really elevate a good book.
     
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  5. SummerForest

    SummerForest New Member

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    I dropped LMW for almost the same reason.
     
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  6. lnv

    lnv ✪ Well-Known Hypocrite

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    Unless you are reading a comedy, forced plot and forced character development are quite annoying. I personally think that characters should be created from the plot instead of characters being placed in a plot. A lot of the unnaturalness of characters and plot comes from the fact that authors think, this character is cool, let me put them into the story. But don't realize their own story doesn't match their own character nor plot.

    You see this very often where MC would be introduced as uncaring or lazy type, then out of nowhere they start caring about everything and more hard working than everyone else. Why? That is what happens when you try to stick characters in a story which don't match the plot.

    Character development should be born from the plot and contribute to the story.

    So long story short: I prefer well developed characters, but not when the character development doesn't contribute to the plot.
     
  7. Nyann

    Nyann [Majoring in F*#& up]

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    I think a challenge that is faced while developing characters on the other hand is to how to integrate it into the plot. Only a few authors can achieve that...
    But obviously, it's a bonus when you get well developed plot as well as characters~ Especially when each one is entirely depended on the other~
     
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  8. lnv

    lnv ✪ Well-Known Hypocrite

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    It is a lot easier if you create characters based on the plot rather than the other way around... I find a lot of people create their MC before their plot, then struggle to make their MC fit into said plot, and same applies to pretty much every other character. If you plan the plot before making any character traits, then create the traits based on the plot, things are a lot easier.

    And the same applies to real life too, our personalities are a product of our experiences. Thus, the plot shapes the characters.

    If you create characters as a result of the plot, the story flows much better and you don't need to make mental gymnastics trying to fit a circle inside a square.

    You also don't need to waste any time on character development because the plot itself develops the characters.
     
  9. AliceShiki

    AliceShiki 『Ms. Tree』『Ophi-kun's Survival Teacher』

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    I can't imagine why someone would read a novel without character development at all tbh, seems like it would be pretty boring.
     
  10. Ddraig

    Ddraig Frostfire Dragon|Retired lurker|FFF|Loved by RNG

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    Who are you and what have you done to Nyan chan?
     
  11. Nyann

    Nyann [Majoring in F*#& up]

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    I am
    :blobspearpeek:

    :blobspearpeek:

    :blobspearpeek:

    :blobspearpeek:

    :blobspearpeek:

    :blobspearpeek:

    :blobspearpeek:

    SERIOUS.
     
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  12. Moonpearl

    Moonpearl Professional Yuri Girl ❀ [Yuri Garden Creator]

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    It's been a long time since I felt personally connected to a character, to be honest... But having characters develop is almost indispensable. Some novels have a good enough plot to carry it off without well crafted character development, but they'd definitely be a hundred times better with it.

    "No. 6" had good character development, I think. I really appreciated the ending and the revelations the characters had...
    And "The Unicorn Legion" didn't get too far before its translation stopped, but I really liked the slow character development it had going for it. Ellen is such an intriguing character~!

    Same... I think it's a big problem that comes from people thinking that getting together means "happily ever after". People think stable, happy couples can't have any chemistry or romantic development. That's why a lot of drama constantly breaks characters up to stir things up again.

    I disagree. I create characters after I have a general idea of the setting and plot idea, but I always find it makes pretty flat characters if you base them only on what you need them to do. Instead, the plot should bend according to the character's motivation and development.

    That way both the plot and the characters will develop and integrate well, and the events might become more interesting than I originally planned.
     
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  13. lnv

    lnv ✪ Well-Known Hypocrite

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    The plot makes a framework for the characters, that doesn't mean that the character should have no traits outside the plot. Just the traits should not conflict with the plot.

    A character's motivations are part of the plot. Because to have the plot work, the motivations have to align with the plot.

    You can go the route of plot bending to characters motivations, but at that point you would lose control of the story. Because then the one dictating the story would be the character. It isn't a bad option either for a short story, but the longer the story, the more constrained you would be. (Unless you are writing a quick transmigration novel which resets everything, but that is pretty much a bunch of short stories)

    This is precisely why a lot of long running web novels end up throwing out almost half the concepts from the beginning, because their own constraints makes it impossible to continue writing the story.
     
  14. Moonpearl

    Moonpearl Professional Yuri Girl ❀ [Yuri Garden Creator]

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    It works quite well for me, though. You just have to make sure you plan ahead of time. The problem with publishing as you go is that you're making stuff up as you go along with no chance to edit.
     
  15. Xenosx

    Xenosx New Member

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    I like character that are quite entertaining in their speech. Although no too much as it might get annoying. But I can also live with head strong characters such as ling ming from MW, but only if they are done right.