Where characters come from, and where they go

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9 Responses to “Where characters come from, and where they go”

  1. Nagurski says:

    That’s all well and good until your characters start drugging you so you sleep more, and can’t mess with them.
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/97333.At_Swim_Two_Birds

    Edited to add that anyone who gives a damn about great writing would enjoy this book, which goes at great, rollicking, surreal depth into the mystery of literary characters, writers and their manipulations of each other.

  2. mrtut says:

    Characters come from keyboards. You can push them into screens. 

    Hence, all characters start as dust and die as bits.

  3. aunthillary says:

    I’ve read a similar concept to this, put forward by Daniel Dennet and Douglas Hofstadter. But I think Cory’s is actually the most concise and intuitive explanation of it I’ve seen. Awesome work, a very interesting read!

  4. Jose says:

    I’ve often wondered what happens to well-realized characters from canceled TV shows.  We’ve gained just a bit of familiarity with them (built a simulator for them?), and then [poof] they’re gone.  Is Mal out there, somewhere, roaming the verse?  Did Hank and Britt turn left, or right?  And what happened after they did?  Seems like these characters are still around, we just no longer have visibility into what they’re doing…

    • Wreckrob8 says:

      They go to a planet where they are able to live free from the plotting and machinations of writers, and where they can plan their revenge…

    • heatsink says:

       There’s a web site that expores this very concept, Jose, including links, cross-overs, and discrepancies that relate to the actors that play these various roles.  It’s called Toobworld.

  5. Jimmy Tyler says:

    I’ve been struggling with over-empathizing with my characters recently, and I think this article really explains why that can happen. And it can also explain how writers sometimes explain their characters gaining lives of their own–like we can predict our friend’s reaction to an event, we can predict a character’s, even if it contradicts our initial idea of what that character would have done. 

  6. Elliot Cowan says:

    Wonderful stuff.
    I teach a class called Character Development for animation students.
    I’ll be passing this on.

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