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Personalities and Synergies

Discussion in 'The Authors' Café' started by jireh the provider, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. jireh the provider

    jireh the provider Video Game Designer

    Now here I am introducing a unique thread to share a discussion. Of course as a writer, all of us can't go wrong about personalities.

    Personalities (sometimes called attitudes) are what brings any character whether they are bland, hyperactive, greedy, tsundere, and many more.

    So what are the different types/kinds of personalities have you ever used? Or personalities that you struggle to use? Personalities you are yet to use?

    What are the requirements to match your character to your selected personalities? Like do comical people use more metaphored words? Or a calm intelligent character speaks more formal words? Aggressive personalities use very bold words? Or loner characters speak very few words? Angry persons use violent characterization words on their enemies?

    The other question is what personalities that synergizes and oppose to one another?

    in equation terms:

    let Per be personality

    if true

    Per. A = Per. B

    else / if false

    Per. A > / < Per. B

    examples from my experience:

    a. For me, joining a naive character and energetic character can be opposing but the two synergize together later on the story. Refer to a cyndaquil and a totodile

    b. A Wise man and an Idealist man normally argue one over another. ask Reshiram and Zekrom.

    c. Joining two characters who have troubled memories tend to join quite early or late in a story. Like a timid girl and a stoic boy. Try a female Kirlia and a male Riolu

    d. Two very dependent twins with minor differences and many simlarities. Study Plusle and Minun, or go with Minccino and Swablu (loves to clean)

    Share your examples to us.
  2. Kutie Pie

    Kutie Pie 桜咲くこの坂を今も上っている

    It's hard to say at times as it depends on who I'm writing about. I do my hardest to make sure canon characters remain in their canonical state-of-mind, but I will almost always plan out a character's personality before I get to writing (usually the main character). Though there were moments where I'm just writing a character, and they formed a personality of their own. Such was the case with most of the cast in Forsaken. I've only ever known a few of the characters' personalities because my brothers and I used to come up with personalities for them, so I transferred it over to the story, only I tweaked some of the personalities to fit the atmosphere. Entei is the way he is because that's how we portrayed him. Same with Deoxys (and he's a fun character to write about). Everyone else in between like with Giratina, Darkrai, Cresselia, Latias, et cetera, just wrote themselves after I did a little bit of research on them, and thought back to the movies. All I did was just write accordingly to the story.

    So it really just depends on the story I'm writing. I do try to make some personalities clash so they can bounce off each other as to how I believe actual personalities would, but for the most part, I just write whatever comes to mind, or whatever my fingers want to write, and somehow everything comes out as expected, or better than I planned. It's just one of those odd, but fortunate experiences that I get as a writer to be able to write good characters.
  3. Firebrand

    Firebrand Indomitable

    Not nessecarily. Wisdom tends to lead to idealism. Perhaps a knowledgeable man, like a scientific professor or military general, would not agree with an idealist.

    Anyway, personally, many of the characters I write are rebellious. I don't really mean the stereotypical rebellious teenager, but actually rebels, involved in some kind of revolution. I also have started to write characters with psychological disorders, notably I have a handful of characters with severe depression, two who are schizophrenic, and one who is severely addicted to hallucinogenic drugs (obviously these are spread out over several stories).

    When I have a group dynamic in a story, I like to incorporate many different outlooks and idealisms. In my original fiction, Dark Pawn, the story focuses on the activities of two rather opposite groups of people. One, the "protagonists", have been thrust together by extenuating circumstances, and though their idealisms and method of operations are very different and contradictory, they have the same motivation. The other group, the anti-protagonists, have already had an extensive (though largely untold) adventure, and as such are an incredibly close-knit group of companions. The disparity between the two groups is one thing the story seeks to highlight. (I only put protagonists in quotes because, in Dark Pawn, the protagonists would be the antagonists of a standard fantasy story, and the anti-protagonists are technically the opposition, even though they would be the heroes).

    Perhaps my favorite dynamic to write about is the student/mentor one. I've found those relationships always to be very deep, and scenes between characters like that are always interesting both to write and read, because it allows one to see facets of a character that aren't usually shown.
  4. Crystal

    Crystal The Pokemon Observer

    Personality of antagonist is also interesting to think about. For me personally, I put more efforts in planning the personalities on the antagonist more than that on the protagonist.

    That is because the existence of antagonist affects greatly to the storyline, and it also give the greatest influence to the protagonist. So I must be careful on coming up what kind of personalities the antagonist get, such that it will lead the storyline to go smoothly.

    Personally, it seems that I often goes to the route of Dark is not evil and Light is not good. I often choose what people normally think it "look badass" to be the supporting characters that helps the protagonists, and those that look neutral and/or celestial to be the villains.

    In the fic I'm currently working in, the storyline can basically divide into three parts, where the three parts each have a central villain/antagonist. For the first part, Porygon Z was the main antagonist. I do not wanted to call it villain, because it is not absolutely evil, and it will become a supporting character in later stage. To tell the truth, this Porygon Z does not have a personality, its brain was broken for a certain reason, so it act like a robot for that whole first story part until the protagonist defeat it and fix it. But for me as a writer, this kind of cybernetic behaviour may also counted as one of the "personality". It was quite interesting when I have to think like a computer during my plot planning.

    In the third part, Arceus as the main villain, and oppositely in here Giratina was a supporting character that helps the protagonist.
    Stereotypically speaking, I know most people would said this characterization is strange. Arceus was known to be the god of creation, and Giratina was known to be the rebellious Pokemon sealed in another world. But this personality stereotype can really kill one's imagination, so I just jumped out of the box.
    Because Arceus was the god, it will get angry if one tries to destroy the world. I made Arceus in my fic to be high-and-mighty, despise the protagonists that try to defend the human which it wanted to defeat.
    The Giratina in my fic was not rebellious as like the stereotype, but oppositely well-informed about all the things happened in the world, just merely it has no power to interfere with any of the affairs in the world.

    Yeah, basically speaking, I don't follow much on the personality described in the Pokedex entries. Just like we human do, each single Pokemon had different personalities, so even for the same Pokemon, doesn't mean they must have the same or similar personality and/or behaviour.
  5. RoflLuxRay

    RoflLuxRay Pokemon Physiologist

    Wow, such a great thread.

    For starters, I believe that personalities are one of the most important parts of a character and it defines whether the character will be liked by readers or not.

    I'm a fan of writing action, so my characters are often heroes ranging from a troubled retired cop to a young man with messiah-complex, which kind of makes it hard to interact with other characters without losing their attitudes or being too soft depending on the situation. Which happens to be one of my greatest problems, keeping a character's personality throughout the story.

    I personally don't like it when I'm writing a character that's, let's say just for the sake of a example, a jolly-sarcastic girl, and then after a few pages, she shows a rather comprehensive side of her.

    Do characters need stability in their personalities to be solid, or can they adapt to the situation and show more sides of themselves without looking like Gak?

    As for what I'm writing, my main character is a Knight in sour armor/Byronic hero , one of my favorites to pull off. I don't know how will it end, but I'm sure having fun writing it.
  6. jireh the provider

    jireh the provider Video Game Designer

    Personally for me, I like writing characters that wanted to keep their innocence, along with characters who ran away from their kin, as well as Atoners.

    These are mere reflections as how society can mislead a person's identity
  7. The Great Butler

    The Great Butler Hush, keep it down

    I agree with the earlier point about the importance of antagonists. The actions of those who oppose the protagonist, as pointed out, shape said protagonist's own actions. I would even dare to expand that to say that antagonists shape the very events around them; at least on my part, most antagonistic characters I see tend to be very proactive in participating in the plot, which forces everyone else to catch up.

    I like to write characters with a variety of personality traits because what I really enjoy is seeing them interact.
  8. jireh the provider

    jireh the provider Video Game Designer

    Very good ideas you got there guys I like it! In truth, the antagonist in my story would also be very detailed even though it will show up in the near epilogue of my original novel

    As for this question, one thing I highly recommend is to imagine yourself in that character's position. Just HOW SENSITIVE are your characters to change? Also how powerful the source of influence affect the protagonist / Anti-hero / Anti-villain / antagonist? Try checking my Feli Chronicles Series at least. It just may help you a bit. In all of my characters, I placed myself in their shoes just like how I play video games. Do the same in writing stories.

    I know one character who has a sudden change with detailed reasons. Research about Solid Snake of MGS 3: Snake Eater. He has a truly good example as to how his personality changed when he learned the betrayal of The Boss, the one person he trusted his whole life for 10 years
  9. Missingno. Master

    Missingno. Master Poison-type Trainer

    I try to be quite diverse in the personalities I give my characters. In my current ongoing fic, 404 Error, the three main characters vary wildly in personality. Orange is energetic, impatient and stubborn. Violet has attitude, and is constantly annoyed by Orange, and is also the only member of the group to nickname her Pokemon. The two of them frequently argue with each other, both of them too stubborn to admit when they're wrong. Most of the time, anyway. Finally, Red is relatively laid back and easygoing, except where Pokemon training is concerned, as he has something of a passion for that. He isn't a big fan of conflict, and usually tries to stay out of Violet and Orange's arguments. Naturally, he gets sucked into a few of them anyway. It takes very significant and unexpected turns of events to rattle Red, and even then, he bounces back with little issue most of the time. Each also has something of a phobia; Orange is afraid of Bug-type Pokemon, with Butterfree being, for whatever reason, the sole exception; Violet is afraid of heights; Red is afraid of the Pokemon species native to the Tanko region (Glitch Pokemon), though he is gradually getting over this fear.

    I also try to give their Pokemon their own personalities. I'll hide the following in a spoiler tag, for those of you who would rather read it for yourself in the story.

    Orange's Fearow, back when it was a Spearow, was completely disobedient, but after overhearing Orange speak up in its defense to a Team Error grunt, gradually gained respect for its trainer. Orange's starter Pokemon, Q, is loyal to him to a fault, and has an unmistakably cool personality, tending to use its psychic powers to help the group out, such as retrieving their bags for them after they chased a Team Debug grunt through Ivadirin Forest, or taking the coins a wild A produced with Pay Day and placing them in Orange's pockets. His .4 is hyperactive and extremely speedy, though this behavior is more like that of .4 as a species. His A, however, is extremely shy and timid- in fact, the first time Orange tried to catch it, A shoved a nearby Spearow into the path of the Poke Ball and then fled. Chompy, Violet's Victreebel, her starter, takes a little pleasure in seeing Orange in discomfort, which was in fact a major factor in Violet choosing Bellsprout over Growlithe (the Water-type, 44Hy, was already taken by Orange). Migraine, her Psyduck, is more or less the same as Misty's Psyduck in the anime, only with a few different moves, such as Submission, and an actually usable Water Gun. As a Charmeleon, Red's Charizard was distinctly unsociable, preferring to battle above all else, though remained loyal to Red the whole time. His Parasect, Doduo, and Raticate don't show entirely too much in the way of personality, as well as Orange's Nidoking, and Skulls, Tombstone, and Flutters (Violet's Koffing, h Poke, and Butterfree, respectively), though I intend for this to change gradually.
  10. Meeker

    Meeker It needs a fence.

    Although I'm new here, I did some writing that got me started back in the day when I was bored. I like to give each character a unique personality, and have different backgrounds. I find that the diversity of personalities can give the plot an interesting twist, as each character must learn to tolerate each other to the extent that they must at least be on level ground. I plan to use this in my original story, Auðn. People who deviate from the common people but aren't noticed to be odd until one gets to know them are some fun ones to write about. Giving some character an obsession with something or giving them a weird trait can give readers an interesting story to look at. It can really bring the story together.
  11. SeekerofLight

    SeekerofLight He's everywhere...

    What an intriguing topic...

    I find that balancing works wonders.

    For example, the fanfic I am writing involves three young Apprentice Explorer, each are friends but with vastly different personalities. Also they are each paired with a different 'mentor'.
    For example, Torch of Part 1 is loud and pronounced, which contrasts agaisnt his mentors secluded, secret personality, resulting in unwanted adventures.
    Part two has a Snivy called Bud, who is powerful but smug about it. This leads to interesting situation where he is restricted from fighting.
    Finally, part 3 has a fun loving Bulbasaur, Bubba, who is put with a serious, strict teacher.

    However, moving away from my characters, the actions of the Protagonist and the Antoganist are likely to change as the story progresses. A notable example is the motives. An antoganist will have there ideas of world domination or such, while the protaganist will merely have a job or egt on with there lives.
    Upon an encounter with the two, the antoganist may single out the protagonist until soemthign happens causing the protagonist to buckle down and fight.

    Again, these are justr notable examples which I have seen throughout several other fanfictions.

    Good luck with writing everyone!
  12. jireh the provider

    jireh the provider Video Game Designer

    you remind me of Darkrai's reincarnation in PMD explorers. Cresselia said he's the villain doing work behind the shadows and eliminate the threats before they can react 9which he did in most of the story). But later on, he opens himself in public to stop him, especially to the hero and partner when he should NOT be revealing his hiding spot.
  13. Crystal

    Crystal The Pokemon Observer

    That's another interesting topic about personality: Sudden change of personality during the story. Please note that this is different from growth/maturing.

    As I see that for most Trainer fics and Adventure fics, protagonist experience many obstacles during the story. As they had overcome such challenges during the plot, they gain experiences of life and becoming mature. They will become more composed, serene, self-controlled, and won't panic even facing the most powerful Legendary Pokemon as the story progress.

    But for sudden change of personality, that will be a different kind of growth, if you may called that as "growth". Example, a carefree guy suddenly changed to become discreet and cautious about every single little event around him; a gentle girl that loves to help the others suddenly become reticent and antisocial; or like the example of jireh gave, the Darkrai in PMD explorer suddenly changed from an absolute villain to a courteous gentleman after the post-story event.
    Such sudden change in personality of a character were mostly changed to a complete different one, such that the character feels no more like the "original" person. Usually such sudden change involves a major event that greatly damages that character, either mentally or physically. The damage causes trauma in the character's mind, or induce long-term amnesia, where these causes a sudden change in behaviour and/or personality of the character.

    Of course, there also exist many other reasons that causes such sudden change, depending on your story. It can also be something else like sudden change in environment, relationship between some important person, or even sudden becoming wealthy by winning lottery, etc. But these sudden change of personality has a trend: which there must exist a major reason that causes such change in characteristics.
  14. jireh the provider

    jireh the provider Video Game Designer

    I can share a few more examples to sudden personality changes. these examples are from my original story, Feli Chronicles: Vitandes

    a. When an influencial character gives advice harshly to a protagonist who hates talking to stern people. The protagonist turned from happy go lucky to being an angry and defeated person (This is my heroine's case, Celena, who is childish as a mother. She hates being corrected in a negative way. In other words, she does not want someone to point out her flaws pessimistically)

    b. When a character sees her sibling sick (in my story, Johanna becomes very dead worried about her twin sibling)
  15. The Great Butler

    The Great Butler Hush, keep it down

    I should note, though, that Darkrai's memory and personality were erased after his defeat. He didn't suffer any mental trauma or amnesia, his original self literally ceased to exist.
  16. Crystal

    Crystal The Pokemon Observer

    Lost of memory = Amnesia

    The change of personality is not change in identity. Darkrai is still Darkrai, that we all knew. But after that post-game event, he had his memory lost (amnesia is the correct medical name for it. But whatever you called it), which causes him to behave very differently from the original "villain Darkrai". And that, is what I called sudden change in personality.
  17. SeekerofLight

    SeekerofLight He's everywhere...

    To the above posts, I think Amnesia could play a part in personalities, and they make great plot points!

    For example, a Villain could lose his memeory after an attack or event, leaving him (or her, not being sexist) stranded and alone. This could lead to them being shunned from society due to previous actions, but with the help of a young, innocent helper the villain purges is shown to be a good person (If you've played Final Fantasy IV this may sound a familiar scenerio with Cecil in Mysidia). After this event the villain is now good, but still hasn't got the trust of several do-gooders. It would then take the character to defeat an evil to prove them wrong. Finally, it could be revealed to the villain that they are indeed an evil individiual, but perhaps this is used as an advantage in the Final fight.

    Just an example there, one which shows how personality can be used as the basis of an event or even an entire story!

    Happy Writing

  18. Meeker

    Meeker It needs a fence.

    Agreed, it also give a sense of character development that normally wouldn't be there, as the character is just reclaiming their lost self. Great for either the plot, OR if you're to lazy to develop a character in any way. XD I hope it's for the sake of the plot.

    Also, I feel that making a hot head and a sarcastic jerk work together creates some interesting quarrels.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  19. Kutie Pie

    Kutie Pie 桜咲くこの坂を今も上っている

    The thing about amnesia/loss of memory in a story is you have to handle it with care. If you write it wrong, people will think you just pulled a deus ex machina/ass pull and say the payoff wasn't worth it. And even then, using it as a plot point is very risky if you didn't take the time to lead up to it, give really good reasons to it, or create a captivating story surrounding it (ex. Memento). It's especially risky when you have the main character have amnesia, or some other form of memory loss, because then you run the risk of destroying their personality somewhere along the way (ex. Dory from Finding Nemo, only done right). People with amnesia/memory loss still have personality, but it may suddenly change one day because the person will just lose that memory, and go back to what they do remember being like, or how they feel is their true selves. (Of course, this could just be the Hollywood amnesia talking, though I'm trying to think back to how Ef: Tale of Memories handled it, as a character suffered a brain injury that has her lose memories every thirteen hours, thus she's mentally a... twelve-thirteen-year-old for the rest of her life.)

    And of course, if you're a sadistic bastard like me who likes to break people's hearts, you can have the main character have the amnesia/memory loss, and as a plot point, they would lose memories of what they experienced throughout the story, and go back to being the person they were in the beginning, much to the horror of their peers and readers who came to know them. But you have to do it correctly by dropping hints/foreshadowing to the memory losses and not just reach the crisis point in the story and "pfft", there goes the memories. Otherwise, you better have a damn good climax and resolution to make up for it.

    Or it could be because the writer can't keep a character consistent and properly show steady mental growth. *shrugs* It happens. Again, you have to give reasons for this sort of thing. You can't just expect people to just go with it unless you established (very) early on that is the whole point of the story: to just go with it. Even though there is a gap between smart, savvy readers and the dumb, unsuspecting readers, someone is going to complain about the whole bombshell drop if it's not handled in the way they expected/liked.
  20. SeekerofLight

    SeekerofLight He's everywhere...

    It makes sense I suppose.

    Development of characters throughout the story is very important. Specifically their personalities. Going from what Crystal mentioned earlier, yes, there can be a point where the Protagonist/antoganist expereinces a sudden change in personality after an event, but for most of a story development is important.

    For example, using an idea i have, the Protagonist is a young child for the first few chapters who is consistently bullied by a group of people. He is timid and doesn't talk to anyone except his best friend. When he gets a Pokémon he is slightly more confident and can talk to more people. His speech will alos contain less pauses or ellipsis. When he is older he is far more collected and can get away with confronting the bullies by dismissing their comments.

    Effectively, while visually you can see physical growth, such as posture or a certain swagger or whatnot, speech is the easiest way to show how a character has 'evolved'. You could begin the story with a character's speech included pauses and short words. As they develop, speech will be longer, and word length will increase. Also the way the tone is described can make a difference too.

    Best Wishes


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