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Author Topic: Character development
Member # 4081

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Actually...this isn't really a fragment, it's more of a character development. I wasn't too sure where else to put this, so if this is in an incorrect spot, or not allowed, do educate me. I'm a mite rusty...

“Dammit!” Daniel yelled as the large, ungainly mayfly buzzed into, then around his head again, only to clumsily crash into the wall, buzzing, ever buzzing. With a sigh of resignation at the damage he’d do, he pulled out his pistol and blasted away at the annoying insect until he was satisfied that it was dead. The bullet holes riddled the wall in the corner where the offending insect was last seen.
Buzz. Another one had flown in, or was it the same one. Either way, the things were a nuisance and Daniel couldn’t stand it any more - he had to get out, had to do something! This constant waiting was grating at his nerves.Out came the knife. Thwok! The hapless insect was impaled on the point.
He shortly had his wish...through the door ran a winded, pale

Mainly, I'm curious as to what this tells you, the readers, about this character. I'm considering using this as how I introduce him to the readers, but want to make sure he comes off how I'm intending him to come off as: young, impulsive, reckless, impatient, and gifted with weapons. Is it working properly? And for the record, this is merely a Work in Progress...

Note from Kathleen: Since it's part of the manuscript, it has to follow the 13-line rule.

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited May 21, 2011).]

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Member # 9196

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The main sense I get from this character is that he is trigger happy due to some anxiety and urgency he is feeling. I think that goes a bit further than the characterization you are aiming for.

I think to hit the mark you are going for, I'd tone it down a bit. Generally, readers I think don't like overly anxious characters (but that may be just me that doesn't like them).

Maybe he could just fire a single bullet that kills the bug. The fact that he misses several times actually makes him seem less gifted. One shot, one kill, would make him seem gifted.

Perhaps he could express his anxiety in a less extreme way. Either that, or we need to have an understanding as to what causes this much anxiety so we can sympathize with it.

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Member # 5174

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All I got out of it was:
- he seems very impatient (although I don't know how long he's waited)
- he's not good with a gun
- he's excellent with a knife (don't know why he used the gun)

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Member # 4081

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Re. Kathleen: Sorry...for some reason every time I post, I can't quite get the 13 lines right. Perhaps it's 'cause I've moved on from a PC to a Mac...but that doesn't work as an excuse either 'cause I had this problem on a PC too. I fill the box, count the lines that show up in the white post box and have 13...but then I find out that it was in need of trimming because it was too long. Again, Sorry! It's not deliberate, I promise!

Re. Osiris: He's anxious 'cause he's young. I consider myself to be young still, and sitting around waiting for anything makes me twitchy and moderately anxious. Plus, the character lives a life where he's on the edge of life and death daily fighting mutations. It's the anxiety of waiting for something that you don't know when, or even if, it's coming. But thanks for the idea of toning it down some. I was originally going for the frustrated and angry and annoyed (thus the multiple shots, not just one), perhaps I could specify that there was one shot, one kill and that the other shots were just venting...?

Re. NoTimeToThink: He used the gun 'cause it seems cooler...? Yes, he is very impatient. Contrary to the appearance above, he is quite talented with a gun...just not at the moment. Oxymoronic and contradictory, no?

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Member # 59

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starsin, I really don't mind. I recognize the possibility that someone may have a system that counts the space differently from my system, but I figure that as long as I keep it the same for everyone, it's all fair (or as fair as anything human can be fair).

So, please, don't feel that I am upset with you or anyone who posts "13 lines" I need to trim. It's all part of the "service."

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