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Author Topic: Relatable characters  (Read 778 times)

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Offline Hikari

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Relatable characters
« on: April 15, 2014, 12:21:51 AM »
I think that this is one of the things that I really struggle with the most. Making characters relatable is one of the main things to focus on in order to make a great manga. For some reason I really cant make them relatable, take Katsumi Hitoshi from my series Chains... hes a theif and is aiming to become a ruler of one of the 4 corners of the country. I really cant think of anything that would make him relatable. There are great series like fullmetal alchemist that have relatable main characters (Edward Elric is relatable because he just wants to help his brother because he wanted to bring back his motjer from the dead) and I just know that I need to find some trick to this

Offline Lumaria

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Re: Relatable characters
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2014, 01:05:03 AM »
The thing is that not all characters need to be completely relatable. some characters are going to have obscure and mysterious thought processes, and thats good. but so long as that others accept that its weird or odd.

Take a look at serial killers, their real people but they aren't considerably normal through common society. No matter how well they orchestrate their thoughts, what they do and how they think might be considered odd. But, if we look into their past, we can see why they are the way they are.

For these type of characters who don't have a relatable "personality" perhaps they can have a past that makes us understand why they are the way they are.

ALSO make sure that no matter how odd his or her personality it, its at least "consistent". the character with the odd thought process might hate cats like crazy in one chapter, but he shouldn't love them and leave the excuse that he has a weird personality. no thats now a mental issue.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 01:08:08 AM by Lorenx1 »
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Offline Nairbons

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Re: Relatable characters
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2014, 01:25:38 AM »
Yeah, you don't have to have your protagonist be a blank, audience surrogate type of person to make them relatable. Just give them a struggle. Something that they strive for, and an obstacle to overcome. The structure of what people need for a protagonist is pretty loose. Just try to find a happy medium between hyper-capable Ubermensch and a walked-on doormat. Too far one direction, and you've got a Mary Sue. Too far in the other direction, and you've crossed the absolute threshold for pity.

Just establish your character with a bit of empathy. He doesn't have to be relatable, he just needs to be someone that the audience can root for.

As for your thief man, his character (and subsequent journey) are going to depend a lot on how his (possible) rise to power plays out. It'd be helpful for you to know beforehand if this is a rags-to-riches story, or if your just playing out the "pride that cometh before the fall" tragedy. Think about the whole plot with all of it's context when you're writing your protagonist. It'll be the difference between making him Alladin or Walter White.

Offline Lumaria

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Re: Relatable characters
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2014, 01:33:09 AM »
As for the lead character,i dont tihnk you have too much of a issue on where he stands socially, but where he is in society could influence who he is personally.

f he's a kid with bad grades, he could be depressed or feel low of himself (in Japan).

If he's a kid with high grades, he must be focused on them.

if he's a very social person, he probably wants to find balance.

whatever is happening around him could affect his personality.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 01:43:38 AM by Lorenx1 »
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Offline Hikari

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Re: Relatable characters
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2014, 09:37:12 AM »
I see. Well from what I read I think I might have a good idea for it, thanks for the advice Loren-senpai, nairbons-senpai  :D

Offline legomaestro

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Re: Relatable characters
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2014, 05:51:57 PM »
Shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and True Detective had great relatable characters (especially Breaking Bad). It's hard to relate to 1. Super powered ninja facing a demon king and easier to relate to a 2. School boy with a crush on a girl and failing to confess

Offline Coryn

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Re: Relatable characters
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2014, 06:09:32 PM »
well, for the record, I'm pretty sure if you get bad grades you can still feel depressed or have low self esteem, regardless of where you live, not just japan.


For making your characters relatable, then there's a six letter word that serves as a pretty good shortcut.

Faults


Give a character a good fault, and it humanizes them, makes them more real. like the others said, the character doesn't have to be a surrogate for the reader, they just have to be relatable, ie human. humans are full of faults of one form or another. everybody has em. if you make a character perfect, then there's nothing human about them to latch onto.

of course don't go too far with it. choose character faults wisely, and don't bring them up too often. too much and it starts to feel like your playing the pity card, or worse, a character's faults come to define them. you could go for that sometimes, but make sure it's on purpose.

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Offline Lumaria

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Re: Relatable characters
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2014, 07:05:09 PM »
it was just an example. although grades do matter a significantly more to the adolescents in japan. some even take it when their in elementary, but thats also more strict in other countries such as korea and china.

all i'm saying is where he stands socially could affect his type of personality as well.
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Offline Hikari

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Re: Relatable characters
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2014, 07:43:13 PM »
Yeah. Im gonna try and make his reasons be based on social standings and views on society and since its set in japan itll fit in pretty well