Which came first: the characters or the story?

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Re: Which came first: the characters or the story?

Post by DATo » 11 Feb 2015, 08:17

I think the seed of a story can be the result of one or many influences. It can be a character, a personal experience, an event or story assimilated though conversations with family or friends or any combination of these things. I would go in just the opposite direction of your friend: I would conceive the story and then create the characters in such a way as to make them compatible with the story I wish to tell. I imagine the role of the character that needs to be filled and then fit the description to the role.
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Post by Alexavier-Taiga » 16 Feb 2015, 05:15

I hate planning, so I usually create a few characters and a very basic plot like, but I like to let the characters develop as I write, and tat will depend how the story changes. Some times the characters turn out completely different to how I had originally intense them too, and I like to see them grow. I care more about the character than I do about the plot.
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Post by Michael Randold » 17 Feb 2015, 10:38

Yup, I do fairly much the same thing. I have a large cast of characters, each has their personalities and traits and then I think of a story line and implant those characters inside and go. I mostly use real life people I have known in my past to help me get ideas for each character. So for instance, I knew these two guys who where constantly flipping quarters, whoever won the toss, won the others quarter, etc. If they weren't doing this, they were hosting a card game in the barracks. You get the idea, these two clowns gambled as a pastime like other people chat.

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Post by donaldwolford » 18 Feb 2015, 20:01

Characters are at the heart of any good story. After all people feel emotions.

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Post by CataclysmicKnight » 18 Feb 2015, 21:03

Despite the fact that I think characters are more important than the story itself (usually), I almost always think of the story first. Oddly, this even happens with making games! Story is just too fun!
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Post by Vivian Paschal » 18 Jun 2017, 03:18

It all depends really. Sometimes, a character pops up in my head. I just leave the character there till I can find a story to fit in. Sometimes, the story comes first and I create characters to fit in. In my favourite self-written story, the character came in a dream and she was hiding. I formed the story around her and developed it into a series.

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Post by JFrancis » 22 Jun 2017, 08:34

My characters often come first. I tend to allow them to simmer in the back of my mind. Right now, I have a female character that is forming herself in my mind. When they are ready, they tend to start "telling" me their stories. I think that this one is going to have an interesting story. I find that my characters often lead me. It's not about me leading them, but about simply writing their stories.

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Post by Darakhshan Nazir » 25 Jun 2017, 04:20

story comes first then you plot in characters , that's what I think .... But it could be opposite , it depends upon writer's creative mind .
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Post by dragonet07 » 26 Jun 2017, 16:15

It's different for all writers and can even vary from story to story. Sometimes characters or flashes of characters appear to me first with the plot following soon after, other times the plot comes first, and still others a theme or a setting comes first. There are also times when I want to experiment with a form or point of view and a story emerges from that. One of the stories for my end-of-year portfolio for my Master's program came from wanting to experiment with flash fiction and another came from experimenting with second person POV. You can't really assume that all your stories will start the same way. Even if you most often plan for them to start a certain way, someday a story will surprise you by starting in a manner you've never tried before. The only constant is writing is that you can't count on things being consistent.
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Post by Julez » 12 Jul 2017, 16:26

It differs with each writer. For some, the creation of characters birth the story and the reverse is the case for other writers. You just need to find what works best for you.

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Post by Gifty Naa Akushia » 11 Oct 2017, 11:27

Personally I think the story comes first then the characters are developed based on the story however, there may be few instances where a particular character may catch the attention of a writer and then later a story may follow.

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Post by eelavahs-jay » 16 Oct 2017, 09:02

Sometimes ideas come first in the form of stories and sometimes in the form of characters. I'm working on a stand-alone psychological thriller and the story came to me way before the characters did. However for my fantasy series it was the idea for an antagonist that came first. So I'd say it varies.

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Post by Morgan Jones » 12 Jun 2018, 14:49

Sometimes I watch a character from a movie or a book and it inspires a story line. Othertimes, find a storyline so interesting that I start to create characters that could fit into a similar plotline, before adding my own touches to the story of course. It really goea either way with me.
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Post by Sushan » Yesterday, 13:25

For a book series I think there should be definitely a character or set of characters in the mind of the author. For a stand alone fiction, it is author's choice to have story first or characters first
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