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I need help with writing a character.

I need help with writing a character, I have this character who's like Kirk style character but a bit too forceful to quite make it work (in-universe that is).

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  • duncanidaho11duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,612 Arc User
    edited February 2018
    Where exactly is the trouble? For me when I find writing a character difficult it's usually indicative of a problem with their perceived role in the mission. They should be doing X, but as I write they're doing Y (or nothing at all.) The remedy could be anywhere between rephrasing their dialog to cutting them entirely from the missions (with any amount of smaller updates and individual dialog cuts in between.)

    If it's just getting a feel for a forceful, Kirk style character...consider re-watching the original series to see how that character operated moment to moment and across the arc of an episode. Try to separate your impressions of Kirk (and any pop-culture attenuations. Ex. Kirk as a simple jock) from the literal story telling mechanics you see in the episode (so you can understand how impressions come about and how you might try to create them yourself.)
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  • spiritbornspiritborn Member Posts: 3,414 Arc User
    Where exactly is the trouble? For me when I find writing a character difficult it's usually indicative of a problem with their perceived role in the mission. They should be doing X, but as I write they're doing Y (or nothing at all.) The remedy could be anywhere between rephrasing their dialog to cutting them entirely from the missions (with any amount of smaller updates and individual dialog cuts in between.)

    If it's just getting a feel for a forceful, Kirk style character...consider re-watching the original series to see how that character operated moment to moment and across the arc of an episode. Try to separate your impressions of Kirk (and any pop-culture attenuations. Ex. Kirk as a simple jock) from the literal story telling mechanics you see in the episode (so you can understand how impressions come about and how you might try to create them yourself.)
    My problem is more linguistic then story, essentially I'd need a native speaker (of english) to check my dialogue to see if it flows as intended and doesn't come of as clunky or forced.

    I got character feeling right in my head but my grammar isn't and a character like this relies on the sentences having the intended effect.
  • thegreendragoon1thegreendragoon1 Member Posts: 1,872 Arc User
    spiritborn wrote: »
    My problem is more linguistic then story, essentially I'd need a native speaker (of english) to check my dialogue to see if it flows as intended and doesn't come of as clunky or forced.

    I got character feeling right in my head but my grammar isn't and a character like this relies on the sentences having the intended effect.

    For the record, I've never had any issue with your English. But I can appreciate the subtly that would separate Kirk from say Picard.

    A lot of the dialog of TOS is a product of the 60s. It's less cerebral and formal than the TNG-era stuff. Kirk specifically is constantly thinking on his feet and tends to bounce between a a direct, cut-through-the-nonsense presence and a more confident, charismatic approach. There's also a health dash of Shakespearean acting thrown in there, especially when he's monologing. That's where the famous Shatner pauses come from.

    If you want to give use some sample dialog, we'll be happy to offer any pointers.
  • spiritbornspiritborn Member Posts: 3,414 Arc User
    First off sorry for the pic spam but I thought it might be best to show this in game rather then as plain text.
    cr5WwNK.jpg
    3j1KHSw.jpg
    CRiEHoq.jpg
    zxTGsvi.jpg
    wmt8T8h.jpg
    HTfON79.jpg

    note that this is an optional conversation, oh and you might recognize the map ;)

    EDIT:Ignore the the chat I forgot to hide it when I took these pics.
  • thegreendragoon1thegreendragoon1 Member Posts: 1,872 Arc User
    Okay, I went through and did a bit of massaging with the dialog. I think only one or two words were incorrect. Most of what I changed was just fixing up grammar and massaging the terminology here and there to give it a bit more "Star Trek" tone. (I actually had to break out the Thesaurus to find the word ascetic. :p )
    Oh come on, it'll be fun. Besides, you look like you need to relax.
    The answer is still no. I have duties to preform and so do you. Focus on the mission.

    Ugh...I can't understand how someone like you even made captain.
    I guess Starfleet recognized my abilities...unlike you. My record speaks for itself.
    Yes, it does indeed.

    For every commendation you've received, you've also been reprimanded for risking your crew and ship. All in an attempt to seek personal glory. Not to mention a certain first contact situation that almost ended phaser fight, all because you insisted on doing things yourself instead of leaving it to the experts.
    Oh...greetings, [Rank].

    You'll have to excuse us. My friend here can be a bit...shall we say, overly ascetic at times. I hope we didn't alarm you.
    If by "ascetic" you mean "doesn't disregard the likely possibility that we won't survive this mission," then you are correct.

    [Rank] [LastName], if I may be so bold as to ask, do you know anything about this mission?
  • spiritbornspiritborn Member Posts: 3,414 Arc User
    thanks btw what does "ascetic" mean really?
  • thegreendragoon1thegreendragoon1 Member Posts: 1,872 Arc User
    edited March 2018
    spiritborn wrote: »
    thanks btw what does "ascetic" mean really?

    Ascetic: Characterized by or suggesting the practice of severe self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence.

    It's a quality you might attribute to a monk, or someone who who intentionally abstains from any worldly pleasures. Your call on whether you think it fits in this situation.
  • spiritbornspiritborn Member Posts: 3,414 Arc User
    spiritborn wrote: »
    thanks btw what does "ascetic" mean really?

    Ascetic: Characterized by or suggesting the practice of severe self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence.

    It's a quality you might attribute to a monk, or someone who who intentionally abstains from any worldly pleasures. Your call on whether you think it fits in this situation.
    Ah so "askeettinen", I'm familiar with concept, though I wasn't familiar with english spelling of the word.

    While it doesn't describe the other captain that well (she's not raised by vulcans dispite being a prominent female human character of african desent, she's not african-american as she's not american), It does fit the "kirk-like" character to accuse of someone being like a monk (or like a nun in this case) if they're not as willing to indulge in the pleasures of the world like he does.

    I really need to figure out good names for those characters (well in addition of my other main characters).
  • thegreendragoon1thegreendragoon1 Member Posts: 1,872 Arc User
    spiritborn wrote: »
    Ah so "askeettinen", I'm familiar with concept, though I wasn't familiar with english spelling of the word.

    While it doesn't describe the other captain that well (she's not raised by vulcans dispite being a prominent female human character of african desent, she's not african-american as she's not american), It does fit the "kirk-like" character to accuse of someone being like a monk (or like a nun in this case) if they're not as willing to indulge in the pleasures of the world like he does.

    It's definitely an exaggeration used as an insult. Which of course makes the accusation come off as immature.
  • rickysmith1rickysmith1 Member Posts: 610 Arc User
    What I do is find a character in a movie or tv series that matches a character in my story and watch it repeatedly until I can write dialogue in their style.
    That is why I usually copy characters already in Star Trek; because I have watched it all a thousand times. :D
    STAR TREK CONTINUES
    Episode One - A Single Moment Episode Two - Infancy Episode Three - Unto the Breach
    Episode Four - Head Of A Needle Episode Five: The Duality of Men Episode Six - Redemption Earned
    Episode Seven - Shattered Universe Episode Eight - The Gepetto Condition Episode Nine - One Room, Two Officers
    Episode Ten - Beyond The Farthest Star Episode Eleven - It's OK, It Won't Hurt Episode Twelve - A Protracted Officer
    Episode Thirteen - Somewhen Episode Fourteen - The Boy Who Lived Episode Fifthteen - Empathy
  • solastriussolastrius Member Posts: 39 Arc User
    Not sure if it'll be helping, but advice is free so... why not offer some, since you asked?

    Imitation is a good place to start, but why not allow your character to grow way beyond being Kirk-like and into his own
    completely distinct non-Kirk personality? Don't tie yourself down to keeping your character conformed to a specific feel. Let it develop as it wants to and roll with it. Sometimes accidents turn out way better than what's originally intended, anyway.

    Your character has a troubling domineering streak? Good! Embrace it! Make it a serious, perhaps even a defining character-flaw that your character has to struggle with - even to make war against in order to just get along in life. Make the struggle relate-able though and grant him a couple of redeeming qualities to offset it, in order to make him more rounded and likable as well.

    Remember also that not all characters are static. Some are dynamic in nature, meaning that they actually change and grow throughout a story based upon the circumstances around them. A character that begins on the side of good can even end up a total villain and vice versa. Events can change people in unexpected ways, so not even the basic nature of a character has to be set like concrete and remain the same, let alone a personality trait that can be controlled and learned from.


    Just a few examples of some of the more dynamic Trek characters i can think of:

    1. Tom Paris (lost the chip on his shoulder and settled down)
    2. Wesley Crusher (everyone hated him, but he did change a lot - puberty probably accounted for a bit of that)
    3. Seven of Nine (obvious reasons)
    4. Nog on DS9
    5. Thomas Riker
    6. Worf's son Alexander
    7. Holographic doctor from Voyager
  • solastriussolastrius Member Posts: 39 Arc User
    As for simply getting the English grammar correct, ...you're probably way better off just listening to thegreendragoon1.
  • spiritbornspiritborn Member Posts: 3,414 Arc User
    solastrius wrote: »
    Not sure if it'll be helping, but advice is free so... why not offer some, since you asked?

    Imitation is a good place to start, but why not allow your character to grow way beyond being Kirk-like and into his own
    completely distinct non-Kirk personality? Don't tie yourself down to keeping your character conformed to a specific feel. Let it develop as it wants to and roll with it. Sometimes accidents turn out way better than what's originally intended, anyway.

    Your character has a troubling domineering streak? Good! Embrace it! Make it a serious, perhaps even a defining character-flaw that your character has to struggle with - even to make war against in order to just get along in life. Make the struggle relate-able though and grant him a couple of redeeming qualities to offset it, in order to make him more rounded and likable as well.

    Remember also that not all characters are static. Some are dynamic in nature, meaning that they actually change and grow throughout a story based upon the circumstances around them. A character that begins on the side of good can even end up a total villain and vice versa. Events can change people in unexpected ways, so not even the basic nature of a character has to be set like concrete and remain the same, let alone a personality trait that can be controlled and learned from.


    Just a few examples of some of the more dynamic Trek characters i can think of:

    1. Tom Paris (lost the chip on his shoulder and settled down)
    2. Wesley Crusher (everyone hated him, but he did change a lot - puberty probably accounted for a bit of that)
    3. Seven of Nine (obvious reasons)
    4. Nog on DS9
    5. Thomas Riker
    6. Worf's son Alexander
    7. Holographic doctor from Voyager
    While this is good advice the role of the character is to be considered too, this one is a minor character (while certainly he does have a large(ish) impact, he's like a minor 1-episode guest star if you want to compared it to the TV series.

    Also
    he dies during the mission due to his own glory seeking nearly ruining the mission starfleet was on in the process, and only with the cost of several starships is the mission salvaged somewhat

    But you'll have to trust me when I said any character I make is a product of careful consideration.
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