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 Posting a reply to post #4609

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4609 No.4609
Figured I'd ask your opinions on the matter, to gain perspective on a problem I have.

The basics is this:
I have a character, who has been bloating quite a bit recently and I came upon the idea of splitting her in two. This of course has both beneficial and negative sides to it, of which I will give my impression of.

Practically what I would do, is to take certain aspects of this character(sexuality and sensuality in general, cruelty, treachery, love, political intrigue) and splinter them off, affixing them to the sister of the character(which would be a completely new character). In essence, this would allow me to concentrate more on the defining characteristics of each of these new characters, and it would allow me to make them butt heads and interact together.

The off-side is, as I see it, that the original character would become more shallow. Now, being too bloated on character is a bad thing, but being too singular and uniform is bad too. If most or all aspects of a certain category are the domain of just one of them, it feels in comparison that the original character has been drained of some personality, and is a lot more superficial.

I should hope on any advice or insight, no matter how trivial, both for my and the board's sake. Even if I completely disagree on what one of you has to say, it might give me inspiration on what I should decide to do.

Thanks in advance to any and all responses.

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Without more specifics in regards to your work, I'd ask two questions.

1) Do I need a new character? Will it further my narrative to have an additional major character? Could this be solved by my just editing out the bloated aspects, perhaps saving them for later?

2) If so, what is replacing the aspects of the original? Does the sensual hedonist become a prude? Is she just not as vocal about it?

I dunno, honestly, developing a new character as a sort of bank for another character's traits seems counter productive; its an unnatural way to create the character, and it makes a character who's purpose is to take some spotlight off of interacting heavily with her.

Generally your characters are going to be a bit bloated, because people are big fat balls of contradictions, passions, opinions, and other diseases. The narrative is there to smack you on the knuckles when showing off a character's traits gets too gratuitous; for example, a whole chapter on how liberated and sexy Susie is when it would be just as easy to add an element of sensuality to her movements and dialogue while still following the plot you originally set up.

The latter not only means less tldr and "*eyeroll* Great, a Sue.", but is a more natural way for the reader to discover things about the character.

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I will try to analyze the situation in the light of your suggestions:

I am not certain if a new character is needed as such. Certainly the old singular character is enough for her purpose, but I am thinking that the new character might add a bunch of stuff to the story. Of course, the character is not just a chunk out of the original character, but quickly evolved to it's own character, albeit very heavily influenced by the chunks from the original one.

I suppose I should have given concrete examples on the differences of the choices(genre would be fantasy, character holds a position similar to princess/queen):

One character:
Most of the time in control of her emotions, but prone to fits of rage in issues regarding abuse of her nation, people or brother. Very cruel to her enemies and lovers, for even the smallest of reasons, but passively, only reacting to situations, instead of actively pursuing cruelty. A very fiery relationship with her lovers. If nothing is amiss, she is quite pleasant. Wears practical garb much of the time, but enjoys a more decadent way of clothing every now and then in parties and official situations. Plots both politically and militaristically to further her agenda. Relationship with brother best described as obsessed.

Two characters:
She is more disciplined, stoic, wears plain clothes whenever possible, is shyer and inexperienced in matters of love. Protective of her people, yet harsh to enemies. Relationship with brother best described as protective.

Her sister is more religious minded, loves playing mind-games with others, wears luxurious and provocative clothes, is actively cruel to servants and lovers alike. Relationship with brother best described as incestous.

As it is a work-in-progress, things are prone to change, and probably bloat even more.

Criticism is welcome as well, of course. I will try to objectively ponder on any received.

Sounds like the nice sister and the mean sister, a bit. Are they just naturally different, or were they raised differently?

It really isn't as clear as the nice sister and mean sister. More like the straightforward one and the cunning one.

Part of the reason why the other sister is more straightforward is, that she had to take care of all the business of the kingdom, when their father's insanity grew too bad. The other sister on the other hand was raised more to be a priestess to their god, so she had less to do with direct things and more with subtle ones. The older sister(the straightforward one) didn't have as much time to devote to things she wanted, so she grew more focused and doesn't have much knowledge of matters outside her expertise. The younger one's education was much freer and as such she had time to delve into matters as she pleased, and had less responsibilities.

While the older sister is mostly nice to her people, she is quite terrible to her enemies. Burning a whole village and hanging all the inhabitants, including children isn't much of a problem to her, so long as they are under the rule of one who she feels has wronged her(or her nation).

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