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Old September 24 2013, 08:08 PM   #18
David.Blue
Lieutenant Commander
 
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Re: What Kinds of Characters?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
David.Blue wrote:
For example, C.E.Evans gave a very brief list of the senior positions aboard a ship. I'd suggest giving each of his characters a name,
I intentionally didn't give any of my characters a name nor an ethnicity other than human or alien for brevity's sake (I'm not writing an actual fanfic here, just some basic character ideas--further details to be filled in later).
Understood! I was suggesting names for the purposes of the thought exercise of shifting up their positions aboard ship.

Another trick I've found--combining two not-quite-working character ideas together to create a much more interesting whole. To give a notion what I mean--Geordi LaForge remains a total cypher to me. Even after years of watching him on television and movies he almost never came across as a real person. I had a similar problem with Tasha Yar, and can hardly blame Ms. Crosby for bailing on such a pale shadow of a character. Yet her backstory, what we knew of it, seemed really cool!

Suppose their two concepts were merged. Call the new character Georgia Yar--exile from a failed colony that dissolved into social chaos. Suddenly we have a sense of why she left what must have been her home. Blindness. One can imagine things got so bad the elderly, weak and disabled began to be seen as legitimate targets. Cutting off all ties to her family, this blind girl manages to join a group of refugees one step ahead of the Culling Mobs. She arrives in the Federation, a strange new world that gives her a VISOR and then finds a home in Starfleet where her bone-deep survival skills and habitual paranoia fit in with Security. Not an easy-going type at all, but does enjoy the android Data's company, not least because she understands his total lack of secret agendas as well as the feeling that around him she's the one most human. She even finds herself joining him in the holodeck, exploring human literature to become slightly more socialized.

Voila! Frankly I prefer her to either character we actually got. But your mileage may vary. Offered as a possible way to make two characters who don't quite click into one really interesting one. Note: One translator of Cyrano de Bergerac did something similar with the roles of the Captain and LeBret. It is not an uncommon thing to do in productions of that play.
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