Investment; Conveying Characterization

edited February 2018 in The Walking Dead
Formerly "But he makes up for it with enthusiasm: How do you base your investment?"

Throughout the existence of the Walking Dead, it's not hard to notice that sometimes different characters have different ideas of morality and pragmatism that they operate by. And by extension, that extends to we, the viewers, as we love or hate characters based on our personal preferences. So, in order to exchange insight into our respective set of standards, I will bestow this thread to allowing each of us to express ourselves in however manner we see fit.

First off, what kinds of qualities you like/dislike about certain characters and maybe even suggest how your preferences can be used to create interesting characters in the future.

Here are a few examples of concepts that can be used to express said preferences: Morality, Power, Sympathy, Intelligence, Likability, Passion, Interdependence, Consistency, Complexity, etc.

Feel free to post suggestions of things that can be talked about, ask questions relating to what other people think, or even write minor critiques for discussion of your own!

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Comments

  • Here is how I rank my characters in terms of sympathy:

    • Innocents, Bystanders, and VoC's
    • Heroes and Defectors
    • Neutrals and Antivillains
    • Jerks and Antiheroes
    • Villains and Fallen
    • Monsters Oppressors and Psychopaths
  • Still awaiting your rewrite of the Jane flashback.

  • My investment of a character depends on

    Motivation: What drives the character and to what goal.
    Past: Where did they come from now that we know their motivation.
    Morality: Are they so driven that they would do horrible things to reach their goals...what kind of person are we dealing with

    These 3 things are the pillars that you build a character on. Allow me to demo a character

    Gretchen Allison Apple
    Age :19

    Past: Raped at age 15, left for dead by her assailant she survived and was unable to describe the man. Since then every day is a struggle with depression and the fear of being hurt again. Before the incident she was into track and field, her room has many dust covered trophies as silent reminders of a life she left behind.

    Motivation: Rebuilding her life and overcoming her fears.

    Morality: Gretchen was a troubled child even before the incident. Her parents divorced when she was 10, she blamed her mother. Her interest in track was partially to keep her away from her mother more. Gretchen is at heart a good person, living her life in fear she is slow to trust and hates being touched. Soft spoken, she is a perfect wall flower if only she could have the will to go to a party or celebration.

    These 3 things tell us the info we need....every other detail rests on the foundation of these 3 pillars.

  • Yeah, unfortunately I got class everyday of the week now, so who knows when I'll get around to it.

    Still awaiting your rewrite of the Jane flashback.

  • Ok

    DabigRG posted: »

    Yeah, unfortunately I got class everyday of the week now, so who knows when I'll get around to it.

  • I will at least say that I had actually thought through certain aspects before you asked.

    Ok

  • I root for the underdogs, even if they're most likely to fail.

  • All hail the underdog...even when Jason catches them we celibrate.

    dojo32161 posted: »

    I root for the underdogs, even if they're most likely to fail.

  • Is it bad that my first question was gonna be "Where are the zombies?"

    But seriously, this is an...interesting example, all things considered.

    My investment of a character depends on Motivation: What drives the character and to what goal. Past: Where did they come from

  • Likability and sympathy. That's all.

  • If you know a character's motivation and past and morality...that breeds understanding. Understanding breeds investment.

    DabigRG posted: »

    Is it bad that my first question was gonna be "Where are the zombies?" But seriously, this is an...interesting example, all things considered.

  • edited January 2017

    Raped at age 15, left for dead by her assailant

    Jesus Christ

    My investment of a character depends on Motivation: What drives the character and to what goal. Past: Where did they come from

  • Yeah, I know right? I deliberately avoid commenting on that myself because of the awkwardness involved.

    Raped at age 15, left for dead by her assailant Jesus Christ

  • Sound simple and clean.

    Likability and sympathy. That's all.

  • edited January 2017

    Oh, and intentions. If someone had good reasons if they did something wrong, I don't hate them.

    For instance, Ben. He sold those drugs to those bandits because he wanted to save his people. It turned out to be a clusterfuck, but he still had his reasons.

    Another example would be Nick. He killed Matthew because he thought he was gonna shoot Clem and Luke. I mean, sure, he was being too hasty, but he did what he thought was right. Even if he didn't know Matthew wasn't gonna do anything, he still did it to protect his friends.

    I can respect that.

    DabigRG posted: »

    Sound simple and clean.

  • edited January 2017

    So I was rewatching Avatar The last airbender cartoon, until I stumbled upon this;

    enter image description here

    This is the lead writer's, Aaron Ehasz, notes; on how characters should and should not act like in stories.I mean hey if this guy managed to pull off a good develop characters ("Hi Zuko Here") then they should think and work on their level.

    It wouldn't kill ya to do some research Telltale.

    Edit: also found notes about "push story"... ? I don't know what that means. Maybe if you are rushing, this is how it's gonna end up...

  • Give a well-written character as little as five minutes of screen-time and I will sympathize with them and understand their behavior.

  • edited January 2017

    I simply ask that a character is believable and has a form somewhere of relatability.

    Perhaps why no one in A New Frontier is even remotely likable. Designing a character entirely around trying to appease our frivolous morality complex is insulting to me, I want to see faults and distinctions beyond just merely a character smoking hash and being a clueless asshole.

  • Remember Azula?

    enter image description here

    One of the main villains, and yet by the end of the show came off extremely sympathetic because of her need for power and all the pressure she felt as a child. It was relatable, interesting, and distinctive because it could happen to anyone in a large amount of power to fall under those temptations. It, of course, drove her to madness and made me genuinely sad.

    But hold on, A New Frontier has a guy who grabs a child out of nowhere and threatens to kill him if you don't go along with his plan to sacrifice another child to a horrible fate cause fuck subtlety.

    TheMPerson posted: »

    So I was rewatching Avatar The last airbender cartoon, until I stumbled upon this; This is the lead writer's, Aaron Ehasz,

  • edited January 2017

    Yeah... too bad they ruin her character in the comics. Oh God she acts there like she broke out of a asylum.

    But hold on, A New Frontier has a guy who grabs a child out of nowhere and threatens to kill him if you don't go along with his plan to sacrifice another child to a horrible fate cause fuck subtlety.

    Yeah because it's totally your fault his wife's died for some reason. How can I not submit to this poor guy's needs?

    Remember Azula? One of the main villains, and yet by the end of the show came off extremely sympathetic because of her need

  • edited January 2017

    Yeah... too bad they ruin her character in the comics. Oh God she acts there like she broke out of a asylum.

    Aw, what the fuck?

    That sucks. She had so much depth and was actually interesting...

    Yeah because it's totally your fault his wife's died for some reason. How can I not submit to this poor guy's needs?

    Duh. He was a good man... just with a gun shoved into a teens head almost entirely unprovoked and with little build up to the confrontation.

    TheMPerson posted: »

    Yeah... too bad they ruin her character in the comics. Oh God she acts there like she broke out of a asylum. But hold on, A

  • Yeah, that makes sense. Its one of the reasons Clementine used to be special.

    dojo32161 posted: »

    I root for the underdogs, even if they're most likely to fail.

  • Agreed. As long as those good intentions don't encourage them to repeatedly/intentionally do things to harm innocents and especially their allies, I tend to give them a pass.

    Oh, and intentions. If someone had good reasons if they did something wrong, I don't hate them. For instance, Ben. He sold thos

  • Oh God she acts there like she broke out of a asylum.

    Isn't that basically the gist of it, minus the breakout part? Also, does she come back after The Search because that's the only one I read specifically because she and Ursa's backstory were involved?

    TheMPerson posted: »

    Yeah... too bad they ruin her character in the comics. Oh God she acts there like she broke out of a asylum. But hold on, A

  • I want to see faults and distinctions

    Well, if you don't mind, can you give an example?

    I simply ask that a character is believable and has a form somewhere of relatability. Perhaps why no one in A New Frontier is e

  • edited January 2017

    Isn't that basically the gist of it, minus the breakout part?

    enter image description here
    enter image description here
    enter image description here

    Also, does she come back after The Search because that's the only one I read specifically because she and Ursa's backstory were involved?

    man I don't know, I think she just escapes into the wilderness (the comic was on /co/ before the thread closed) I stopped reading the comics because the artist does a poor job drawing the characters expressions (like when someone's shocked it's always wide eyed and open mouth, and it's almost drawn the same way), and the shipping... god damn the shipping.

    DabigRG posted: »

    Oh God she acts there like she broke out of a asylum. Isn't that basically the gist of it, minus the breakout part? Also,

  • enter image description here
    That last panel looks off somehow.

    the shipping... god damn the shipping.

    Is it really that bad? Cause Aang and Katara & Zuko and Mai were pretty clearly gonna hitch after the last episode. Plus, Legend of Korra is a thing.

    TheMPerson posted: »

    Isn't that basically the gist of it, minus the breakout part? Also, does she come back after The Search because

  • I care about characters that are moral or at least somewhat relatable. It's easy for me to like a character that has some sort of moral code that they won't compromise.

  • Lee Everett.

    DabigRG posted: »

    I want to see faults and distinctions Well, if you don't mind, can you give an example?

  • I was gonna say cheating, but he does have a pretty solidified characterization, so he'll work. I was expecting examples of the character's faults and distinctions, though.

    Lee Everett.

  • I care about characters when I can see and understand their reason for doing things. Really simple as that.

  • Is it really that bad? Cause Aang and Katara & Zuko and Mai were pretty clearly gonna hitch after the last episode.

    Yes, for some reason there has to be ships, like Katara's and Sokka's dad for some reason has to be shipped with someone. Mai and Zukeo aren't a thing anymore, Suki and Zuko might be.

    Plus, Legend of Korra is a thing.

    Korra doesn't exist to me, that show that butchered the original with steampunk generation with steam-cars and radios (?!), and that queer-baiting at the end. Aaron Ehasz wanted to do the Gaang in a few years and ho are they fixing the damage from the war series, instead we got Whorra.

    DabigRG posted: »

    That last panel looks off somehow. the shipping... god damn the shipping. Is it really that bad? Cause Aang and Katara & Zuko and Mai were pretty clearly gonna hitch after the last episode. Plus, Legend of Korra is a thing.

  • There are things that make me care about a fictional character, these are:

    • How Believable They Are: So often, I see characters that I feel like "How the hell did they make it here? And how do they fit into all of this?", these are characters that feel so out of place in comparison to the world around them, they feel as if they don't belong in the current narrative and have a big disconnect between the events that led to their involvement in the story and their current state that they are in.
      This problem is essentially prominent in most apocalyptic stories where they have that "badass" guy that is willing to kill everybody in his way just to show how powerful and "badass" he/she is, they also are very charismatic and intelligent just out of the blue, can crack a joke or two every once in a while (even if the situation they are in is completely not appropriate for it) and are just "flawless" in essentially every way possible, that' it, they don't explain how they became that way and why they are even like that, and so you have a character that is generally unrelatable, unlikable and completely irrelevant to the story.

    • Motivation and Goal/s: Every character has to have a goal that they're trying to reach in their story that isn't just the main goal of the plot, that way you can have a reason for caring about that character and not just treat them as "excess baggage", otherwise, why have so many characters in your story if they are not going to play any important role in it?
      Their actions also have to be motivated by a believable reason and not just because they felt like it, that also leads to one of the biggest problems in story telling which is characters behaving out-of-character, a character's motivations should be consistent and true to who they are throughout the whole story.

    • Relevance To The Story: You can't just ask people to care about a certain character if they are not related to the current plot of the story, and so if that character dies or something bad happens to him, unless it's intentional and is serving the character and the story well in another indirect way.

    • A Good End To Their Story: And that's an issue that many well written characters fall into, they start out good and become even better throughout the story, but then have that all be destroyed at the end by either acting very opposite to who they are or leave the story in a very underwhelming way, and it can really ruin a good character for me.

    • Overall Character Development: For a character to be believable, he/she has to have changed (whether drastically or not) over the course of their whole story, and the best way to see that is to take that character at the beginning of their story and compare them to how they've become at the end of it and feel like you're looking at two different people, that way I can know whether a character was well developed or not, or if they were even developed.

    That's how I feel an interesting and intriguing character should be, there are also things like relatibility and likability, but I don't think they are very necessary to make an interesting character because an interesting doesn't need to be relatable nor likable to be interesting.

  • And investment breeds Rashid and Vanessa.

    If you know a character's motivation and past and morality...that breeds understanding. Understanding breeds investment.

  • Yes, for some reason there has to be ships, like Katara's and Sokka's dad for some reason has to be shipped with someone.

    ...K. Widowers need love too, I guess.

    Mai and Zukeo aren't a thing anymore, Suki and Zuko might be.

    The fuck?! You mean that wasn't a fan joke?

    TheMPerson posted: »

    Is it really that bad? Cause Aang and Katara & Zuko and Mai were pretty clearly gonna hitch after the last episode. Ye

  • For the sake of following up on this post, here is my overall list:

    Innocents Bystanders and VoC's
    Clementine(Season1), Sandra, Katjaa, Duck, Doug, Irene, B Everett, Ben Paul, Mr. David Parker, Boyd, Joyce(initially), Clive(initially), Jean, Sarah(Never made official transition to Hero unfortunately), Matthew, Reggie, Arvo(initially), Natasha, Patricia(by default), Gil(by default), Jaja Garcia, Rafa Garcia, Hector Garcia, Kate, Mariana, Francine,

    Heroes and Defectors
    Lee Everett, Clementine, Shawn Greene, Hershel Greene(Don't watch show), Kenny(at absolute best), Carley, Glenn, Mark, Ben Paul(No Time Left), Christa, Omid, Chuck(averages out here), Molly, Brie(averages out here), Vince, Eddie, Russell(averages out here), Bonnie, Leland, Shel, Stephanie, Luke, Peter Joseph Randall, Alvin, Rebecca(averages out here), Dr. Carlos, Walter, Sarita, Mike, Javier Garcia, Gabriel Gabe, Tripp, Elinor, Conrad(initially), Edith,

    Neutrals and Antivillains
    Old Cop, Kenny(at times), Lilly, Ben Paul(at times), Travis(averages out here), Brenda St. John, Jolene, Christa(at times), Vernon, Joyce, Clive, Dr. Logan, The Stranger, Vince(at times), Danny the Prisoner, Officer Bennett, Clyde, Wyatt, Walt(averages out here), Jane(at times), Bonnie(at times), Dee, Roman, Stephanie(at worst), Tavia, Nick(initially), Dr. Carlos(at times), Mike(at times), Hank, Arvo, Randy, Conrad, David Garcia, Max, Ava, Paul Jesus Monroe(Don't read comic),

    Jerks and Antiheroes
    ScumbagLee, EdgyClementine(averages out here unfortunately), Kenny, Lilly(at times, Long Road Ohead), Larry, Justin(averages out here unfortunately), Jerry, Becca, Jane(initially), Michelle(averages), Victor(averages out here), Rebecca(initially), Buricko(at best),
    Eli,

    Villains and Fallen
    Kenny(No Going Back, only here for distinction sake), Andy St. John(at worst), The Stranger(at worst), Marcus Crabtree, Nate(averaged out here, initially), Roberto, "Ralph," Jane, Troy(averages out here), Vitali(averages out here)

    Monsters Oppressors and Psychopaths
    William Bill Carver, Danny St. John, Nate, Oberson Crawford, Randall, Badger, Save Lots Bandits, Winston

    DabigRG posted: »

    Here is how I rank my characters in terms of sympathy: * Innocents, Bystanders, and VoC's * Heroes and Defectors * Neutrals and Antivillains * Jerks and Antiheroes * Villains and Fallen * Monsters Oppressors and Psychopaths

  • Relatable is why marvel destroys DC.

    Superman sucks. So does the flash and every other goody two shoes DC throws out. Give me a flawed super hero like tony stark every time.

    I like him because I could be him.

    I could never be superman because I'm not perfect.

    TheMPerson posted: »

    So I was rewatching Avatar The last airbender cartoon, until I stumbled upon this; This is the lead writer's, Aaron Ehasz,

  • Okay, so to fulfill the requests of my personal preferences, I will try to elaborate a bit on some of the things that make a character(might go into more detail when I get the time):

    • Insight as to how the character's motivations or hints as to the character's origins it affects their actions(Jolene, Stranger, Bonnie)

    • Understanding of the character's situation affects them, particularly if it's a matter of circumstances beyond their control and they're in over their head. (Cancer Group,Sarah, Greg)

    • Trying to do the right thing even when things don't work out for them(Ben, Luke, Reggie)

    • That the character is trying to achieve a noble end, such as keeping others safe, utilizing their skills to the benefit of others, or even self-improvement(Lilly, Vernon,Gabe)

    • With villains or jerk characters, what really kinda grabs me is the sense that these were just regular people who are/were in danger of losing something they care about, retain some semblance of decency that could be tapped to redeem them, and may not be that different from the main characters(Larry, Michelle, Arvo)

    • Sometimes, there's a point where a character just has to take a stand for what they believe in and spend their time looking out for someone else(Russell, Sarita, Mike)

    • However, there are a few characters that catch my interest just by showing up and existing(Ava)

  • What traits/details/whatever did the Season One characters have that each Season Two character had and didn't have?

    Actually, since I have the TV Tropes Character Page booted up, I'll list some things by air and ya'll can agree, disagree, elaborate, or whatever.

    Demeanor
    Family
    Job
    Hobby
    Skill
    Flaw

  • I understand you're entitled to your own opinion but if I may, I don't believe Nate compares to the depravity committed by Crawford or the Bandits or anyone else on this list. I agree he certainly has his villainous moments of asshole ness however you have to look at it for what it is. Nate chased down Wyatt and Eddie for what is said to be vengeance after Eddie shot his friend for no reason. He also saves Russell's life (twice, determinate).

    DabigRG posted: »

    For the sake of following up on this post, here is my overall list: Innocents Bystanders and VoC's Clementine(Season1), Sandra

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