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09:14 pm: Writing character clash stories


Date:March 16th, 2008 04:52 pm (UTC)
If you want to stick with playing the same solo as someone else as a reason to disagree with #5, let's stretch that example. You play forte where he plays a few bars pianissimo...he gets rave reviews and you lose your next gig and called out as an unimaginative hack (we're PRETENDING). You guys played the same solo! What happened?

Some redundancy is not the same as a clone. Even clones have their issues (watch City of Lost Children for a good example of clone rivalry. Each clone is made from the same person, but each is told he is the original. Hijinks ensue. In the foreign language section in most rental places because it's French).

Making one or two things the same between two characters doesn't say anything about their personality which is where real conflict can come in.

And as for a plausible reason for connection...I'm currently studying in the UK in a program that's 94% international students. I'm the only American. There's one American in the undergrad program attached to my master's program, and yes, we talk every time we see each other. We were automatically friendly toward one another because of that shared intangible connection (we are not only from the same state, but weirdly, from the same part of it).

Sameness gives you a conversation starter, if nothing else.
Date:March 17th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
I wasn't disagreeing with #5. In fact, I was agreeing that similarities give you at least a reason to remember someone. I just don't know exactly how often things do work out like that in real life.

Sure, that solo that we played actually did happen, and you could easily imagine us turning into deep dark rivals over something like that. (Especially since this guy also goes to my school and plays in three of the same bands as I do.) But how often does that actually happen? I know it doesn't have to be that similar, but the less similar you get, the less likely it is to be a connection. Would you know the other American as well if zie was from a whole different part of the country? If you could only share national similarities but not local stuff?

(I can't resist mentioning that my solo went better than his did.)
Date:March 21st, 2008 12:44 am (UTC)
(I can't resist mentioning that my solo went better than his did.)

Which is the root of the conflict created when two characters have a similarity.

Ever notice how in some stories, a bully or love interest or rival is formed with the Protag and it doesn't seem to make sense outside of the idea that they were magicly drawn to him/her?

Being of the same country in a foriegn land can keep two people talking to each other, even if not the same region! (How about them Giants?)

In Harry Potter (which come up first because there are so many kids) Harry crushes on girls that also love his sport, anyone that reminds him of his bulling cousin automaticlly annoys him (which provided a nice amount of dissonance when he discovered his father had been a bully) and things like inheirited appearances can make or break your relationship with others: If Harry had looked like his mother I doubt Snape would have hated him as much! :P

Repeating looks, attitudes, behaviors and the like allows even the noblest characters to prejudge as humans do. It also explains why peolpe bother to be friends with, love, admire or plain pay attention to the Protag without resorting to lazy Author Gravitation.
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