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  1. #31
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    Default Re: Character Ages?

    for me, i like my characters older than myself. maybe in their mid-twenties or so. sometimes late teens (16-18).

    even if they have had more experience than me, i've seen a lot of things that would make me understand more about adult-life, etc. it just all comes down to experience i guess.

  2. #32
    Registered User Shadow Victini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Character Ages?

    To be honest, it seems like a lot of people are so obsessed with the age 16. Seriously, nearly EVERYONE ups the age of non-16 characters to 16.
    That's why I like to troll the fandom and make my characters ten-fourteen. >:D
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  3. #33
    The last flutist Treemo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Character Ages?

    In my actual series I have planned out, their ages will actually vary. Personally, I enjoy writing characters that may be old enough to have started their own families. However, writing someone younger and horrifically breaking them down is always fun too.
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  4. #34
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    Default Re: Character Ages?

    Most of mine are teenagers, but I tend to avoid 16 for the same reason as Shadow Victini.
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  5. #35
    Registered User sperance's Avatar
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    Default Re: Character Ages?

    I tend to make them older than ten or eleven (that always bugged me) but never older than early twenties, basically because older than that would have responsabilities that he should abandon for ADVENTURE! I think I'm going to stick up to the 16 age thingy. I believe that most people are comfortable with it thanks to the shounen genere thing, and you don't feel as bad throwing dirt at them because they aren't as naÏve or immature as a ten years old, but young enough that their reactions can be hilarious (if you enjoy schadenfraude)

  6. #36
    Registered User Shadow Victini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Character Ages?

    I think what I don't like most is because sometimes people don't think realistically when they're going for a different age. For example, in one fic, some of the anime characters are five year olds, but they don't act like it. Please, is five-year-old anime Dawn REALLY going to hire a therapist for Paul? And is sixteen-year-old Ash Ketchum REALLY going to try and commit suicide because Misty fell for someone else, by taking sleeping pills while drinking VODKA? I'm not sixteen yet, so that's probably why I can relate better to people in their early teens better than I can a sixteen-year-old. Granted, I do have older people in my stories that are protagonists/rivals, and I do age characters, for example, the Kanto trio (Red, Blue and Leaf) are sixteen in a fic of mine, but they're not the main characters anyway, and it takes place roughly three years after the things in Johto anyways.
    Basically, people need to think realistically when writing for a certain age group. I find that they don't often. Or maybe there's just a tad too many high school fics on fanfiction.net for me to enjoy the characters as sixteen-year-olds any more.
    Although when I write ten-year-old goes on adventure fics, I make it so they're rather awkward and unsure at first, and they nearly always journey with another person, sometimes older than them, so they can get the hang of things.
    Now I'm talking too much, so I'll be quiet on the matter now.
    Last edited by Shadow Victini; 5th April 2012 at 06:27 AM. Reason: Deleted because I was embarassed. For no apparent reason.
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  7. #37
    Let's get funky! Gama's Avatar Former Head Administrator
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    Default Re: Character Ages?

    I find the idea of two ten year olds travelling with an eighteen year old a little bizarre. I can't really imagine the realistic dynamics of such a trio. Perhaps because you are between the two ages you underestimate the enormous gulf between them? I'm sure the eighteen year old would see herself as more of a parent figure in that situation, and would leave relatively little for the ten year olds to decide (ie. where they are going to go, precisely what they are going to do, where they are going to stay, and how long they are going to leave between each thing).

    The reason I like the age of sixteen, and the reason why I think it is so popular in general, including in Shounen manga (that's right, I think Shounen manga and everyone else both use that age because of its advantages rather than everyone else using it because Shounen manga does) is because it is an age of relative inexperience (the character is still young enough for the beginnings of something significant to be happening to them), but they are old enough to have enough realistic independence for a significant story to take place. (A fourteen year old could work similarly but typically fourteen year olds are far more beholden to their parents than sixteen year olds are.)

  8. #38
    Registered User Shadow Victini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Character Ages?

    Meh, the fic I use that dynamic in is very bizarre anyway.
    Characters being sixteen isn't bad, but it's just very over-used, from what I can see anyway.
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  9. #39
    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: Character Ages?

    Depends on the character, really. At what age would they, given their personality, embark on the quest that the story is about? I tend to put a story inside a universe, rather than a universe inside a story, as a result, the ages give themselves - and thus I end up with ages across the entire spectrum. ;P

  10. #40
    Wordsmith unrepentantAuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Character Ages?

    The minimum age for my human characters is sixteen, maybe fifteen. Below that, and I simply can't relate to the experience of children and early teens, with the exception of autistic ones, who think much more like adults. Aside from that, I don't even have preferences. My human characters in my original fiction includes people in their 20's, 30's, 40's and one or two ambiguously ancient transhumans. Nonhumans like pokémon don't have comparable ages, given that your average feline reaches sexual maturity in months and won't enter old age until the final fraction of their lives. I can relate to any character with a mature, rational mindset, preferably a sane one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Domino White View Post
    No matter what age, I find it easier to write for characters that are the same gender. There are certain things that only girls can understand, and sometimes it makes me feel really warm and fuzzy to write in the perspective of another girl.
    As one who believes there is no inherent difference between males and females other than the obvious phsical ones, I feel I should state that the gender of a character is no obstacle to my identification with them. In fact, the protagonists of my works tend to be female, despite the fact that I am in possession of a Y chromosome. I find it quite upsetting when gender is cast as binary, or when behaviours are classed as male or female acts - one should be able to write characters whose gender you don't even know, and flip a coin on it. I have often been mistaken for a young woman because of this.

    Before this turns into a rant about how ancient armed forces often wore skirts or how pink was a masculine colour before the modern age, I'll swiftly move on. Although I don't believe gender exists as a legitimate obstacle to writing characters, I can see age being one. I mentioned I can't write children; I imagine many writers younger than myself would struggle to convincingly write an elderly person.

    Another important factor in this fandom to consider is species: I can even relate well to nonhuman characters in xenofiction that don't have human worldviews, but I've seen many, many fics whose pokémon characters are simply humans in different bodies. I advise anyone writing a nonhuman character to think careful about their altered perception of the world; smell and hearing could be infinitely more important senses, and behaviours should reflect the animal nature of the character. Felines never smile or embrace, for example, instead they will raise their tails and nuzzle faces.

    Although I've gone off on a bit of a tangent here, I hope what I've said is at least interesting...

  11. #41
    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: Character Ages?

    I agree - ten-year olds seem too unrelatable, and you heavily run the risk of having them act way too mature (even if they were a really mature person). I keep teenage years as a minimum (since my stories are generally a bit less flowers and unicorns, trainers start out at age 13 rather than 10; many also choose normal schooling instead before going out as a trainer - or maybe not at all).

    Quote Originally Posted by unrepentantAuthor View Post
    As one who believes there is no inherent difference between males and females other than the obvious phsical ones, I feel I should state that the gender of a character is no obstacle to my identification with them. In fact, the protagonists of my works tend to be female, despite the fact that I am in possession of a Y chromosome. I find it quite upsetting when gender is cast as binary, or when behaviours are classed as male or female acts - one should be able to write characters whose gender you don't even know, and flip a coin on it. I have often been mistaken for a young woman because of this.
    Yes, and no. Yes, there are people of all kinds on all ends and nuances of the gender spectrum, but there are in fact psychological traits that are inherently stronger in boys versus girls; while less and less relevant in a society like ours, they're still present - and I personally don't mind gender stereotypes as long as they aren't used harmfully (I don't believe their mere presence to he harmful) ;) But I agree (especialyl about colours and clothing - that's only cultural traits, no more, no less), and personally I often have female protagonists as well.

    But, yes, as you say, this is not quite the place for this kind of discussion ;P

  12. #42
    Wordsmith unrepentantAuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Character Ages?

    Do you think that's worth a new thread? "On writing a character of a different gender, ethnicity, faith or sexuality to your own"?

    (You obviously know what you're talking about to a perfectly acceptable degree, so I won't bother spewing information at you in this thread anymore.)

    On topic: when was the last time anyone saw a well written character under the age of ten? I always seem to find they're either ridiculously mature, or ridiculously innocent. You know the sort of thing, I'm sure; raising themselves alone in the woods versus not knowing what tears are. Both are equally absurd.

  13. #43
    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: Character Ages?

    It would actually be a really interesting thread; to discuss how people handle the opposite gender in writing, if they even think about it at all (personally, apart from preferring female leads, I give little thought to their gender when writing - apart from romance stories, though (if I ignore gender I end up with 99% gay relationships while writing P: obviously I don't mind gay relationships, but there needs to be some sort of balance, anyway.

    Back on topic, yes. I have only seen a very few characters under the age of then that's handled well. In fanfiction? Never. IN other media? Yes, at times. One of the best kids I've seen is Ushio from the anime series Clannad; she fits masterfully into the story and seems just like a kid would - her realism (and thus the protective instinct that's raised in me) really adds to the plot's tragic premise (if you haven't watched Clannad, do so, it's one of the greatest (and most heart-wrenching) shows I've watched, anime or no.

    Apart from that? No, not really. Ash seems at times like a ten-year old, but unfortunately fits the shonen hero mold all to well (in other words, sometimes he's like a 20-year old, heart and soul, other times he seems hardly 5). I haven't read any fanfiction with any good kid characters. The problem, I guess, is that in most stories kids aren't fit to be main characters, only side characters, and side characters are almost always less developed, and runs a higher risk of being stereotypical in their execution.

  14. #44
    Wordsmith unrepentantAuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Character Ages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Llama_Guy
    personally, other than preferring female leads, I give little thought to their gender when writing - apart from romance stories; if I ignore gender I end up with mostly gay relationships while writing
    Same here, Llama_Guy, peculiarly enough! I don't mind, really, but it's rather amusing.

    I'll go start that thread then.

  15. #45
    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: Character Ages?

    heh, I dunno why - reflecting on it, I think it might be because I simply find aesthetic beauty in same-sex relationships, which is very ironic considering I'm through-and-through straight myself.

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