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V5 Concepts Thread; Let 'em loose here
Topic Started: May 8 2011, 04:08 PM (28,766 Views)
Archemides390
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Huh. Could have sworn to God I posted this last night. Well, seeing as search says otherwise, here goes nothing...again.


Jamal Farouk: 18 years old, Jamal is black in color, but a real mish-mash in terms of heritage (which is apparent in his bright green eyes). He stands 6 foot 3, 175 pounds, and wears his hair in cornrows. He has a series of Japanese characters, signifying Perseverance, tattooed onto the underside of his left arm.

Jamal is a track star, amateur rapper, and veritable expert on wilderness (particularly woodland) survival. He learned a great deal from his time spent at a outdoor activities camp between the ages of 12 and 15, and learned a great deal more from spending three more years as a counselor at said camp. His experiences with track and field mean he is excellent at running (both endurance and sprinting) and jumping (both hurdles and long) and, interestingly, is fairly proficient at javelin. A stable, loving home life gives him plenty worth fighting for.

Subconsciously, Jamal treats his friends as a sort of extended familial group. It takes time and effort to become part of his "family", but once someone is in, his loyalty is faultless. He is surprisingly willing to make sacrifices for the good of these friends, but is often left frustrated and betrayed when they are unwilling to do the same. This leaves him as part of a small group of very close friends, most of whom share similar interests, and all of whom have similar views on loyalty. Although willing to relax in the company of friends and family, his demeanor is typically very intense. His piercing green eyes and near-total lack of extraneous movement often give people the impression of a cat about to pounce. This tends to make people uncomfortable, cutting down on his ability to meet new friends even further.

Overall, he is a very powerful person, both physically strong and mentally perseverant. His disadvantages are many and varied, however. He’s almost completely unable to form immediate ties without extensive trust-building, and when he does make friends, he often places more trust in them than is wise. In addition, Jamal is technologically inept, and has an unfortunate tendency to avoid thinking outside the box. He will often take too direct an approach when finesse is in order. However, if a direct approach is what you need, Jamal is your guy 110%.


Alexei Zavlasky: 17 year old Russian-Israeli mix. He stands 5 foot 4, 150 pounds, and generally keeps his hair gelled into spikes and dyed bright green. However, he makes sure it washes out easily in case he needs to play a part for which that would be inappropriate. He wears a silver ring in his left ear.

His mother ran off with another man almost as soon after he was born, leaving his father, Gregory, to juggle managing a successful mechanics shop and an infant son. He did a remarkably good job, though, and Alexei is barely screwed up at all. He is planning on majoring in theater, and his natural talent combined with a strong work ethic has landed him a primo scholarship to Berkeley.

Alexei has a passion for stagecraft of any kind. The only exception to this is musicals. Although he can dance quite well, he cannot sing for his life, so he usually joins the stage crew. With that exception, if an audition is taking place anywhere in the city, he will be there trying out. If he can't get a part (which is fairly rare) he will help build sets and make costumes. If he's not allowed to do that, he will loiter innocuously wherever he can, simply absorbing the atmosphere. He enjoys learning circus- or vaudeville-style tricks in his spare time, such as ventriloquism and tumbling. When not engaged in these activities or at school, he helps his father in his garage. Thanks to this and his experiences in stage crew, he has received a sort of practical degree in mechanics, although it has never really interested him as much as acting does. He also plays trumpet in the school marching band but ditches practice without hesitation if it conflicts with any of his other interests.

Alexei is a social butterfly. He makes friends quickly and easily with almost everyone he meets, but his excessively busy schedule means that he finds it difficult to hang onto them, unless he sees them on a regular basis because they are also in a play he is in, for example. He has an unusually close relationship with his father. Although they disagree about many things (read: Alexei choosing acting as a career as opposed to something practical) their arguments tend to be sporadic, and brief.

So whaddaya think? Comments/concerns/constructive criticism is always welcome.

EDIT: Many thanks to Slam for pointing out some of the gaping holes in my previous outlines, and almost as many curses to xer for bringing out my natural loquaciousness. I was so proud of myself for keeping the word count below 500, dammit...
Edited by Archemides390, Nov 26 2011, 05:14 PM.
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Archemides390
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@Slamexo - I think you're definitely justified in worrying, but all hope is not yet lost. Here are, in my opinion, the most glaring problems.

1) Literally the entire description is of how much of a bitch she is. The only sentences unrelated to her bitchiness are the first and last ones, and the latter sort of goes 'oh yeah and she's also a bitch' at the tail end of it. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you need to change that, necessarilly. I'm just saying you need to add to it. A 1-dimensional character is a character with exactly 1 character trait which defines everything about them, and she fits that description. Now, if this is only part of her character bio, then I stand corrected. But if this is all there is...yeah. Needs some work. What are her hobbies, what are her interests? She can't spend all of her time wearing a ski mask and pissing people off.

2) Abusive father thing. If that is in some way an integral part of her character, let me know. However, at the moment it sounds like, "Why is she such a bitch? Well...um...Oh, I know! Parental abuse!" There are plenty of other ways to give her a crappy childhood that don't involve abuse at all. Maybe she had a lot of siblings and her parents didn't make much money, maybe she was raised in social conflict (Mommy is part-Hispanic, Daddy's family is Uber-Conservative WASP). Also, you say that 'he's not present at current'. Where is he? Why is he gone? Who's taking care of her now? So many questions, so few answers.

3) 'Believes firmly that most students at Aurora High are just phonies'. Let's see... Nonspecific abuse as a child, calls everyone phony, whether it's true or not, natural intelligence clouded by preexisting personality flaws...sound like anyone familiar? (If it doesn't, you need to read a book called Catcher in the Rye.

So, yeah. Those are my thoughts on the subject. Sorry I couldn't be of more help!
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@Roy/Alex:

Hmm. Definitely seems like an interesting idea. Lots of personal conflict to work with, plenty of different directions the character could develop...Yeah. I like it. Alright, here's my two cents:

I think that the first option is a little implausible. If she was rebelling against some unrelated incident, and her parents talked her out of it, sure, I can buy that. But if she's rebelling against her parents directly, then I don't think that any amount of talking-to's (from them, anyway) is going to change anything. Second one seems equally tenuous. That sort of self-improvement doesn't happen spontaneously. So, I have to say I'm also partial to Curtain Number Three.

Now, I haven't seen your writing, so I have no idea whether you'd be able to 'pull it off' or not. That's up to you to decide. But, I can tell you that realism isn't really a problem. All you really need is for this girl to have a friend (or relative, as Mimi said, but I personally prefer friend) who's as or more rebellious than Leah, who she looks up to. A sort of anti-authority role model, if you know what I mean. Then have them die, in a way directly related to their rebellion. Getting drunk and threatening a cop with a switchblade, then getting shot full of holes. If you're comfortable with using drugs as a plot point, have them OD on heroin. Maybe even suicide (although I might suggest avoiding that if you haven't written something along those lines before; it's a touchy subject for many people, myself included, and people do get angry if you handle it tactlessly). Heck, even a car crash could be viable, although that might be difficult to tie into rebelliousness. Maybe the character is taking it for a joyride, maybe they stole it, maybe (and this is interesting) Leah was in the passengers seat and managed to survive miraculously. Nothing to bring home the message like a near-death experience. Heck, scrap the other character entirely. Make it just about her almost dying, realizing life is too short and she isn't getting anything by rebelling, blah blah blah, happy happy joy joy. Could easily work.

Well, that's how I would do it, anyway. Feel free to utilize one, some, or none of these ideas however you see fit. Just follow your bliss, dude; hasn't led me wrong yet.
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