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 Hit me with your best shot (not another pat benatar reference [insert eyeroll])

This is kind of impromptu on my part. I figured it's been a while since I last got some thoughts on this character, and since I've been rethinking some aspects about him, I thought it might be a good time to get some additional input. So let me know what you think of the character, be that personality, consistency, concept, execution, or the way I write him. General thoughts about my writing are also appreciated, pointers or advice/tips and the like.

And also some questions that have been gnawing at me that could be interesting to get some new perspectives on:
Narrative consistency from thread to thread: does it matter?
How do you keep the narrative consistent? If possible, is Bernard's story consistent?
Is it okay to have the character fluctuate a bit from thread to thread, post to post? What do you do to prevent that?
Is it better to push a character's story through planned arcs or solid motivations?

Thanks for taking the time and bless your hearts.
pew pew
 
Friendly Neighborhood Sithspawn
Character
Bernard of Arca Bernard of Arca

First, to answer your questions:

Narrative consistency from thread to thread: does it matter?
  • This strikes me as a weird question even to be asking, although I'm not sure what specifically you're referring to. I mean, this site is just a hobby - you don't have to do anything, and whether something matters is based on whether you value it. You're writing for yourself. If you enjoy consistency, be consistent. I know I do.
How do you keep the narrative consistent? If possible, is Bernard's story consistent?
  • A) Keep track of where your character is currently, even if you have to write it down or constantly update their bio. My memory is pretty good overall so I don't always have to do that, but having multiple stories with different characters all running at the same time isn't a good idea and can weaken characterization overall. Don't try to do too much at once.
  • B) If your character is going through something that somehow impairs your enjoyment when it comes to writing them, especially if you feel like you made a mistake going with this or that arc in the first place and it just isn't working out for you, go ahead and wrap it up/find a way to resolve the issue. It isn't a race to see how fast or how long you can stretch out a storyline, finish it whenever you feel like you're ready to move on.
  • C) Basically, you should be fully invested in your character and want to see them develop in a manner that feels natural. Trust your feelings. If it seems like the right time to go in a new direction, go for it.
  • I haven't read all your threads, but based on what I have read, I'd say yes, white hair boy is overall pretty consistent.
Is it okay to have the character fluctuate a bit from thread to thread, post to post? What do you do to prevent that?
  • It kind of depends, but if your character is fluctuating so much that they seem completely different from one thread to the next, I'd say that's pretty weird and jarring, not only for you as a writer but for your readers/partners. "Fluctuations" are otherwise normal - your character is not supposed to stay the same forever, unchanging. Unless you're writing Peter Pan - and anyway, Pan's inability to grow and change is his biggest flaw.
Is it better to push a character's story through planned arcs or solid motivations?
  • I do both. Keeps things fresh. Even better, if your character makes a decision for specific reasons, keep that as a permanent trait of theirs. For example, if your character sides with their master against the will of the Council in a controversial situation, have it set into his personality that he values loyalty to his friends over loyalty to a group or an ideal. Remember that your character isn't set in stone from the moment you create them - they are constantly changing and growing as you write them.

Now, a few things off the top of my head:

1. As I said, I haven't read all your threads, but I do find the consistency of Bernardo being cut off from the Force a little wonky. Granted, I think it was in a thread with Ishida Ashina that she pointed out he can still use the Force, so it may be just her perception of his abilities is greater than what he's actually capable of. Does Bernie still have passive Force abilities like basic danger sense ("I have a bad feeling about this") and so on, or is he basically an NFU at this point? Also, do you plan on keeping him like this, or is it temporary? What would he have to do to change it?

2. I should mention that I really like that you are writing long-term consequences for what happened on Korriban (? I wrote the damn war crimes article and I can't even remember what planet Bern committed his crimes on...). Since he was directly involved, it makes sense he'd have to deal with the fallout. I get that a lot of writers in the GA felt like that storyline was forced upon them, I don't know your exact feelings on the matter, but I would assume that you did intend for their to be some kind of consequences for Bernard stemming from that event. So...

3. Again, haven't read all your threads... but so far I haven't gotten much of an impression of how Bernard feels about all of this crazy chit that's been happening to him. I have noticed that your writing style prioritizes action over reaction, but he seems to passively accept stuff without reacting much emotionally. I don't know his opinions of other characters, for one - he seems to like Ishida Ashina and thinks she's a good fighter, but does he find any of her behavior or attitudes alarming, given what he's experienced with his own dark side? Alternatively, does he think she's hot cool for claiming a Bryn's head as a trophy? I also can't recall ever seeing Bernard smile, laugh, cry, or get genuinely angry rather than just annoyed. Is this part of his character, are you not sure how he feels, am I just incapable of grasping subtle characterization, do I not know what I'm talking about and need to read more of your threads... ? Note: I'm not suggesting he should constantly harp about his feelings in every other post, but indulging is good every now and then. And I get that he's stubborn and solitary; he doesn't need to vent to other characters, maybe a little internal monologuing or reflecting on things to himself?

Finally, I like his new haircut.
 
M E M E N T O
Character
This is kind of impromptu on my part. I figured it's been a while since I last got some thoughts on this character, and since I've been rethinking some aspects about him, I thought it might be a good time to get some additional input. So let me know what you think of the character, be that personality, consistency, concept, execution, or the way I write him. General thoughts about my writing are also appreciated, pointers or advice/tips and the like.

And also some questions that have been gnawing at me that could be interesting to get some new perspectives on:
Narrative consistency from thread to thread: does it matter?
How do you keep the narrative consistent? If possible, is Bernard's story consistent?
Is it okay to have the character fluctuate a bit from thread to thread, post to post? What do you do to prevent that?
Is it better to push a character's story through planned arcs or solid motivations?

Thanks for taking the time and bless your hearts.
pew pew
I like Bernard more than I like most Jedi, he's a bit of what you'd expect with some originality mixed in that I think a lot of people either go overboard on or don't try to reach for at all. As far as I'm aware he has had a pretty consistent personality/ideology/etc to the point where I can sort of get the feel for what I'd expect the character to do. idk, maybe I just like the Jedi that identify as Sentinels better than the rest and you do a pretty good job of fitting the role for your character.

As for your questions;
  1. It only matters if it matters to you and, to a very minor extent, the people writing with you. If you want to write a character with a consistent personality, pattern of behavior, and train of thought then that is something I would suggest trying to consciously keep track of for a few threads and sort of approach writing the character to living your own daily life - before you hit Post Reply re-read the post and try to think of whether or not it fits the way the character has acted in the past, and if it doesn't try to discern whether or not it's a logical change for the character to go through with a rationale that justifies it.
    If it doesn't matter to you, then just write what you want to write.
  2. As above I try to create an "identity" for characters I write so that I have a good understanding of how a given character would act, think, and speak in a variety of situations. For the most part I want to know my characters as "well" as I know myself, so there's obviously going to be moments where there's a sort of "unpredictable" behavior, but in a way that if you look back it's behavior that the character could believably have acted in based on previous situations. It helps me, personally, to build a playlist of music and a folder for artwork to sort of create a working "theme" for the character, something to set the tone for writing posts and stuff. Some people also fall on tropes to help them, which I sometimes do for kicks more than anything, so that's also a useful way to do that.

    But as far as keeping your story consistent? That requires a lot more effort, like selecting which threads your character takes part in so it creates an artificial sense of pacing to anyone that might've read your posts/threads in the past (including yourself), and determining how your character progresses both over the course of individual posts and over each successive thread - if they do progress. I think this requires a lot more intimate knowledge on your character than you'd start with, unless you already have a very good idea of what your character is and is going to become (if change is a factor in their storyline(s)) and all the other little details. Personally this is definitely less important even to yourself than the idea of keeping your character consistent because, generally speaking, the only person who is going to know every single detail of what your character has gone through is yourself.
  3. Whenever you go to start or join a thread I suggest looking back at your most recent thread or threads and determining where your character is at (in terms of traits, personality, overarching growth/story, and ability) and then using that as your basis for how your character is going to act and perform in the thread you're getting involved in, and you can sort of adjust this to each post by just checking back on your previous posts to the same thread and doing the same thing. I, personally, actually do this myself with some characters, like Elle Mors Elle Mors , because I am in less threads over the same period of time as characters like Darth Mori and it's easier to make sure I'm not changing my character wildly over the course of a handful of threads. That being said, it actually fits for some characters to change abruptly or quickly over a short period of time. That is sort of tied in with their personality and their trend in behavior, someone who is very conservative and/or reserved is less likely to change as quickly or suddenly (like in 2-3 posts or from thread to thread/post to post) as someone who is a lot more free-spirited and whimsical. There's nothing wrong with that.
  4. That's personal preference and probably more of a case-by-case than a blanket one being better than the other. I like planning some structures to arcs my characters go through, but the vast majority of how they act and stuff is based on motivation and can change what I had in mind and turn a storyline into something completely different than I expected. So I think the better answer than one or the other is finding a balance between the two and figuring out what works for you.
 
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