Sunday, 27 January 2013

About Fictional Characters

Coming up with a fictional character has different reasons. The most common example is this "friend" you have that has experienced something totally relevant about the current discussion. The friend is not real. He is a placeholder for a story that you heard somewhere that you want to tell, because it fits the discussion. But you need to justify the story. So this is when you friend comes in handy. This is the most common example.

But the Internet has made it possible to become that fictional character. And most often that fictional character is the worst side of you. The character becomes a shield. A shield for you to dish out what really boils inside you. Too bad if that shield fails and people learn who you really are. Jerry knows.

However there is a kind of fictional character where it wouldn't matter if people find out. Obvious fictional characters. Like Barry, or Larry. It's obviously not the real person's opinion. But an overblown view from a certain angle. And that most often is funny. I don't have to agree, most often I don't but I appreciate the comic nature of it. And it doesn't have to be comical. I remember the Juliet Letters. Where a college professor answered letters from students as "Juliet". Inspired from Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. But there where tweaks to the character. His common day Juliet has served in the army and has had a rather rough life. And from that point of view he answered questions that his students where asking via letter. While this was not funny, at least the artistic value has merit.

And of course there are fictional characters where the character is actually a better person than the real person behind it. There are several reasons to do that. First: To differentiate the issues. One may be a total magic nerd, while the other one is pissed off and does a blog about bad magic. Second: to have laypeople who Google the real guy, not know that the real guy also shares his magic. Third: to protect his sanity. The real character cannot stand bad magic and will not be kind towards bad magic. However the fictional character will be much more pleasant. He can watch bad magic and make some excellent points helping others. His others side, the side grounded in reality could not do that. Imagine some sort of giant role play.

So how would other people treat this matter? They could be "in" on the joke, clearly saying that both guys are different (because in a way they are.) Or be like.... "Oh don't you get it. It's the same guy." as if to say, "Look how smart I am to have figured it all out!" I'd say that the former is the better way to go.

But you decide.

On a different note: click!


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