Dec 07 2012

Writing Experiment: Merge Two Extremely Counterintuitive Characters

Published by at 4:00 am under Character Development,Motivation

Which two of your characters would be hardest to merge into a single character? How would you go about doing it?

Some possibilities which come to mind:

  • Can you use one character’s motivations (why he/she wants to do something) to add something to the other character’s goals (what he/she wants to do)? Sometimes a really counterintuitive motivation can open up fresh plotting possibilities. For example, if Character 1 is a cop trying out for SWAT because he’s suicidally brave and Character 2 became a forensic accountant because it was a safe career path might be merged into a cop trying out for SWAT because… he wants to stay safe. What convinced the cop that SWAT was his safest option? For example, maybe an unknown person or people on his unit are trying to get him killed–it’s probably more interesting than someone deciding to join SWAT for a more standard reason.
  • Do one character’s personality traits interact with the other character’s personality traits and/or goals in an interesting way? For example, applying Batman’s isolation and/or dearth of empathy to Superman might make Superman feel like more of an actual alien rather than essentially a human with superpowers.
  • Which elements of the characters’ background would you change for the merged character? What would you keep?

If you need help coming up with characters to merge, here are some possibilities…

  • Professor X
  • The Joker
  • Batman
  • Harry Potter
  • Dexter Morgan
  • Sylar
  • Ash Ketchem
  • Othello
  • Dr. Manhattan
  • Jim Gordon
  • King Lear
  • Clarice Starling (Silence of the Lambs)
  • Hannibal Lecter
  • Superman
  • Anna Karenina
  • Robin Hood
  • Scarecrow
  • Jar Jar Binks
  • Syndrome
  • Rorschach
  • Optimus Prime
  • Wolverine
  • Scott Pilgrim
  • Kick-Ass
  • Tony Stark
  • Spider-Man

17 responses so far

17 Responses to “Writing Experiment: Merge Two Extremely Counterintuitive Characters”

  1. M. Happenstanceon 09 Dec 2012 at 11:32 am

    [insert Dragonball Z fusion joke here]

  2. B. McKenzieon 09 Dec 2012 at 1:55 pm

    “[insert Dragonball Z fusion joke here]” What?

  3. Milky Wayon 09 Dec 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Ah! B. McKenzie, I think I can explain to you what M. Happenstance means by, ” [ insert Dragonball Z Fusion joke here ] “.

    Dragonball Z Fusion is a movie, in which two polar opposite characters fuse bodies with each other- combine. It’s somewhat similar to the case of Jekyll and Hyde.

  4. B. McKenzieon 09 Dec 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Ah, thanks.

  5. FVE-Manon 10 Dec 2012 at 4:51 am

    Jar Jar Joker: “Meesa so serious.”

    Also, no character fusion could ever be as awesome as Darth Batman.

  6. Dr. Vo Spaderon 10 Dec 2012 at 8:28 am

    Okay, FVE-Man, that IS awesome.

  7. Rawle Nyanzion 10 Dec 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Relena Peacecraft (from Gundam Wing) + Rorschach (Watchmen):

    Relena is a pacifist, while Rorschach is a violent moral absolutist. While they seem opposite at first, they are really similar to each other in that both have strong moral convictions.

    The resulting (female) merged character, Dark Relena, will have a strong drive to prevent war, behaving in a more forthright, forward way than ordinary Relena. Like Rorschach, she would be willing to kill, but her killing would be more targeted, aimed largely at political leaders and commanding officers and making sure to dispatch them quickly. To this end, she would use poisons and sniper rifles. If she were in close combat, she would use weapons that killed instantly in order to minimize enemy suffering.

  8. Grueleron 11 Dec 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Ludd is the bookish advisor to the throne. Throughout the story he becomes a control freak, as he finds it difficult to relenquish any power that could be used against him, leading to his downfall. Unnamed other character was once a revolutionary, now an exile employed as a palace guard. While his unique skill set makes him perfect for controlling the problems caused by Ludd, he fears that he would ultimately repeat his prior mistakes.

    New character “Gary S” is the brawny former revolutionary, who left his country to achive the highest office in an unfamiliar country. He effortlessly thrawts the revolution with his masterey of martial arts and national politics. He is loved by rich and poor alike, and he is humble, yet is fully aware of his value.
    I turned my webcomic into a bad fanfic.

  9. Dr. Professoron 11 Dec 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Alex van Locke, an amateur scientist who spends five hours a day testing super dangerous chemicals, yet somehow has enough time to always get to the office. His punctuality however, doesn’t do anything about his bad grades in school.

    D’s and F’s? Whatever, because Alex van Locke can freaking bend time so he can study. His parents? Pah! This is a teen novel for Pete’s sake! But I can tell you they died in some tragic accident while he was observing.

    This leaves Alex to sulk about the meaning of life while painting emo-like paintings in the moonlight. In the end, Alex becomes a victorious scientist/ office assistant/ Walmart manager who has died and came back to life three times.

    I merged the titles to create ” The Chronicles and the Adventures of Two Months “…

    Oh God.

    So this is what happens when you merge six different characters from six different stories. Huh.

  10. Anonymouson 11 Dec 2012 at 8:01 pm

    ‘scuse me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the character from Silence of the Lambs named Clarisse Starling?

  11. Dr. Vo Spaderon 11 Dec 2012 at 9:13 pm

    You’re excused. (Clarise)

  12. B. McKenzieon 12 Dec 2012 at 6:58 am

    Ah, good catch, Anonymous. In the U.S. version, her name was Clarice.

  13. JPon 15 Dec 2012 at 1:15 am

    Hey B. Mac a new Man of Steel trailer just came out I’d be really interested to hear you thoughts on that

  14. B. McKenzieon 15 Dec 2012 at 3:54 am

    My 10-second take is that it’s better than the previous trailer (e.g. marginally more characterization), but it felt boring to me. I couldn’t get through the two-minute trailer in one sitting. Also, the amount of voiceovers could be a bad sign (in movies where the filmed material does not work out very well and/or is an incoherent mess, studios may try editing in voiceovers to salvage the wreck–e.g. see Green Lantern’s trailer).

  15. B. McKenzieon 21 Dec 2012 at 3:24 am

    “Alex becomes a victorious scientist/ office assistant/ Walmart manager who has died and came back to life three times.” I’m intrigued. It sounds like a winning combination of jobs.

  16. young grasshopperon 03 Aug 2016 at 9:47 am

    Ash Ketchem + Spider-Man. He wants to be the very best superhero and train an army of mutant spiders.

  17. Anonymouson 14 Apr 2020 at 9:32 am

    [insert Amalgam Comics joke here]

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