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kermie March 16th, 2015 2:25pm

If the creator of a fictional character reveals a detail never mentioned in the original work (e.g. Carol Brady was divorced, Dumbledore was gay, etc.) do you consider that to be an equal part of the character's life, or is it more of an asterisk?

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TheMadScientist the mad laboratory
03/17/15 7:05 am

Did you know that, under this painting of an apple, there is a painting of a tiger? That just changes the apple so much, you know what I mean?

aclincoln memphis
03/17/15 12:55 am

If it was important to the character it should have been included, otherwise it's like the author was either careless or just thought of it after the fact. how is everyone supposed to see that information outside the work?It just has less meaning imo

03/16/15 11:46 pm

I disregard it completely. The text should stand on its own.

Zod Above Pugetropolis
03/16/15 3:51 pm

Equal part. Everything there is to know about the character is part of the character, whether it is included in the first few books, or is saved for later. Or even if it just never comes up. It still shapes the character.

Dazey Beagles Rule
03/16/15 3:00 pm

Definitely an equal part. The author doesn't make stuff up after the fact. They've got a complete picture of the character, including the back story that made them who they are. Reasons for leaving out particular details could be any number of things

Dazey Beagles Rule
03/16/15 3:01 pm

When revealed, the missing details should give us an "a-ha" moment if the author is any good.

bMyComrade Beantown
03/16/15 2:53 pm

It underpins their character's personality and motivations. But it does not define the character any more or less than it would finding out similar information about a real person in my life.

nnifer New York
03/16/15 2:08 pm

I thought Carol Brady killed her first husband, and that's why nobody talks about him. Fascinating

HammeringMan Gods Away On Business
03/16/15 1:55 pm

I find it interesting but would feel
cheated if it were an important point that I never heard because I was outside of the post published conversation.

03/16/15 12:37 pm

I've always considered the Dumbledore thing to be a bit of an asterisk (but by definition a legitimate one since it came from JKR). I just can't see how it adds to the original work, but then again I've never reread them with this in mind.

TheIndian Virgo Supercluster
03/16/15 10:47 am

The order of the ring and gandalf* walked down the path

*And oh btw Gandalf is a Martian

TopsQueen Oregon Coast
03/16/15 9:22 am

Excellent question. I think it adds more dept to the character. And also could explain the whys and wherefores of some of the characters actions. A gay man might be defensive and a little secretive a divorce mom might be a little resentful.

Christian1459 Cookin Trouble
03/16/15 8:36 am

What if a character gave a hint to reader which unravels in the "next book"?

FATSHADOW Cyborg Gorilla
03/16/15 8:30 am

I guess its up to the viewer/reader if a detail, obvious or not, that was withheld from the narrative but is later revealed really matters.

Carol Brady took shits most days, its never mentioned, it doesn't really matter...but it happened.

FemmeAdamWest in the Tardis library
03/16/15 8:06 am

Probably more of an asterisk. It's hard to decide when looking at it from both perspectives (writer, reader). As a writer you often have this character imagined in your head down to every little detail, but not every little detail is going to make

FemmeAdamWest in the Tardis library
03/16/15 8:08 am

it to the final cut. That doesn't mean those details are less important. For a reader though, anything said post-reading is usually added on in the mind as an afterthought.

kermie gaytopia
03/16/15 8:17 am

Yeah, I think that's an important distinction.

03/16/15 7:58 am

I'd consider it a missing footnote.

Ru12bseen Ignoring the Ignorant
03/16/15 7:34 am

It's bogus. If it isn't in the narrative world, then it's the equivalent of some Frenchman I've never met telling his friends at a cafe that I dance naked in soup. It has no effect on the "reality" of the story. Put it in the book of you want "real"

kermie gaytopia
03/16/15 7:45 am

Well, you seem to feel strongly about this :)

Ru12bseen Ignoring the Ignorant
03/16/15 7:52 am

Hahaha. I like to think ill be a famous writer some day and this passive aggressive mode to inserting character traits outside of the created world bugs me. 😏😉😎

knetzere Illinois
03/16/15 7:30 am

If it wasn't important enough to come up in the storyline then it doesn't really matter

kermie gaytopia
03/16/15 7:46 am

As a consumer, I tend to agree. But as a writer, there are always things I know about my characters that inform their actions but don't make it into the text. But in that way it matters.

03/16/15 12:39 pm

I see kermie's point here. I'm sure that writers know "details" about their characters that aren't in the work, but add to the characters in the writers' minds.