If I am the only one who replies to this, it probably won't make you feel any better about your sanity, but, yes.
I have had sets of imagined characters that I would entertain myself with for my whole life, but there is one set in particular that I have played around with in my head for around four years now. I don't think of them nearly as much as I used to, having something to do with myself now, but I used to spend hours of my day thinking of funny dialogue moments or situations or character facts et cetera while I was in the shower, in the car, doing school, you name it.
However, I will likely never do anything with them. Partly because I don't think I'll ever consider myself a good enough writer to do anything with something that was and is so special, and partly because I think the stories I have in mind would be better in a visual medium such as a webcomic. Largely, it is for the reason you stated. Would it be the same for me if their stories were permanently changed and determined? Probably not. In some ways, it may be better, I would get to share something that brought me such entertainment and distracted me so pleasantly with others, but that could end my fun. What if it's a shit story? Maybe what I thought was really cool in my head is nonsensical or mary-sueish or ridiculous to someone who doesn't have the same connection to it?
Whatever you do with those guys. I hope it continues to bring you enjoyment.
I heard it is easier to fall asleep if you avoid electronics for an hour before bed, or more specifically, screens. This can be a bit tricky tho as an hour isn't an insignificant amount of time, so it would depend on circumstances.
As for the actual post, I can certainly attest to having ideas in my head for settings and characters, but I wouldn't really say that I have stories happening. It isn't that I never think about events or scenes, rather that when I do, whatever I think up is ultimately hollow or too vague to actually hold any legit worth.
This doesn't stop me from internalizing these happenings as cannon for the settings (tho phrasing it like this may be misleading, as things can change), but it does mean that trying to turn it into anything beyond broad outlines would end up pretty dull if I don't hash out the details. But even when I've tried figuring out the details, it still ends up somewhat lacking (probably because the scope wants to be grand, but without any of the work to make it happen).
Regardless, the point is I can relate to what you're mentioning, so I don't think this is an "isolated case of the crazy" (however the main difference for me is that things are pretty weak, in the sense it is lacking in detail/specifics, [and probably volume too]).
I will add that establishing a setting & characters and building it up just in the head alone is pretty enjoyable, I guess because it is all very... safe. However, I would need to shape it into something of a more concrete shape if I ever want to share any of it, barring just mentioning ideas (but as I've mentioned plenty of times elsewhere, I imagine practically any idea as capable of working, so it is unlikely I'll go down this path again).
As for being worried about locking down characters, that is certainly understandable. I've tried writing stories for some of my imagination lands in the past, but because I too don't want to ruin it I tend to try going for much smaller scope things, like a small new character to make an introduction for the setting or some other element (although small scope is good for me for other reasons too).
Finally, I would be interested in seeing some other people's thoughts on this too, as I imagine this is something that can vary widely between people.
tl;dr - I'd say I sort of do the same thing, but maybe like a lower level variant or something. What about you current reader (if you haven't already mentioned it)?
I do this to. I have a two people: Harlem and Benajah (who my profile is named after) that I've been developing for years. Every night as I lay in bed I just play out a scene, where they do stuff. Harlem is one of the main characters in The Darkened Path (the story I'm writing) because I finally decided I wanted to do something with him. The world I use constantly changes, as I can never seem to get a stable...grip on the the world that I use.
So no, mizal! You're not the only crazy person here!
When I daydream I like to imagine up complete backstories for characters, play out epic scenes in my head, then discard them and move on. Although they do get developed over time, there's no 'evolution' of a character as opposed to later reinvention. The ones that do stick usually end up as idea fodder for actual stories, because if I'm still thinking about them in a fortnight they tend to become either stale or unrecognisable. That might be a symptom of my short attention span - or that my characters weren't very interesting to begin with - but I've definitely kept things fresh by avoiding rehashed storylines.
Settings are usually generic - like an unassuming suburb and so on. Not much else to say really, except that I prefer quiet, colourful backgrounds.
To avoid the whole 'Mary Sue' thing, I think up a character's flaws as a first step. Even when venturing into power-fantasy-land; I'm more willing to invest in a rando gambling addict than another Superman.
Seriously, while one would think it would be Francis or Azrail, I'm sort of done with them as far their "timeline" is concerned. Azrail always becomes the Death God. Even though I've written out several other alternative paths/endings for him, there's only one that's "canon."
Francis has a few more timelines, but again there is one path in particular that I always come back to with him. So as far as my mind is concerned, that's the "canon" one.
Suzy though I could probably make a lot more possibilities with her and have for example when I was doing those prompts from Gemini (lol).
Why her? Well there's probably several reasons. Hell, there's a very long history involving her, but that might be getting a bit off track about what you're specifically talking about if I went into the complete history.
But one of the reasons might be because Suzy was technically the very first protagonist I attempted with a CYOA. Though her name at the time was Sally in a story called Dysfunctional Family. (Unfinished hard copy, never wrote it online)
A LOT of that story was used in various other works, but eventually when I sort of returned to her in "The Good Girl" I realized I wanted to do a big story with her that branched out in all sorts of crazy directions.
Called her Suzy since Sally ended up being a much different character in another work. (Who had much more traditional "Mary Sue" like qualities too) Suzy also was a mild ref to "Sue" though obviously her luck was the opposite of a Mary Sue and things didn't come easy despite being attractive.
While Good Girl was a much shorter version of the old unfinished Dysfunctional Family, I felt like Suzy's Strange Saga would be the proper story that she should have always gotten. And given how much of some of the other stories took elements from that original story, it made sense to tie most of the "earth based" stories to hers.
Even with the 16 endings I did for her I still see different adventures for her. I realized this when I did the Mirror Mirror branch where she actually does encounter different versions of herself.
As far as I'm concerned there's a shitload of versions of Suzy compared to any other character I've created.
Oh yeah, I totally do this! There's a whole bunch of little characters having adventures in my head. ^_^
There's Urchin, the red headed little thief-girl who pretends to be a boy to avoid the brothel-working fate of her mother (because the whole girl posing as a boy trope totally hasn't been done enough.)
There's Aquarius, a blind girl who sees the future. She's been enslaved by a spell that makes her completely obedient and pretty much loses her entire personality.
There's Judah, the assassin who collects a souvenir from every person he kills, to remind himself that they're all people and not just names on a list.
Loca loca is a more recent one. She's kind of a super villain... But she only kills murderers, rapists, pedos and other people who generally deserve it. (Only reason she considers herself a villain rather than a hero is because she doesn't really do it to make the world a better place. She does it for the shitz and giggles.)
I'm working on trying to incorporate a few of my characters into my games because... Otherwise, what's the point in having them? But either way, don't worry Mizal, you're not crazy! ... At least, you're only as crazy as the rest of us (which probably isn't a very reassuring thought.) ^_^
Looks like I am not the only lunatic here.
Occasionally when I am lazing around, no writing project going on, I find myself thinking about two particular characters from two entirely different settings; an adventurous man in a Victorian Era themed steampunk setting that is both futuristic yet antique - I name him Lance - and a magical beast trainer in a fantasy world that looks like something out of every folklore and fairytale to an extent - I name her Irisa. Those two are the embodiments of my vastly different settings, and it's been like that for just about as long as I can remember.
I know just about everything about them - from their height to their preferred foods at a new place all the way down to their most minor of ticks they have in certain situations. Yet, despite having entirely detailed - arguably complete - characters, I can never figure out how to put them on paper. They influence the very way I write anything (hell, they influence how I actually live my life!), but for some unknown reason, I could never successfully capture them on paper despite knowing them better than I know myself.
Well, that was needlessly long. Not sure if you are crazy or not, but you sure as hell aren't as much of a lunatic as me - to the extent of not only having imaginary characters but an entire novel that you are unable to write for who even knows why.
TL;DR - I have two imaginary characters than influence almost everything I do and especially write. Any attempts to write them out fail, and I probably have a bad case of crazy. At this point, who doesn't?
I really don't know what any of you are talking about. I don't know if I'm just misunderstanding, or maybe I just have different thoughts. My writing related thoughts are never about a particular group of characters, it changes around a lot. Sometimes it's demonic warriors raiding elven settlements, sometimes its space naval officers slowly going insane, but I don't have a set cast or casts that I look to.
I don't think I misunderstood, but it seems like I'm definitely the weird one for not doing it. I have things I write I'd never actually publish because it's just inane musings, and I am prone to the idea of generally looking at my own characters and daydreaming about it, but I don't have any set cast of characters I go to, it's always changing, and it's generally more setting-based that a regular cast of characters I look to.
... OMG, seriously Steve? You're telling me you don't have a bunch of imaginary characters living in your head that you don't daydream about all day long? Keep an eye on him guys, I think there might be something wrong with him.
Kind of. I tend to have more character tropes that play out in my head constantly.
There’s the best friend type character, but instead being perfect friends who have each other’s back always and that non-sense, they are always on the opposite sides of a conflict. For example: Once there was the MC who led a rebellion against a stock evil empire type place, but was also a double agent within the empire. His close friend was adamant that if he tried at it long enough he could get close enough to the top of the empire to change its corruption from the inside. And
And for the feminists out there: there is always a female with a lot of power. Whether it be in the form of an evil queen, an expert serial killer, or princess, there’s always at least one.
There are a few others that are less consistent when my mind wanders, but those two are always recurring. This is of course not including characters that I created for a story, then proceeded to play out my head for planning purposes.
So no, you’re probably not crazy. Probably.
Hey, Redwall's great! No shame at all.
Probably shouldn’t encourage the furry fanfics...
Well that's no fun!
I think Wibbons is the judge of that.
I don't get to much Mary Sue-itis so much. I'll make it a while with one of those stories then stop and go "Wait... this is where I wouldn't be able to continue on the way by myself." Or "Yeah, I could make that shot, but I'd probably wrack myself trying to climb an angled ladder with my hands full."
Wholly fictional characters have been more fun for me. I have some of those that are reoccurring in my head often enough. I usually keep those characters in thier own worlds though.
Oh. I have plenty of those Mary Sue's. They're not so much myself but more of a character that are like me. That's usually because I know how I think and trying to form a personality that is nothing like me is beyond what I'm capable.
I have a character concept that I've thrown into various situations through various means that I keep returning to. The idea of someone made immortal has been interesting to me for a long time. Sometimes it's been by taking a brain scan of a man and putting that scan into a AI frame decades later. Sometimes in a fantasy setting it's been by turning a man into an immortal Elf where he is left to watch the rise and fall of civilization throughout the ages. The AI one has been fun. I get to put a 21st century man into a situation where he needs to translate unrecognizable languages to English and just put a translation file to the side, trying to take over the controls of a brain dead "automated" space vessel while trying to figure out the technology as he goes, becoming a space vessel and still having a humanoid form that walks it's halls, then there's the old trying to figure out how to deal with the passengers that "...won't stop f*****g inside of me!" in a reasonable way.
The other pair of characters I keep coming back to I've called Brian and Matt. Brian went on a camping trip with some buddies and got mauled by a rabid wolf. Brian it turns out is one of the handful of werewolves that are still around. Most people don't survive a genetic disease that changes your form suddenly and violently for three days in every 28. Brian gets picked up by the government and given a job to help deal with other monsters and making sure they stay in their reservations and acceptable positions. Matt is Brian's supervisor and is a Vampire. Not the fun kind of Vampire with super powers. He's actually just a regular human with a rare blood disease. Something that occurs naturally in most peoples blood doesn't occur in his. The symptoms of not having this is a sensitivity to light, yellowing of the skin, the skin becomes papery and fragile, the gums recede, and a loss of higher brain function. These symptoms can be reduced with the consumption of blood. So instead of getting proper medical treatment he was thrown into the job because he was classified as a monster. Matt has been at the Job for fifteen years now. I have fun throwing the pair into situations like, dealing with a gnome gang, sorting out a "Vampire Coven" that mostly consists of moody teenagers and one psycho, trolls leaving their reservation, trying to figure out if the secretary poltergeist is real or if it's just an ongoing prank by Matt. Things of that nature.
You should write this monster story pretty please with teeth and fangs on top.
I've been trying to figure out how to turn it into a CYOA story for a little while now. It's not my first priority just yet though.
“Chosen One” might be a better description since the main character is typically always making the world changing choices. Though those might not always work out in a positive way for the MC.
Either that or “Alternate Dimension Hopper” I guess.
I've had these sort of weird imaginations just pop up out of nowhere in my head too from time to time. It mostly happens when I'm bored or right before I fall asleep while lying down in bed for the night.
For me though, it's always been imagining a survival based plot rather than superheroes like you do. Like me stuck in the wilderness and having to fend for myself or me being in a zombie apocalypse with actual real life people who I meet everyday. The plot of these stories seem so finely detailed and exciting and since the characters are all real in my daily life, they seem very fleshed out and realistic
Originally, I had planned to write something like this on CYS myself, since this was the prime reason why I had joined. Then, I got into manga and I started having those same type of "visions" that I had in doomsday scenarios, with the plot of the manga. "What if I was an important part of this manga's storyline? I would surely have helped the original protagonist before he committed suicide from depression," such types of thoughts came in my head day in and day out, until I could take it no more and wanted to actually write it. That's why I entered this site with that Mary-sue style fanfiction. I'm still working on it now and honestly it just feels so entertaining, kind of like watching an interesting TV series only that you get to decide what happens next. I know it's cringey as hell, but if I don't let it out from my system; I'll go insane!
So, yes I can relate to Mary-sue style imaginations and visions being a driving force to interactive fiction. I believe, if done properly, self-inserts can be awesome; since the author would be able to flesh out the plot and characters in a more detailed an interesting manner than normal stories. Let's see how my author-insert style story plays out.
Yep, I certainly have some characters that I still think about and develop from time to time, that I thought about in my childhood. Of course one is heavily inspired fanfic from something I enjoyed as a kid, and the other is an amalgamation of several things I liked.
Now, other than those two settings, I do tend to think a lot about some characters in various stories. I sometimes revisit them on and off, and when I come up with an idea that is for something shorter and less EPIC I tend to focus on it more, then go back to the grand things after.
What I think helps me with some of the cyoa aspects of some of the larger and more grand story, is I generally always have an idea of how that characters adventures end. These stories and adventures tend to take place over a long period of time, usually many years anyways so it gives me time to think up of plenty of different and grand adventures for them. Even if they all eventually lead to the same place, although this ending could be done in different and varied ways, they all sort of have the same meaning.
I find I always like to have a concrete ending in mind for a character, or I intend to leave it somewhat vague so a reader could use their imagination if they wanted.
I think while these characters and settings will never be written, they will influence other stories I write and will always have a good place in my mind.
Part of the reason I like to come up with a finite end for my characters, is because its sort of like life in that regard. Everything eventually ends so what you do in the meantime has to be worth something, even if it just has worth to you when no one else can see it. So I figure I'll try to make my characters do things with meaning because it makes it all the more important when it all eventually ends.
It seems so far that even when I'm done with certain characters I will still think about things to add to them, which is the one duality of finishing projects. You're done with these characters and settings, but at the same time never completely finished.
Don't worry, you're completely sane. I do this too. Gaaaaaah!
I'm sane too! Yes!