I just realized that I really enjoy stories -- both fiction and nonfiction, and across all media and genres (movies, books, journalism, etc) -- about or featuring extremely focused people. Whether dedicated, pared-down, driven, or even obsessive, sympathetic or sinister, they fascinate me. (Examples inside.) I'd love recommendations for stories, articles, and other materials about people like this: [more inside]
I'm always delighted when reading to discover that an author has subtly written their books into the same quasi-real-life universe. Help me find more examples! [more inside]
Has there been one besides the comic "Kill Shakespeare"? [more inside]
My partner and I are playing Borderlands 2 and World of Warcraft (WoW) together, which is great fun, but we are sort of terrible at combat. He's never done collaborative gaming (but has played a lot of Borderlands) and I haven't played games in years (but I used to play a lot of WoW). [more inside]
Looking for books or movies (fiction) that have a character who is "different" in that they have been prepared (perhaps "predestined"?) to fulfill a purpose that is often misunderstood or ignored by others. They may intuitively know about this purpose from the start, or it might be slowly revealed to them, or it only comes together at the sentinel event; as a result, they may have some quality of "otherness" (as best I can describe it). Some examples below the fold. [more inside]
I have four paintings to fill in my office that are blank and I was thinking about doing something with THE. The idea would be a stencil of Jeff Bridges in Lebowski with THE DUDE underneath. And then in the framed pic next to him, maybe Elvis as a stencil with THE KING underneath. And that's all I've got. And I'm not totally sold on either. But I need some options. What are some characters - real or fictional - who are known by their moniker with THE in it? Ideally two words. Including the THE.
I'm looking for an example novel(s) that features several separate third person viewpoint characters with seemingly different plot strands at the beginning but whose plots converge as they go on and they end up meeting further on in the novel (if only briefly). I want to see how the author handles these meetings and the meta narrative of several stories merging into one. I would prefer mainstream rather than literary as I'd like to seem something straight forward rather than overly tricky and would prefer sf but please don't let that constrict you as I'm more interested in the mechanics rather than the background and any genre would do.
What are some Biblical characters (OT or NT) whose deeds might be considered inspirational by a contemporary, secular, social justice-oriented audience?
Writers: how do you go about creating new characters? I've tried in the past, but they usually end up a combination of tired cliches and quotes from old movies. They never feel real. If I don't have a natural talent for doing this, how do I get better at it?
I think I'd like to begin following an author who writes mysteries featuring a regular protagonist and cast of recurring characters, but I have some d'ruthers. Can you help match me up? [more inside]
Hey AskMetafilter - calling on all writers for help. I write screenplays, and I think my greatest weakness is that I have trouble developing clear, consistent characters in my work. I seem to constantly make characters do things that don't fit their personalities - which creates a lot of confusion for my readers. I need help figuring out how to create well-defined characters who are consistent throughout the text. [more inside]
I'm looking for examples of bands or solo artists which contain non-alphanumeric characters in their name. They must be well known (in the UK) and mainstream. [more inside]
Last night I realized that two of the places I have worked have had, as part of the lore of the place, a fictional character who everyone willingly pretended was real (in a tongue-in-cheek way). These were both in semi-educational institutions, but it was the adults who propagated the myth of the character, for each others' entertainment. These characters both sent postcards from around the world, and gathered to them improbable stories about their adventures. I'm wondering, how common is this phenomenon, and can you describe any fictional characters that have been part of the lore and legend where you have lived or worked? [more inside]
I need help coming up with a titular character of my book, someone who is sympathetic and sounds like a reasonable person to ask for advice. [more inside]
Please translate these chinese characters for me. We got this cute clothes as a gift for our firstborn daughter, with a pair of chinese characters on them. What do they say?
I'd like to compile a list of sympathetic monsters/villains, portrayed in any medium--film, fiction, art, music, myth. [more inside]
I’m currently working on an international project and need to format documents written in German, Polish and Croatian for use on the web. What is the quickest way to convert all the non-ASCII characters into the relevant character entity? Some sort of web form would be my ideal solution, but I’d settle for a freeware program.
A friend of mine is a blogger in the US. We're thinking about a blog post in which he would use the Scandinavian letter Ä a few times ( & a u m l ; ). My concern is whether his primarily American readers will see the letter on their screen, or something entirely different. [more inside]
Looking for sarcastic, clever, witty characters like Winona Ryder's in "Beetlejuice" or "Heathers", or Parker Posey's in "Kicking and Screaming"* (the Noah Baumbach film, not the one with Will Ferrell), films made around 2000-2013. Ideally there will be YouTube clips for the best scenes. [more inside]
My mom has a bar of soap that I probably gave her as a gift several years ago. We're trying to figure out what language, if any, the logo/brandname are in and what it means. It could be mirrored or upside down but it still doesn't look like any character set I recognize. The soap was probably purchased at a fair trade store so it could be from anywhere.
My non-reader boyfriend enjoys Harry Potter and A Song of Ice and Fire because he easily became so invested in the characters. He doesn't care so much about literary value; he just wants characters that he can care about and journey with, and when they feel grief or happiness, he wants to mourn for them or celebrate with them. What should he read next? [more inside]
Why are there so many whiny supporting male characters in anime? [more inside]
Please help me find contemporary literary/fictional characters that make you want to love them, hate them, or -- even better -- both. [more inside]
Could you read some Japanese (or possibly Chinese?) characters for me? [more inside]
Help me find this bookfilter: An writer's guide 'interview' with your own fiction character to help uncover their traits and depths. Or, a similar list of interview questions to learn a lot about someone in a short time. [more inside]
Want to find a quote I heard recently about writing good characters. The idea was that a character should be really good at something, but constantly put upon, so that nothing goes their way. Indiana Jones was held up as being a perfect example. [more inside]
Anyone have good ideas of characters who personify over-emotional thinking, over-rational thinking and a healthy balance of both? The missus leads a group at a recovery center, and she's trying to find examples to show the patients to help them understand between emotional and rational thinking. The best we've come up with is Spock/McCoy/Kirk; is there a good clip that shows this interplay between the characters? Or, please, if you have better characters and scenes she could use, we'd appreciate it.
Looking for plays featuring particularly confident characters; any era will do. Specific recommendations/favourites would be great - tips on finding them myself also helpful. [more inside]
What are some good tv shows or movies about righteous badasses? [more inside]
Help me compile a list of names of iconic fictional characters from popular songs. For example Jimmy Mack, Jumpin' Jack Flash, Maggie May, Absolutely Sweet Marie, Johnny B Goode. [more inside]
What does this shirt mean, if anything? It says "Robespierre" three times, and each of the "O"s are the faces of three different (cartoon?) characters. [more inside]
Can anyone translate these Chinese characters located on a VZ 24 Mauser for me? [more inside]
I'm trying to remember where I would have read this. I remember a discussion of the omnipotence/omniscience of a writer in relation to his story world and its characters -- I think the book must have been about writing fiction. There was a particular example having to do with Time, and how a writer who is interrupted by a knock at the door leaves his character, who was about to sit down (or set the table or something), mid-sentence and in a state of limbo. Come to think of it, maybe this was about philosophy or theology... I may have gotten some/all of the details wrong. Any of that sound familiar?
Is Randall Munroe right about passwords in today's xkcd? Are very long (all lower case) plain text passwords more secure than short ones using a mix of numerals and upper/lower case text? [more inside]
Literature distinguished by its richly drawn characters [more inside]
How do writers keep track of huge casts of characters in sprawling epic novels like Game of Thrones? Is there software for that, or do they use notecards or what? [more inside]
How would you write either "Little Italy" (as in the NYC neighborhood) or "Welcome to Little Italy," or "I ♥ Little Italy" with Chinese characters? [more inside]
Recommendations of anime with identifiable/relatable characters? [more inside]
How to make a data subset based on a variable with multiple character values in [R]? [more inside]
When I type on my wife's Toshiba Satellite L25-S121, it drops characters. It doesn't drop the same characters, and sometimes there is just a delay before they show up on the screen. I've restored from the factory CDs and updated the Bios, but the problem persists. [more inside]
Do you know Japanese? Do you not know Japanese? What does my shirt say? (p.s. It's likely not Japanese.) [more inside]
Does anyone know of a free Traditional Chinese kaishu-style font that looks like it was written with a ballpoint pen or pencil (not a calligraphic pen or brush)? I'm currently using HanWangFangSongMedium from this page, which I quite like, but it's in fangsong style. It's for my computer flashcards when trying to remember how to write characters (e.g English word -> Chinese character). [more inside]
I'm using Navicat Lite to connect to my Oracle research database (Mac OSX). Much of my data is in IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet). These are unicode symbols. Is there a way to display the IPA/Unicode in Navicat? Or some other GUI? Or is there some addon/code/plugin/whatever that will show me the symbols? [more inside]
Why does my Smultron text editor for Mac insert unwanted ^M characters into my files, and what settings can I check to make sure it doesn't? [more inside]
I'm looking for examples of well-drawn TV characters (from multi-season shows, preferably) for whom a major--but not solely defining--aspect of their personalities is a struggle with the desire to run away from difficult situations. Two I have in mind already: Nate Fisher (Six Feet Under) and Nancy Botwin (Weeds).
What contemporary American authors of literary fiction are considered masters of creating compelling, multi-dimensional characters? [more inside]
I'm looking for good software, preferably web-based and cloud-hosted, for worldbuilding. Preferably stuff with templates for characters, places, maps, etc. I can use stuff that's made for fantasy/sci-fi writers or stuff that's targeted at DMs/GMs. [more inside]
I baked a cake yesterday. I put a shark on top. The shark looks familiar, like he's a character from something, but since any resemblance was accidental I can't place him. Please look at it and tell me what he's from. [more inside]
Are there any websites, web applications, widgets, or really anything at all that change on a regular basis (like some of the Gmail themes)? [more inside]
What is my new used bike from the '70s is trying to tell me (translation help please)? [more inside]
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