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Creating deep solid characters

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21 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

Why not take a while and immerse yourself in their culture then, and let the ideas for your characters to just percolate through your subconsciousness?

That is exactly what I have done with my current story. √Ć did do a one page questionnaire for the main characters but then put that aside and let the story develop them.

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14 hours ago, Amosathar said:

because her current interaction is with a blind woman so all that she would be able to gauge from her POV is the possibility of a slight Spanish flavor to her speech although I haven't decided if her accent is that obvious yet


As a native Californian, I will just throw my hat in the ring and mention some things that reading this thread brought to mind.


A Mexican Spanish accent will sound very different from a Spanish accent from elsewhere. Every country has a unique way of speaking. Cubans sound different from Puerto Ricans who sound different than Ecuadorians. 


As an example, when I listen to speech, I understand Chilean TV Spanish much better than Mexican Spanish. Mexicans speak incredibly quickly. (And conversational Chilean I could never hope to understand - they have too much local slang!). I can't understand Spanish from Spain hardly at all.


This is coming from someone who was taught Mexican Spanish in school and can read Spanish newspaper articles. But this doesn't matter in spoken Spanish when speed, pronunciation, and slang are factored in. The differences in pronunciation and usage are vast across the Spanish-speaking world. That said, I am sure a native or more fluent speaker would be able to understand all forms of Spanish, though perhaps some with a little more difficulty than others. 


Also, despite them being very near each other, the countries in Central and South America have different cultures, foods, etc. They are, however, as a large generalization, somewhat bound together by similarities in language and Catholicism and some common historical threads. While they share the first two in common with Spain, the lack of the third means that they have less in common with Spain than with each other. All the Spanish-speaking world can be called Hispanic. Only the Spanish-speaking people from Latin American countries (in Central and South America) can be called Latino/a.


Also - remember that culture doesn't just create the sound of speech, decor and food preferences, and that sort of thing. Culture creates mindset - it creates mannerisms and internalized rules about manners themselves. It creates a thought process and worldview. I think it would be wise to really study Mexican family structure, traditions, and worldview. It is a beautiful culture in so many ways. 

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