Do you have "The One?"

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Sir Basil, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. Do you have a character that's "the one"?

    "The One"
    , in my mind, is a character that you've roleplayed for a long time, written additional content for, and they're now retired as a character after their story has been completed. But, for some reason, you still can't let go of "The One", and you find yourself thinking about them, their adventures, if things had been the same, if things had been different. You still find yourself interested in the character, even though the character's journey has been ended. You bring the character back in various forms, and they're the character that you never lose interest in, and always go back to - even when you're doing something else.

    For a real-world example of "The One", we don't have to look farther than Norwegian author Knut Hamsun. Hamsun's most beloved work is probably "Pan" ; a novel from 1894 about his "One". His "One" is Lieutenant Thomas Glahn, a retired military officer who lives alone in the woods. Eventually, he falls in love with the beautiful Edvarda, a dangerous and manipulative woman. The novel ends with their estrangement after a violent affair; its a logical conclusion for the story. However, Hamsun didn't stop there. An epilogue, printed some years later, tells the story of Glahn after the events in "Pan" ; and presents an entirely new picture of the man, while still being true to his character. It's usually included in most editions of "Pan" -- but it was written years later, showing that Hamsun was still thinking about Glahn for years after a novel that was never intended to be serialized. At the end of the epilogue, Glahn may or may not be killed by the jealous narrator.

    Four years later, Hamsun wrote "Victoria" in 1898. The novel has nothing to do with his "One" - it follows Johannes and Victoria, two young lovebirds who are pulled apart by a love triangle. However, there's an odd, nonsequiter chapter where an old woman is introduced. Her name is Edvarda - and she tells a different story of Glahn's relationship with her. Hamsun explored Glahn across multiple novels, developed his character into a set of coordinating and contrasting characteristics, presented the story from multiple points of views --- all while his character's arc was completed.

    My example of "The One" is my World of Warcraft character, Caleb Norwill. I RPed Caleb almost exclusively (not counting D&D games IRL) for the better part of six years, with a wide variety of different people. He was created as a one-off, response to an issue on the server that annoyed me - I.E. lots of people playing thinly-masked lore characters - and eventually developed into something more. I made art about him, wrote short stories - and kept an in-game journal. That journal now spans 200 pages; and that's with some lost entries. The character started at a very different place than he ended - and he did end. Caleb was killed, for real, and his story had reached a logical, obvious conclusion that wrapped up all of the loose ends. And while I felt satisfied about how he went out; I still grieved. I cried when he died, because six years of my life were wrapped up in him, six years of my time was devoted to him. At that point in my life, I don't think I would have survived without him. Something I wrote, a few weeks after my "One" moved on, was the following: "i sincerely don’t think there will ever be another caleb." I think that's sort of the defining idea of the "One" ; the notion you'll never surpass the character.

    What's your "The One?" What made them special? How did their story start... and end?
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