Emotional Attachment to Characters

  • So many newbies lately! Here is a very important PSA about one of our most vital content policies! Read it even if you are an ancient member!


Original poster
Emotional Attachment to your Characters?


Okay. It can't just be me, right? I mean, we're a whole community of roleplayers, so I can't be the only one.

When I read someone else's post and tears roll down my cheeks or goosebumps run across my arms, I feel giddy with excitement. If someone else's writing is that good, I want to crush them in a hug and make them read me bed time stories. I like that experience, worrying about their character and feeling an attachment to the character as the story moves on. Sometimes, I end up reading roleplays I'm not even participating in, just to read what happens to that one character that I've grown to like.

I completely understand that attachment. It's the result of someone's brilliance.

But I have this weird other attachment... to my own characters. It used to be just Iwaku World's Sakura. When she cried, I cried. When she laughed, I laughed. When she felt pain, anguish, and suffering, I felt the same helplessness, too. I understood that, too, because she was based off myself.

Nowadays, however, it's different. Every character clings to my emotions. Whether it's a small one in a chat roleplay, or another version of Sakura in an Iwaku spinoff, I feel each emotion, I suffer through each heartbreak. It all becomes real. I know it's supposed to be a good thing? But it's not even my writing that is so strong. I feel like I'm just attaching myself to these characters emotionally. It takes around five to ten minutes for the feelings to subside. It's like, when I'm writing or thinking or brainstorming, there's music playing in my mind and tempo begins to steadily increase until it's like Beethoven's seventh and I'm on the edge of a cliff, and WOAH, I'm done.

And I review the post a couple times, make some changes, and then post. And after that, I take this heavy breath sigh sort of thing and just stare at it for a few moments. Like I'm high off something. Or like I just time traveled.

It didn't really happen this much before so I didn't think of it.

Now I'm curious, do you guys feel this way, too?

An attachment to your characters that affects your emotions?

An inability to tear yourself away from the screen and look at the time because you're in the middle of a post where something intense is happening?

Do you find yourself reading other roleplays in worry of what happened to a certain character?

Also, I wasn't sure if I should put this in Roleplay Talk, Counseling, or General...
Even after all these years...>.<
Its only natural when you pour your emotions and creativity into a creation that you bond with them and share their experience.

Yes I care about my characters because I pour my soul into their creation and execution and killing them off is always hard to do which is why I always give their deaths meaning even if its to no one else but myself.
Usually, I do not find myself terribly attached to the characters themselves. The only exception to this rule is my novel-in-progress.
What gets me is the type of relationship that characters or people share. That seems to be the most important thing, anyways.

Most of my characters annoy me, to be honest. But that is just because they seem like real people, and I am not a big fan of the real life, either.
I think that it sometimes differs depending on characters how deeply I feel for them.
It's no big surprise that Kitti evokes the most emotion from me when I type posts for her and her feelings are easy for me to connect to and consider.

There are some others, and sometimes I don't feel anything.
I get emotionally attached to some. When the roleplays they are in die, or if I kill them off it's always a little sad. Kind of like losing a friend. However, some of my characters (Legato from Paradisio Mortem for example) is SO evil that I WANT him to die...I guess that is emotionally attached in a way, too. I hate him so much, I swear he is my dark side.
Some of my characters is annoying me so damn much, I just want to scream to them "WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU SO STUPID" xD ahhaha
But I have a couple of characters that I almost become one with and I cried when they wanted to cry xD
Now I'm curious, do you guys feel this way, too? An attachment to your characters that affects your emotions?
I do! I am an immersive roleplayer. So when I am roleplaying I am stepping in to the shoes of the character 100%. When a scene gets intense, I'm feeling it. When it gets super depressing, I'm here sniffling. If a character is angry, I'm angry! One of the main reasons I roleplay is to be able to experience all of these things without having to do it in real life. XD

An inability to tear yourself away from the screen and look at the time because you're in the middle of a post where something intense is happening?
Yeah. Once I get sucked in, it's hard to turn away. And I get really frustrated if I have to walk away before finishing a post or a scene. >>;

Do you find yourself reading other roleplays in worry of what happened to a certain character?
I do sometimes. XD There's a lot of great characters and stories on Iwaku, and it's impossible for me to participate in them all. So sometimes I read the roleplays and follow fav players.
I get really involved in my characters as well! Mostly characters in long-term RPs, or even ones who've had a couple different incarnations. I remember one who had a loved one die, or almost die, oh I cried the whole time! Or when one suffered a near fatal accident, it tore my heart out! The more developed a character is, the longer I've known them, if they die it's like losing a long-time friend!

I have trouble following other characters that I'm not actively roleplaying with, though. I'm a fail at trolling, LOL! I just can't connect with a story in progress. I'd rather just read the whole thing when it's finished.
Back before I found Iwaku, there were several years when I didn't have any roleplay. So to relieve my creativity me and my boyfriend would roleplay with each other verbally. It was really awkward at first, but after a while we found out that it was a great way to get a feel for dialogue and our character's personalities because we'd literally be acting them out.

But during one of these verbal roleplays, we had to do an emotional scene. It involved the parents of my main character getting killed off, along with a murder scene of the char's sister. It left the baby sister alone to fend for herself. The scene ended with my boyfriend's character arriving and taking the baby off somewhere but I remember crying for the baby sister. I've never had a reaction that intense towards one of my own characters but at that point I realized that I became attached. Sometimes the emotions I feel towards my characters are empathetic and there are times when their emotions replace my own. It's a very interesting and odd relationship if I do say so myself.
Why yes, I do. It mostly has something to do with the fact that all of the scenery, imagery, and dialogue is coming straight from the edges of my mind, so they had to manifest somewhere didn't they? Even when I try to play a character that is nothing like me, the other's who post with me bring out something that makes me spill my own emotions: whether it be crude hatred, dark sarcasm, and on burst of tears, or a trigger happy madwoman.

My characters are like little pieces of me i didnt know I had in me, so when they feel pain, torment, happiness, and even death, I have to live with that. (All of my characters are alive so far...dun kill me! D:)

Besides, you gotta love venting with a different dialect. ^^