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Ottservia

What exactly is nuanced storytelling/character writing?

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So I watch and read a lot of analysis videos and articles in regards to anime, manga, movies, books, etc. and in them I constantly hear the term nuance thrown around everywhere throughout these videos/articles. Though what what exactly does that mean? like what makes for "nuanced" storytelling? I think I have a vague idea on what it means but I'm not entirely sure. Like I think it means subtle details within the story that meld together to create a greater whole. For example, I've been rewatching naruto recently and something I've noticed going back through it is that naruto and sasuke both have a desire to be recognized by people which adds nuance to their relationship. at least that's what I think it means.

Edited by Otts486

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Mind linking an analysis video or three?

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Its something that's very easy to spot when watching something but very hard to put into words. I know that depth, fairness and a decent about of moral grey all play a part in it but I'm not really able to explain what nuance means for me.

But I do know that Naruto never struck me as very nuanced. There's nothing nuanced about its deuteragonist being barking mad for a good portion of the show and while the show tries very hard to paint its irredeemable villains as sympathetic it also constantly fails at doing so in its later half.

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22 minutes ago, eclipse said:

Mind linking an analysis video or three?

Here's one I could really only find one because of time I'll try and find more later

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. . .well, that was interesting, but that doesn't really go into nuance.  If anything, it went into consistency.

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2 minutes ago, eclipse said:

. . .well, that was interesting, but that doesn't really go into nuance.  If anything, it went into consistency.

my apologies it was the first video I could think of cause I was crunch for time but here's a blogpost I found on the subject though I don't think it's quite what I was looking for.

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That's more pertinent.

In this case, the blog post focuses its nuance on visual cues, but this can be carried over to other things.  Let's take Soleil, everyone's favorite hot mess of a character.  Her main focus is on her interaction with girls, which is a really, REALLY dumb trope (the girl that fools around with other girls until she decides to grow up and get a guy).  However, she also has two other side things, which are her social obliviousness when it comes to clothes (check her support with female Corrin), and her ever-present smile (seen in her recruitment).  These three traits don't really come together to make a character, they're just things that she is.  Can you think of any real-life people like that?

On the other end, I'll use Ignis from Final Fantasy 15.  He's the group mom, as well as the tactician.  Like the rest of the main characters, he has a lot of lines, ranging from banter about the weather to actual plot-important stuff.  All the little things he has come together as a somewhat realistic character (well. . .as realistic as the setting can allow).  If I ran into a guy like that IRL, I'd see him as a person, not some weird caricature.

I much prefer having somewhat realistic characters.

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I think I get what you mean so my original definition wasn't too far off then. it's like all the subtle things that come together in order to add to the overall theme or message of a story or character. Like using body language to convey a character's thoughts or emotions or creating a character foil as a way to explore certain aspects of a narrative's themes.

 

 

Thanks for the insight @eclipse

 

Edited by Otts486

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Nuance showcases the wide variety of aspects of a character/idea/etc. Sometimes characters are unreasonable or contradictory, ideas can be paradoxical or ambiguous, etc. These touches reflect how multifaceted the real world can be, things being more complicated than what we see on the surface. After all, even in a fantasy setting, we still expect our human characters to act like real humans do, and a good writer thinks carefully about what makes a human more than just a handful of qualities.

Super Eyepatch Wolf has a few videos that look into that, and here are two that best exemplify that for the sake of character writing:

 

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36 minutes ago, Johann said:

Nuance showcases the wide variety of aspects of a character/idea/etc. Sometimes characters are unreasonable or contradictory, ideas can be paradoxical or ambiguous, etc. These touches reflect how multifaceted the real world can be, things being more complicated than what we see on the surface. After all, even in a fantasy setting, we still expect our human characters to act like real humans do, and a good writer thinks carefully about what makes a human more than just a handful of qualities.

Super Eyepatch Wolf has a few videos that look into that, and here are two that best exemplify that for the sake of character writing:

 

I have actually seen these videos before though admittedly it has been some time and back then I didn't quite understand what he was trying to say. So after re watching these videos(at least the villain one cause I remember him saying he wasn't very proud of the hero one) I have a better understanding of what eyepatchwolf is trying to say and I completely agree. In actuality a lot of what he says in that video is one of the main reasons I such a massive pet peeve against people who say characters are poorly written just because they don't take the time to understand them(I.e. sasuke). Nuance is a tricky thing but I think it's all the small subtle aspects about an idea/character/narrative/etc. and how they all blend together to create something truly believable and tangible.

Edited by Otts486

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