How do I write a character who’s really smart

Acezhere

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Joined
Mar 24, 2022
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Help, I am not as smart as my character. They are 157 IQ. Obviously I’m not. Do I just get smarter? 😐
 

BearlyAlive

Burn me to the ground
Joined
Oct 13, 2021
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465
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63
Either make them some sperging autist that talks in sci-fi or (the bad way) or show them being smarter or wiser than some other characters (the better way of showing they're smart).

Show them sherlocking their way out of a difficult place/situation, them playing 8D-chess and totally controlling the situation or just being a (more or less helpful) smartass about relevant stuff.
 

vaurwyn

Everyone dies someday, but I'm procrastinating
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Nov 30, 2021
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139
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You have to carefully craft the situation around them to show their smartness. Hindsight is 20/20, so it's not that hard to reverse engineer a smart conclusion. You just have to be careful to show that he is smart and not just give him "divine wisdom", letting him act according to knowledge he shouldn't have.

If his goal is to find a hidden treasure, then as an author it is not hard to create a series of clues that will be hard to understand. Also, being smart is not the same as being right. Don't hesitate to mislead him, to make him make false conclusions only to give him one last clue that will bring him back on the right path, showing how he is constantly thinking and reconsidering his position.


Show his intellect in his everyday actions, where he instantly finds the correct decision without having to think about it for hours, he is insightful in conversations, small but constant things like that.


If you are stuck, then remember vagueness is your ally. Once you have proven his intellect a few times, you will have gained a little faith from your audience, so you can cash in or by omitting his thought process once or twice.

However, don't just go "oh he magically knows everything", make it clear that the reader is not aware of everything. Don't hesitate to hint that something is not right, show characters asking themselves how he knows about it.

Your readers will then craft theories to rationalize how this happens, and you can use those to improve your plot. Even if there are none, just leave the mystery up in the air, and try to distract them with another display of intellect. Remember that this only works if you are vague enough on what he knows about this particular issue, because otherwise you don't leave enough room for him to be "background smart" and it becomes immersion breaking.
 

Hence

New member
Joined
May 20, 2022
Messages
20
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3
You have to carefully craft the situation around them to show their smartness. Hindsight is 20/20, so it's not that hard to reverse engineer a smart conclusion. You just have to be careful to show that he is smart and not just give him "divine wisdom", letting him act according to knowledge he shouldn't have.

If his goal is to find a hidden treasure, then as an author it is not hard to create a series of clues that will be hard to understand. Also, being smart is not the same as being right. Don't hesitate to mislead him, to make him make false conclusions only to give him one last clue that will bring him back on the right path, showing how he is constantly thinking and reconsidering his position.


Show his intellect in his everyday actions, where he instantly finds the correct decision without having to think about it for hours, he is insightful in conversations, small but constant things like that.


If you are stuck, then remember vagueness is your ally. Once you have proven his intellect a few times, you will have gained a little faith from your audience, so you can cash in or by omitting his thought process once or twice.

However, don't just go "oh he magically knows everything", make it clear that the reader is not aware of everything. Don't hesitate to hint that something is not right, show characters asking themselves how he knows about it.

Your readers will then craft theories to rationalize how this happens, and you can use those to improve your plot. Even if there are none, just leave the mystery up in the air, and try to distract them with another display of intellect. Remember that this only works if you are vague enough on what he knows about this particular issue, because otherwise you don't leave enough room for him to be "background smart" and it becomes immersion breaking.
A divine knowledge!!
 

Oreo

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
216
Points
133
You have to carefully craft the situation around them to show their smartness. Hindsight is 20/20, so it's not that hard to reverse engineer a smart conclusion. You just have to be careful to show that he is smart and not just give him "divine wisdom", letting him act according to knowledge he shouldn't have.

If his goal is to find a hidden treasure, then as an author it is not hard to create a series of clues that will be hard to understand. Also, being smart is not the same as being right. Don't hesitate to mislead him, to make him make false conclusions only to give him one last clue that will bring him back on the right path, showing how he is constantly thinking and reconsidering his position.


Show his intellect in his everyday actions, where he instantly finds the correct decision without having to think about it for hours, he is insightful in conversations, small but constant things like that.


If you are stuck, then remember vagueness is your ally. Once you have proven his intellect a few times, you will have gained a little faith from your audience, so you can cash in or by omitting his thought process once or twice.

However, don't just go "oh he magically knows everything", make it clear that the reader is not aware of everything. Don't hesitate to hint that something is not right, show characters asking themselves how he knows about it.

Your readers will then craft theories to rationalize how this happens, and you can use those to improve your plot. Even if there are none, just leave the mystery up in the air, and try to distract them with another display of intellect. Remember that this only works if you are vague enough on what he knows about this particular issue, because otherwise you don't leave enough room for him to be "background smart" and it becomes immersion breaking.
K5 alt?
 

TheEldritchGod

A Cloud Of Pure Spite And Eyes
Joined
Dec 15, 2021
Messages
412
Points
63
I have a IQ of 148.

I'm a fuckin idiot.

Look, IQ isn't all it's cracked up to be. Get over it. It's a joke, really. All IQ means is "I can solve problems quickly". Since you are writing, you have all the time to solve the problem. The problem isn't writing smart characters, because that's easy. He simply figures shit faster than anyone else and needs less clues than the next guy.

SMART GUY: Assume he has google in his head and can think very fast. There. Smart.

The problem is writing WISE characters.

Knowing how to talk someone off the edge of a roof, now that's hard. Knowing someone's heart, knowing the right thing to say when someone is at their lowest point. How to motivate someone. How to solve a problem creatively without any downside. How to help the bad guy and the good guy so nobody dies and everyone has a happy ending.

Answer: Get to the point you want to arrive at, then work backwards, systematically ruining the situation in reverse. Then run the situation forward and see if it makes sense. Was there a better way to solve it? Hand it off to some other people and ask them, "How would you fix this?"

I knew an old site that had contests. They posted situations and 'ZOMBIES ATTACK" what do you do? The crazy creative shit we came up with was hysterical.

So. Do that here. Open a thread and say, "Okay. Here's the theoretical situation. How do you fix it?" Take the best few suggestions and combine them. Give bonus points to the person who uses the least amount of BS.


----
You are in a meeting. 8th floor of the office Building. It's been grinding on for hours. The boss took away everyone's phones. Now, the meeting is over.

Because a car just exploded down on the street.

You look out the window. Their are zombies fuckin everywhere and you see them streaming into the first floor. There are 8 of you including your boss and the secretary. Picture a typical 10 story office building.

WHAT DO YOU DO?
---

Shit like that. Was fun.

We'd ask questions, sometimes they'd throw out answers, but the goal was to see what you can come up with.

(I immediately got into the drop ceiling, scouted the floor, got the elevators up to the top floor, pulled the emergency break, filled the stairwells with office furniture on the floor below, got to the floor below THAT, broke open the nearest window to the stairwells, got back upstairs, opened the door on THAT floor, got up to the floor above and then broke the window above the broken window and lowered a lure down to the open window below so when the zombies did come upstairs, we could use sound to lure then to the open window and have them fall 8 stories.)

Not ideal, but the streets were already overrun and what I had to work with.

My point is, RUTHLESSLY STEAL IDEAS FROM OTHERS.
 

Acezhere

Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2022
Messages
46
Points
18
I have a IQ of 148.

I'm a fuckin idiot.

Look, IQ isn't all it's cracked up to be. Get over it. It's a joke, really. All IQ means is "I can solve problems quickly". Since you are writing, you have all the time to solve the problem. The problem isn't writing smart characters, because that's easy. He simply figures shit faster than anyone else and needs less clues than the next guy.

SMART GUY: Assume he has google in his head and can think very fast. There. Smart.

The problem is writing WISE characters.

Knowing how to talk someone off the edge of a roof, now that's hard. Knowing someone's heart, knowing the right thing to say when someone is at their lowest point. How to motivate someone. How to solve a problem creatively without any downside. How to help the bad guy and the good guy so nobody dies and everyone has a happy ending.

Answer: Get to the point you want to arrive at, then work backwards, systematically ruining the situation in reverse. Then run the situation forward and see if it makes sense. Was there a better way to solve it? Hand it off to some other people and ask them, "How would you fix this?"

I knew an old site that had contests. They posted situations and 'ZOMBIES ATTACK" what do you do? The crazy creative shit we came up with was hysterical.

So. Do that here. Open a thread and say, "Okay. Here's the theoretical situation. How do you fix it?" Take the best few suggestions and combine them. Give bonus points to the person who uses the least amount of BS.


----
You are in a meeting. 8th floor of the office Building. It's been grinding on for hours. The boss took away everyone's phones. Now, the meeting is over.

Because a car just exploded down on the street.

You look out the window. Their are zombies fuckin everywhere and you see them streaming into the first floor. There are 8 of you including your boss and the secretary. Picture a typical 10 story office building.

WHAT DO YOU DO?
---

Shit like that. Was fun.

We'd ask questions, sometimes they'd throw out answers, but the goal was to see what you can come up with.

(I immediately got into the drop ceiling, scouted the floor, got the elevators up to the top floor, pulled the emergency break, filled the stairwells with office furniture on the floor below, got to the floor below THAT, broke open the nearest window to the stairwells, got back upstairs, opened the door on THAT floor, got up to the floor above and then broke the window above the broken window and lowered a lure down to the open window below so when the zombies did come upstairs, we could use sound to lure then to the open window and have them fall 8 stories.)

Not ideal, but the streets were already overrun and what I had to work with.

My point is, RUTHLESSLY STEAL IDEAS FROM OTHERS.
This is the best advice anyone has given me in a while, thank you
 

TheEldritchGod

A Cloud Of Pure Spite And Eyes
Joined
Dec 15, 2021
Messages
412
Points
63
This is the best advice anyone has given me in a while, thank you
For the record, I needed an idea for a date. Posted a thread, got some bad ideas, someone suggested Kareoke, and bam, scene written.
You might need to poke people to get a response and give it time, but it works.
 

Vodith

Keeper of Fluffy Tails
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
50
Points
58
I must agree with TheEldritchGod -- the easiest way to write a character more intelligent than yourself is to work backwards. Write the end result, then consider how things lead to that, write that, then start looking for a thought process that leads to that point and write it in. And as was mentioned, IQ is pointless, many folks with higher IQ are incredibly stupid in many ways. Likewise, many people with low IQ are quite intelligent in their own ways. The combination of experience and wisdom is typically more important, from what I have seen.
 

Ai-chan

Queen of Yuri Devourer of Traps
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
1,179
Points
153
Help, I am not as smart as my character. They are 157 IQ. Obviously I’m not. Do I just get smarter? 😐
A smart character is someone who can make good conclusions out of known information. So sprinkle information and make sure he makes good conclusion from such information. You are the god of your own world, it's up to you to think up the information.
 
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