(Too Much?) Character Building

I do try to make characters for people when they ask me to. But they change so drastically from the source material. 

For instance, I tried to make a character for my cousin. The character went from a crazy, hyperactive Italian kid with a happy-go-lucky attitude to a hyperactive, olive-skinned female general with a take-no-crap attitude and PTSD.

I can’t even make one for myself. The main character of my first book was loosely based on my own personality and now has become an angsty over-protective bipolar psychopath.

Basically, my characters like to evolve too much and they need to stop.

Cut it Out!

I’m learning the art of trimming things down. I tend to prattle a bit when I write, which isn’t always an issue. But now I’m finding that some of my prattling does nothing for my style or the plot or even the subplot! Here’s what I’ve heard from my time on Tumblr. And I agree, it is a good way to find out if YOU need to cut things out. If it does not: add to the story, develop your character,…

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Cut it Out!

I’m learning the art of trimming things down.

I tend to prattle a bit when I write, which isn’t always an issue. But now I’m finding that some of my prattling does nothing for my style or the plot or even the subplot! Here’s what I’ve heard from my time on Tumblr. And I agree, it is a good way to find out if YOU need to cut things out.

If it does not:

  • add to the story,
  • develop your character,
  • help make the switch between scenes,
  • include the main character in some way,
  • or just generally work for you,

you may need to cut it out. Two books that I can think of that are well known for some of these are Moby Dick and American Gods. I love the books, but the amount of unnecessary scenes is just…. GAH! So many.

I’m probably going to take the book down to about 350 pages in the end. It was 410 at first.

Speaking of the book, we’re on Facebook as well! We’re not doing much now, but we’ll soon be showing pictures of the clothing for the book trailer, concept art, etc. So yeah, look that up and give us a like!

Ways to Reveal Character

The reactions of other characters: How do other people behave around your character versus how they behave around anyone else? Better yet, what are their reactions to your character when they are not around?

Body language: There’s already been a lot of posts about this, but the way your character carries themselves can help you reveal their mood. However, the meaning of the body language may depend on the situation and circumstances. For example, crossing your arms can signal both defensiveness or confidence.

Hobbies: What does your character like to do for fun? Is it considered an introverted or extroverted activity? Why do they get joy out of it? Did they take up the hobby because they really wanted to do it, or for someone else’s benefit? (for example, Shinji from Neon Genesis Evangelion mentions the only reason he never really stopped playing the cello was because no one told him to stop, even though he admits that he doesn’t like playing the cello very much.)

Language: How does your character speak? There are a lot of things that can influence the way a character speaks, including the person they are speaking to, their culture, and their background. For example, how does your character speak to someone with authority over them versus a group of their friends?

Introducing Character: Zenti

Another character introduction in preparation for official art.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

She’s a ferocious bandit queen with a habit for saying the worst possible things at the worst possible times. As the official art for her is coming soon, I decided to do a little promo for her. These are the first moments of Zenti, pre-book-release. As she began to come out of the fog, he could see she was small in height, but powerful and beautiful. She was olive skinned, with curly black hair,…

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Introducing Character: Zenti

She’s a ferocious bandit queen with a habit for saying the worst possible things at the worst possible times. As the official art for her is coming soon, I decided to do a little promo for her. These are the first moments of Zenti, pre-book-release.

As she began to come out of the fog, he could see she was small in height, but powerful and beautiful. She was olive skinned, with curly black hair, brown eyes and animal’s fur slung across her shoulder.** She was clearly the leader of the crew. As she came fully out of the fog, he could see she was carrying a massive sheathed sword. It was larger even than the woman carrying it and its thickness as long as an outstretched hand. It was covered in what appeared to be large golden scales. The cross-guard was made from massive claws, and a red gem was embedded in its pommel.

She put her hands on her hips. “Hello,” she said, “I’m in a rush here.”

“Where’s Black Star?” asked the guard.

“Oh, the shadows?” she asked. “I have no idea where they are. That’s a bit scary if you really think about it. But anyway…” She pointed straight at [removed for spoilers]. “We’re here for that one right there.” She grabbed him by the hand and began to walk out of the field. “If you don’t mind, we’re just going to be on our way, then.”

The guard leaped at her.

She rolled her eyes.

She turned and swung her blade at the guard at a speed far faster than such a blade should be able to be swung. Surprisingly, the guard was not there to receive the blow.

She sighed and flailed her arms. “You know this means I’m going to kill you, right?”

He continued watching the suddenly heated battle. The guard continued to move at an inhuman speed. But he also noticed something odd. She had yet to move her feet from where she stood, even when countering the guard’s moves. She twirled her sword constantly, grinning happily. She wasn’t afraid of this man at all.

   **It is noted earlier that her troop wears a set of camouflage-like leather armor. She is not apart from this.

Question of the Day

Do your characters really have to have extreme personalities? 

I say no. No, because people don’t have extreme personalities. I find all these characters who are either superiorly introverted or the complete opposite. That’s super duper boring and it feels forced. Please write people, not characters. I like people a lot better, ones who are complex and not just there as a love interest. Give them a favorite color, a sport of interest, a favorite music genre – anything, really. But none of these, “this character has ADHD!” and nothing more.

Let’s Talk Sub-Plots and Character Arcs: Time to Work on Character

not-so-classicallytrainedwriter:

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Now, if you’ve read my post “How to Plot A Complex Novel in One Day,” here’s your next step. It’s character day! Now let’s think about those characters you came up with. You know a little bit about them, but now let’s look deeper, get them more rounded…

Let’s Talk Sub-Plots and Character Arcs: Time to Work on Character

Can You Believe It?

thewritershelpers:

Writing Believable Fiction

Writers get bold, outlandish, bizarre ideas, and one question that we seem to be getting a lot recently is this: how do I make my story believable?

Let me start off with a general note. When we read stories, we expect to be transported somewhere we’ve never been before….

I have had many issues in the past with this. Pass it on.

Can You Believe It?

God of Tumblr

A blog in praise of Tumblr! You guys are the greatest!

grumpofthrones

It has begun.

After a little more than a week, I have gotten one new follower and two notes on a post. This happened in one day. Clearly, it is the sign of great things coming. This great thing will surely end in my complete reign of Tumblr as a site. I will become…
the GOD OF TUMBLR.

grumpofthrones

Ok, maybe not the GOD of Tumblr. But it is nice to see a weeks worth of work actually coming to fruition. And…

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