Tag Archives: characters

Birthdays

surprise-happy-birthday-gifts-5
Picture taken from PlusQuotes

My sister is having a birthday this month.Which got me thinking about birthdays in general.

When I am doing character development, I hardly ever give my characters a birthday, which is odd. So many things revolve around our birthdays like which year we start schooling, if our birthday parties were more outdoors like swimming or winter activities like skating. My sister almost always had her birthday out of school because of spring break, but I almost always had finals on my birthday because it is the last week in April. I have a friend whose birthday is two days after Christmas and she always felt like her family never celebrated her birthday. She always said people gave her whatever Christmas gift they didn’t want because it was free and easier than standing in the return line.

Anyway, on that thought, I’ve decided next set of characters I work on creating will have specific birth dates, not just a decade or year, but a specific date. I think that could create some interesting character traits.

 

The Sly Brilliance of 90 Days

I am working through a writing craft book called 90 Days to Your Novel.

Being the diligent student, I began at the beginning. Each time the author gives an assignment, I do it. No cheating.

From Clipart Guide: Images by Pamela Perry

At first, the assignments were too basic, but I did them anyway. Then I decided to apply an existing story line to the assignments. Suddenly, even the super basic instruction have become brilliant. Because I already have a plan I am working toward, each exercise is pre-writing part of my novel.

Day 9 was all about picking 1st or 3rd person to write in. Again, the assignment was to choose a scene and write it in both 1st and 3rd person and choose which fit the story better. I switch pretty regularly between the two styles. I chose 3rd this time because I am hoping to add some comedy to this manuscript. Not being a funny person, I may fail horribly, but I’d like to try just once.

Day 10 wants me to flesh out the main characters. It involves free writing about the main characters to learn more than just a character sheet about their personality, physical description, and motives. Then, the second part of the assignment is to write a scene introducing the main character. Sound like an opening scene to anyone else?

By the time this book tells me to write my first chapter, I will have a snippet from almost every scene in the book. Very sly Ms. Domet. I’m on to your tricks. 😉

90 days to your novel

Ok. Day 2, but not really.

Sorry Ms. Domet. I did Day 1 and 2 together.

Today, I started day three and may work in day four tonight depending on what the husband does.

Day 3: creating character sheets. Ms. Domet says characters are a fundamental part of stories and the part often remembered. I’m not sure I agree 100%, but I definitely agree 80%.

Some of my favorite books are ones that I remember because in the end the chandelier crashed down or the boy got a bell his parents couldn’t hear. So I think those ones were more important for plot or theme, but I can’t argue that other stories I can’t remember the plot but I remember Velveteen Rabbit and the boy who got sick and the beautiful angel. So, yeah, characters are important too.

In the past, I made character “sheets” for my main characters. By sheets, I mean a loose non-formal collection of traits and important facts that I know I will forget and need a refresher on. One of my favorite things to add to my character sheet is a picture of a model/actor/person who most resembles the character.

This exercise is a little more and a little less involved. As a good student, I am doing the exercise as suggested by the book. There is a formal set of questions to answer.

But wait, don’t just stop at main characters. This book asks for a minimum of 10 character sheets. Wow! These will be the best thought out supporting characters I have ever made. Maybe they will be the best too.

Sadly, the visual element is missing. I have rough description of characters but no visual to go with it. Truthfully, I don’t use my picture all that often, but I really enjoy getting to search through the internet plethora of pictures to pick out my characters.

So I’m done with the first ten. Yes, that’s right. I’m being an overachiever. Since I am using this book for a story I already had outlined, I’m going to keep going. I’ll have 15 character sheets for sure and maybe more.