Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Confused Characters

Your character loves sushi, friday night movies with friends, hates being along, loves dressing up, televison and dancing.

The role she walked into is in need of other character requirements: Likes solitude, knows karate, hates dressing up, and doesn't own a TV.

Sometimes characters show up at the wrong party. Not to mention they think they fit in the role when they're a Barbie but you're in need of a tomboy.

These are moments when it's best to know how to develop a character and save them for a later role. Here are some great ways to develop your characters...

1. Keep a notebook close. Write down the sushi loving princess, one day she'll come in handy.
2. Make sure your character has a name that fits their personality. Mandi may be okay for the sushi loving princess but it won't be for the tomboy.
3. Sometimes first impressions can be wrong. Take your character and put her in the setting you had created. She may just end up being the crime fighter you'd originally intended. If that happens to be the case then you have a crime fighting beauty on your hands and chances are it's a one of a kind character.

Always remember characters can often make the story so it's important to make sure you get them right. And always, I mean always, have fun with them!

What's your favorite part when creating a character?

33 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

Discovering that they have their own voice and that it's really hard to control their opinions! ;o)

salarsenッ said...

Your first impressions comment is really smart. We need to remember that when a character comes to our mind, in some form it needs to develop almost like a living human being. Sometimes that development isn't what we'd expected so we need to 'adjust' our view and maybe even the story responsibilities of the character. Either that or axe'em. JK

Candyland said...

They are their OWN person! Tye know what they want/don't. like/don't. You just have to listen to them.

Em-Musing said...

I had a character who had a dark side that came out. It haunted me for days.

AVY said...

Good question, I'll have to think about that one.

Elena Solodow said...

Dialogue is usually what comes to me first when developing a character. I love just hearing them speak to me for a while, not knowing a thing. I never force details. They tell me who they are in due time.

Meredith said...

Characters can be so tricky! They all want their own personalities, even though I try to direct them. Great advice!

Len Lambert said...

I like interviewing my characters! Asking them questions like a real person, this way I get to know them better. When I know my characters, the writing flows freely, I don't have to think about who the particular person is. It makes it easier :)

Teenage Bride said...

I love that with characters, the opportunitites are endless. I can create the best friend I always wanted, the perfect boyfriend, the smart shy girl who gets the amazingly hot guy... I can do whatever I want hahahaha.

The character I am working on is sooo me, but... better and quirkier haha

Arlee Bird said...

I may not include all the information in my story, but I like to create a history and backstory for the characters to make them more real.

Lee
Tossing It Out and the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011

Chris Phillips said...

I do the notebook type thing, but I just have a word document dedicated to notes instead.

Amy Saia said...

I love it when their voices are so strong, I'm almost mouthing the dialogue. I love when the act of writing gets deep like that.

Sue Roebuck said...

I love trying to make them real, quirky but believable. I find it's like when I paint - I add layer upon layer (and often wipe it all off again). It's time-consuming but so rewarding (sometimes).

Tiana Smith said...

I love when my characters start taking over the story and doing things that I wouldn't have done. That's when I know that they have their own voice.

Carolyn V said...

My favorite part of creating a character is finding out their little secrets. mwa ha ha!

Summer Ross said...

My favorite part of creating a character is naming them :)

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I like the little side quirky things that almost seem irrelevant but are important to the whole.
You know Mandi could work for a tomboy, it starts with "man" after all :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If I start writing about a sushi loving princess, somebody shoot me!

melissa said...

I love when surprise traits come out of the character during the story. It sucks when they don't fit with the story, but it's fun to see the character develop into something with depth.

Misha said...

I love getting to know my characters.

:-)

Donea Lee said...

I love discovering that I've created a character that I fiercely wish was real! Wouldn't it be fun to hang out sometime? :)

Mary Vaughn said...

My favorite notebook is the one full of characters. That notebook is my Human Resource Department. Resumes can be inspirational even if the particular character is what I need right now.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Great post, Jen! I love it when my characters surprise me. :-)

Nicole Zoltack said...

Great post! My characters tend to take on a life of their own, and sometimes have to tell me things. I'm crazy, I know.

Hannah Kincade said...

I love watching them grow and watching their personalities take on a life of their own. It's so much fun.

Holly Ruggiero said...

I love how they develop as I write. I have a basic idea as to their moral fiber (sometimes that changes as I go) and a few details. As the scene comes up their personality emerges and that’s pretty cool.

Talei said...

I love developing their voice and dialogue - and also their surroundings where they live. :-)

Lo said...

I love how my characters have the freedom to do all the things I can't do (like, time travel haha). Although they have unique voices and characteristics, it is like I get to live vicariously through them!

Christina Lee said...

TOTALLY agree with #3, Jen! So true!

Cheree said...

Great post. Love #3. I love giving my characters freedom of choice. If they want to do something, I won't stop them.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Naming my characters is kind of fun. But once their personalities start to pop and they start talking... that's the best!

Stephanie Faris said...

I definitely think people can toss way too many little details in when creating characters. One really interesting quirk can go a LONG way.

Jennifer Hillier said...

Creating characters is the part of storytelling for me! I love when they surprise me, by saying or doing something I didn't expect -- it happens a lot :)