Saturday, October 3, 2009

Character Development and Helpful Sites

Heck yes! I came up with characters today! I was worried there for a while because I was drawing a complete blank with my protagonist. I had a sidekick and a potential second sidekick, but no idea for a main protagonist. Sadly, my characters are quite lacking in the dimension department. I'll give a short introduction to my characters.

Nea Thatcher
She is the protagonist who is stuck fending off crazed 'zombies' with her eccentric fellow resisters. She is the motherly one and unwittingly the brains and leader of the group.

Logan Shepherd
I've mentioned him before, but will do so again. He is the somewhat dense day-time television actor who sometimes attempts to take on the personification of the character he plays.

David Harper
The self proclaimed zombie expert with a firey temper. Unfortunately, his knowledge will not be as useful as he believes.

Bridget Perry
The quirky teenaged girl with a strange sense of fashion and an optimistic attitude.

The animalistic stalker with a traumatic past who may or may not be an escaped mental patient. She doesn't speak much and no one knows why her name is Kitcha. Real name: Camilla Brodsky

So, over the next few days, I will be writing in depth about these characters to make them more dimensional. I think I have a good group, but I hope that they aren't too bizarre for the mood of my story. I believe I will be using a bit of the "Snowflake Method"to help me develop my characters. My number one pet peeve is working on a character by using character questionnaires and having 95% of the questions prove useless to me. I just don't have the patience or the care to decide what my characters favorite food is. If it's not essential to the plot, then why do I care?

Now, I do understand that people like to know all of this stuff ahead of time. It helps them understand their character. This is great! However, I can't work like that. I am an avid planner and outliner, but I am also a firm believer that my characters will tell me what I need to know if the time ever arises. Yes, I am aware that they are not real. However, I am not going to force information on them. I think this is a fast way to make dull, rigid characters. Let me give an example. This afternoon, I was telling my husband my new character ideas. I explained Kitcha and that she 'may or may not be an escaped mental patient.' He laughed and asked me, "Well, which is it?" I answered that I did not know, and that it's possible no one will ever know. He laughed again and said, "But, you are the one writing the story and making the character!" I simply explained to him that while this may be true, I don't know the answer and frankly don't really care. The point is that her character and personality brings into question her sanity. Does it matter one way or the other? No. Either way she is primal, slightly deranged, and has sociopathic tendencies. Just my two cents on that.

Well, I suppose that is it for the day. I need to head back to Scrivener and start working on developing the characters more.

Here are some helpful links for planning that I have been using over the last few days.

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