Here we are again dropping in to chat about something I am passionate about. For the writer in all of us it is Character Building and the process I use has become like second nature to me.
So gather around and lets take a brief look at how I go about it. Keep in mind that I am untrained in most forms of writing but here is a trick I use.
Hugs and welcome to all who come and visit. Help yourself to the goodies and the drink of choice... most of all know that you are loved.
Make Them Real
What is real in fiction you may ask?
I use a writing program called Scrivener and it has one of the best Character Sketch pages I have seen. It encompasses everything any writer would need to create a believable character.
For me it is the creation of a character that starts a novel. I know that sounds rather odd but it works for me. I have been invited to speak at a few writing conferences and it has been revealing for many. There have been questions regarding how you connect your character to your story. My answer would be if you already have a story in mind then build your character and sub characters accordingly.
An Example of my Character Page
This one I have borrowed from Scrivener and I am certain they will not mind. If you are interested in obtaining a copy here is a link.
It has a free trial and it really is an amazing program and has many hidden gems tucked away within. Fair warning it is a massive program with great potential. As you can see you can actually import and image so you have a more realistic look to your character. As you write you can add others. It is priced very reasonably as well.
As I step into the novel I do so with a main character, it may be completely fictional or better yet someone who I have come to know. I can laugh as I can not help but think of the many who have graced the pages of my books. Some are real characters in their own right of course names have been changed.
So lets take the small image above, but look at the country he is in. First we should give him a name. Avoid the obvious names like Jim Brown. Find a name that gives him a persona of what he will be in your novel. Let's see, how about Travis Hadly. Now we have to put some strength and braun into him.
Lets make Travis an engineer, a jock, at the local high school football captain and later college. He needs a physical description, he would be well built of course. Now he needs a personality, what should it be, how about giving him some internal and well external conflicts in his life.
He married the Prom Queen, of course she was beautiful. His occupation as an engineer had been one of success. Then along came a child and life was good, then tragedy struck, his wife and child were killed by a drunk driver. Add all the things in life which may alter his appearance, maybe a terrible scar as he attempted to pull his family free of the vehicle.
After dealing with his loss his life started to fall apart. Next thing he is hooked on drugs, his career fails and he has one last thing he turns too in hopes of finding peace in life. Pick a place to drop old Travis as he starts his journey of discovering what is really important in nature and life. Make it a distant place far from humanity, his journey of self discovery where he slowly comes to term with where life has taken him.
Keep in mind you are the writer and you can break out of the mould of normality for Travis. It is yours to write. This is the method that I use and I am able to draw on my own experience as well as others.
You as a writer have been given a task to write.... so just write. Forget about all the rules of spelling and punctuation. Just allow it to flow... there is plenty of time later to go back and correct. If you find an error in my writing I like to think I have given everyone a little something to read... smiles...
Set a realistic word count each day. I use 3000 and the following day go back and edit keeping the story fresh in your mind. If not the sub characters and their stories get lost in the shuffle Then do the same the following day. The Novel I am presently working on has reached the 60,000 word count with 62 chapters and 29 characters. Step away from it for a few days and you soon get lost in attempting to find how each played a part in the story. Again using the notes section on the character pages is an amazing tool.
© Rolly A. Chabot
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