Character development

All right, we have done the world development. Next we touch on characters. All writing revolves around the characters and how they interact with their world.

Most writers end up focusing some on each of their characters. This is to give you ideas and maybe help you get the details to further your story.

Today I will ask questions that you want to know first about all of the main characters, including the villains. Though during this discussion will include a specific post later on villains. Today is the basics.

Let’s get to it then.

1. What is the character’s name?

That seems like a duh question… But it is a detail where you can enjoy the secret knowledge… Why that name? Does it have meaning? Is there more to their name? Do they like or hate their name?

2. Description?

This is the physical details. Eye and hair color. Height and weight. Hair style, facial hair? Fat or skinny, tall or short? If it applies, what race is the character? Here’s where you can do all of the description you want to do. Whether it makes it into the story or not. Sometimes you need to see the character better, this helps with that.

3. Where is the character from? This includes family… And place? Here is where you work on history. Was the character rich or poor? Was their childhood good or bad? What about their environment, did it affect your story?

4. What do they do for a living? Are they employed? A student? Do they have a side hustle? This also can be affected by something that I think needs answered here… What is their age? Now that may make a difference on their activities. And their race may make a difference in how the age is read, as races that are long lived would see a character who is in the twenties as less than an adult.

5. Sexuality. Now don’t sneer… This is not just do they prefer same or opposite genders. It is are they male or female or even a hermaphodite? How does this affect them? Yes it helps to know who, if anyone, that they are attracted to.

6. What are their strengths? Are they skilled at something?

7. What are their weaknesses? Their fears?

8. What is their pet peeves? What really gets under their skin? Why?

9. What do they love? What brings them joy?

10. Who are the people who mater the most to them? Who is a thorn in their side?

Ok. These are the most basic details that every writer needs about every character they write. There is so much more, but I will touch on them next time. What do you think, are you seeing interesting questions here to help you?

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Changes on the horizon

So I have been considering adjusting this blog. I really need to separate Pattimouse and Serena online. There is also a few others who I am possibly going to be working with in publishing.

So there might be a bit of upheaval as I change the main page to Serenity Studios crafting and publishing. Please be patient with me. I will be providing you with more great posts, and I am considering adding a sales page for handcrafted goods as well.

Villains 

      First off,  I apologize for being a day late in posting. The headache monster visited yesterday,  so I got little of my work accomplished. 

      Villains are tricky.  We as writers often see the villain as a tool,  two dimensional concept of evil…as a reader though I am here to tell you that is the end of a story.  Even worse than plot holes,  a two dimensional villain is enough to ruin an otherwise great story. 

       I have a sure fire way of testing my villains.  I give them flaws,  make them as realistic as I can. Then I imagine them in town and let the mental movie unfold… I as I am watching ask myself three questions… 

1) Is the character sympathetic?  A villain who we can sympathize with will make the story more interesting.  Also I am one who thinks that the story should leave the reader wondering if they are happy with the villains defeat. 

2) Is there a way to defeat the villain?  Though I think that the villains defeat should raise questions about how the reader feels about it,  defeat is usually in the life of a villain. And a overpowering villain is often no fun for the hero… Unless the story is not supposed to get the happy ending. 

3) what are the traits that are showing up most with your villain?  Has s he/ she got flaws or traits that you should pay closer attention to? A good villain often has fears,  and accomplishments that they are proud of.  This makes a far more rounded character. Villains are still characters,  and the story is best when you treat them as such! 

Radio nerves. 

Zombiepalooza Radio Live

So I got the chance to sit down and talk to Jackie Chin from Zombiepalooza.  And I didn’t blow it.  I was definitely nervous but I had a lot of fun!  If you have not checked her out,  then you really should. 

The Junkyard Zombie 

They are definitely not your average family. They live in a junkyard. And they are a big family. But when the dead walk, well, they handle it. Survive first. Figure out why later.

Meet Chris Robinson, former marine special forces, and his family. Shara, his 13 year old daughter. Amara, his wife. Tara, former navy seal, and Lizzie, scientist, his younger sisters. The rest of the family are there but as the dead start to get their rotting asses back up, how many will remain?

Will they be able to figure out the why? And what caused the dead to walk???
*picture for inspiration only. Found on Google *

Aesthetic ideals 

Each person views aesthetic beauty differently. As a writer I tend to struggle with the concept. Physical beauty has a different description depending on the narrator. So describing a character with a flair in many ways requires a narrator who is fleshed out and real in the writer’s mind. The narrator’s voice will also affect the character’s beauty. For example, if the narrator speaks of a woman “Her mouse colored hair hung limply over dull eyes of chocolate brown.. ” most will see her as unattractive.  However,  if the narrator instead says “Her lovely mouse brown hair sheilded her large chocolate eyes,  which were dulled with pain.” we feel an attraction to the character. 

So when writing one must keep the voice of the story in mind. We writers often see our characters as children,  and thusly love them all. My issue is that i am inclined towards gorgeous villains. I usually like to believe that most great villains have a backstory that explains why they are. The readers often do not get to read the villain’s story. Perhaps that’s why we judge beauty so harshly….because we see only part of the tale.

Strong females to admire

                      I am one who leans towards a feminist bent in my point of view. Now saying that,  It isn’t because I hate men or any such crazy thing as that.  I merely think gender equality should be a duh statement. Part of this is because I am female.  Part is because I have a daughter.  Too often women are told that they should not be strong and independent.  Media has come along way in the last two decades.  There was so few in my late teens. When I was growing to adulthood there was Linda Carter as Wonder woman.  Really on television (unless you were into British tv) she was it.
                  However in the last few decades strong female roles have popped up all over the place.  My favorites (again limited to American television ) are Abby from Ncis, Bones from Bones, Abby from sleepy hollow,  Claire from Outlander, Clarke from the 100, Whiskey from the dollhouse,  Deanna Troi and Beverly Crusher from ST:NG, Ivanova from Babylon 5, Regina from Once upon a time. There are a few others,  but the principal ideas are there. Many of those are strong intelligent women trying to survive in what is traditionally men’s jobs. That is what I think of as a good female role. 
                      As a writer and a reader that is what I look for in my female  character development. What do you look for?  Which are your favorites on television?