Thoughts on Writing Characters

Lately I have been focusing a lot on the characters in Splattering Yet Endearing. I really started to think about their character development and how they behave based on time, circumstance and who they are interacting with.

Probably the first thing an author does when coming up with a character is one key trait or a set of traits that define the character. However, over time, the author will eventually consider the character’s change or evolution over time. Even if there is no “Big Hero Story” for that character, naturally, people change over time anyways due to life experiences, changes in mentality, etc. So eventually those key traits of that character may change and grow, reduce, evolve or disappear.

Once you have, oh, 20 or so traits of the character, you can start to get a general sense of the character. Some of the traits should complement or relate to each other, and form themes of that character. For instance, someone who enjoys hamburgers, running, ice cream and watches action movies can be described as athletic and maybe a voracious eater.

These traits can also change or hide or emphasize themselves depending on who the character is talking to or where they are. It can be helpful sometimes to compare and contrast two characters and their traits, to figure out how they would probably naturally interact with each other. You can also think about how each character views the other characters, based on their interactions, biases and limited perspectives of how they behave when around the character.

You may discover even more traits by discovering trends among your character’s set of traits and/or examining their general, overarching traits. This should help with more deeply understanding the character.

As some traits change or modify over time, other traits may stay pretty consistent over time. Those consistent traits can help you develop a simple, generic, stable description of the character in one sentence. Only IMDB nerds are probably interested in reading an essay about all your character’s traits, so having a simple one sentence summary can be helpful for…everyone else.

Writing Update Side Note:

I’ve been slacking on writing lately. Been neck deep into working on drawings and music from freelancers. I spend usually 2 to 4 weeks converting my info from the character descriptions and story into a short, and relevant summary for music and drawings. Yes, these don’t really directly relate to making a book, but I just like them. I am a pretty big fan of music, movies, anime and video games, so I like experiencing the different interpretations of my work. Also, from a marketing standpoint, some people like pretty images and most people like music. Text, no matter how good it is, cannot really appeal on a musical or visual level—at least without help from other types of media.

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