Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blogroll: Writing Characters

What's a blogroll? Well, the creator, A. Wrighton, describes it as a blog answering a series of questions all with a specific theme. Then, the person answering those questions tags other to answer the questions, and links to them and whoever else has participated in the tag.

So, I was tagged by Leslie from over at Upstream Writer to do this fun tag where I get to talk about characters! Writing characters, my favorite character I've written, easiest and hardest parts about writing these lovely things that inhabit my mind. I hope you enjoy!

Creator's Note: "If you’re participating in this blogroll, just answer the following questions, include the previously tagged authors and their blogs, and add some new authors/bloggers below. I’d appreciate you including the blogroll image above, but I won’t chase after you with any red pens of doom if you don’t. Yep, it’s really that simple."

What is your favorite part about writing characters?
Favorite part... I'd have to to say letting them loose in the story and see what they do. For the most part I know what will happen, but I still love writing it, and sometimes they'll throw something new at me. Working through their backstories and what they're like is also fun sometimes. I love when it all clicks into place and makes sense.

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

What is the hardest thing you have to do when you create a character and what’s the easiest?
Personality is sometimes hard for me to really define. It works better when I throw the character into situations and let their personality define itself that way. Sometimes it's pretty easy to tell what a character will be like, but there are times when the character is just so new that I'm not sure what he'll be like. Sitting down and writing paragraphs on what they are like isn't really fun, either.

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

The easiest would probably be what they look like. Sometimes it's random what I choose for eyes or hair, others it's whatever my favorite preference is at the time. Names are usually easy, but sometimes I'll spend a few minutes deciding just the right one, or which one I feel like using most.

Who is your favorite character that you’ve written?
I have to choose just one? o.o Boy, I'd have to go with a character I made... four years ago, roughly. He's a full-time assassin, and I have loved writing him and exploring more of his backstory, and recently his future.

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

While I won't reveal his name here (I prefer to keep original names secret until the book is done and published), I created his name based off a word I had found in the dictionary: mordant, which basically means a snarky/biting attitude and/or sense of humor, which is often what this young man has. He's not very snarky in the book, but everywhere else... his tongue is as sharp as his knife. I tweaked the word a bit, and that became his name. I'd thought the word I used meant something else, but mordant is the only thing I'm remembering.

Like I said, I have loved exploring this guy, and writing stories about him. He's a supporting character in my book, but he has plenty of short stories in which he is the center of attention. He has a wife and two adorable young children, and now recently a third baby on the way. He also had a younger sister, and somewhere in the world with his parents, he has a little brother. He's had a tough life, being a slave for half of it. His journey into the assassin occupation stems from his belief (deluded as it is) that killing is all he's good for. In the book, he's gotten himself pretty deep into trouble, and he hates it, but he stays with it to keep his family safe. They're pretty much the line that keeps him from going off the deep end entirely.

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

He also already has a small fan following. His sad backstory makes him subject to the hugs and tears of fangirls, whether or not he wants it.

Who is one character you wish you had written?
I don't know if there's any particular character... There are characters I'll read about that have traits or personalities I like and wish I could write without completely plagiarizing... I suppose Rupert Greeves, from N.D. Wilson's Ashtown Burials series, would be a character I wish I had written. He is a truly awesome character. He speaks with such wisdom that he inspires even me. He looks out for the main characters, but he's also a bit of a loner, and he's willingly sacrificial.

Is there a character type that intimidates you?
Maybe characters that are extremely clever and witty, with or without accompanying sarcasm. I don't think I'm clever enough to give these kinds of characters the sharp wit they would need, and I tend to avoid those types of characters. I prefer reading about those ones and admiring the skill the writer has in doing them.

Is there a character type that you’re really good at?
Probably the affectionate, protective older brother type. I tend to have a lot of those types of characters, and I feel that I do them well (at least, I haven't heard otherwise). I love writing this kind of character, because it's sweet to see them interact with younger siblings, or even other younger characters who aren't strictly related, but the big brother character takes them under his wing and cares for them anyway. Funny thing is, I don't have an older brother, so personal experience with big brothers isn't a factor in these characters. I've just always enjoyed that kind of character type.

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Best tip/trick you’ve learned while writing characters?
Just let the characters do as they will. Characters sometimes seem to have a life of their own, so explore it, ask questions about them, and see what answers they offer you in return. If I think about a character, things will pop up that just feel right for them, like it makes sense for that character to have that trait or like that particular item, and the character grows even more. Sometimes more things will crop up, or the aspect I found earlier will be expounded upon and I'll understand it more, and maybe understand other parts about them that are connected to it.

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

People Who Have Participated:
*Disclaimer: I am not familiar with most of these blogs. Please use discretion when viewing them.

A. Wrighton
Leslie Conzatti
Emily Ecrivaine Reviews
Rachel A Bolton
Heidi's Ramblings
Writing Stuff

Where This is Going Next:
Kirsi's Book Nook

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