Last week you read my Brainstorming, which turned into a neat little story idea. Most of the brainstorming gave me information about the characters and the world, but when I sat down to start writing this post my mind leaned more toward developing the characters, so that’s what this weeks writer’s journey post is going to be consumed with.
There’s many ways you can go about developing a new character. Most of the time I use an outline and jot down all the basic information, hair color, body style and so forth, but when I pulled up my outline that I use for this I found myself stumped. To try and unblock my mind I started searching for an image to relate to the main character, but once again I found myself unable to locate the spark I needed. I was just about to take a break when I decided to try an approach that I use when I have a Main Character who is misbehaving or I can’t narrow in a certain emotion I need to portray for him/her. What I do is an interview with the character. I’ll warn you sometimes they turn more into an interrogation, the type you see on those TV shows, but they usually have some comical issues arise in them. So, we’ll see how it works, because I’ve never tried this on a sexless, nameless, and faceless character before.
Julia: You are buzzing around in my line of sight, but I can’t find anything out about you. Not even a name. Why don’t we start this off by you giving me a name?
Mark Taz: Names Mark Taz
Julia: Nice to meet you Mark Taz. Care to tell me what role you are going to fill in my newest story?
Mark Taz: Thought that was up to you.
Julia: It is, but if you care to share your opinions then I’ll gladly listen and take it into consideration.
The deep hardy chuckled told me that Mark got my point.
Mark Taz: Well let’s just say I may not live long enough to tell you exactly who I am once I enlighten my son, Talon Taz about who and what he is.
Oh, I hadn’t’ expected to be handed the father character first. Nice turn of events. Most of the time I get slammed with the main characters first, not a secondary/minor one.
Julia: Can you blame him? You are about to admit to hiding a major part of your life and his own life from him. I’d be pissed at you as well. Do you really think he will kill you?
Mark frowned and shook his head.
Mark Taz” No, but he’ll be pissed to high heaven, and you’re right he has reason to. He’ll ignore me for a bit, and that hurts worse, in my opinion. I’d rather him vent his anger out, but my son will bottle it up and stash it away until he’s taken all he can an then he will let lose on me.
Julia: So, Talon will become a ticking time bomb?
Mark Taz: Yep, but only I will be impacted by his explosion, which I guess I deserve.
Julia: Why did you keep such a secret from him?
Mark Taz: My family caused major destruction among our people and the humans. I thought by choosing a human wife and rejecting the Click that I’d save my son from the hardships of our race, but Click Leader Jaguar didn’t do as promised.
Julia: People saying one thing and doing another sucks ass, but happens all the time, which is why you should’ve been honest with Talon from the get go. Now you’re in tight spot and so is he. Do you think it could’ve been avoided if you had told him the truth about who he was?
Mark Taz: I’d like to say yes, but fate and destiny has a way of getting their own way, no matter what we as a person want.
Julia: I don’t envy you. I know my parents lied to me about such a major issue I’d be ready to rip their heads off, but I wouldn’t because they taught me that sometimes people make the wrong choice.
Mark Taz: Talon will be and he’ll come to the same conclusion, but it may take him awhile and I’m not sure how I’ll handle that. My son and I are close, which is why my decent will be enve more painful to him.
Julia: I don’t mean this harsh, but I’m glad I’m not in your shoes. So, I’ll tell you this, let Talon know if he needs to discuss things with me, I’ll be here to listen.
End of Interview
The above interview gave me information on two characters. Mark, the father, and Talon, the son. From here I went on to interview two other characters, the other Main Character and another Secondary Character. All four characters ended up being interviewed on two different occasions. Each interaction gained me more and more knowledge about the characters’ descriptions, some personality traits, some personal insight, and gave me a better sense of the plot, as well as a villain.
Now, it’s time to sit down and organize the information I gained into separate files about each character, about the plot, and see what else I may gain from these interviews.
I’ll be back next week with more. Have a great week and remember:
Let your imagination soar when you read and write.