Wednesday, March 8, 2017

5 Character Creation Tips

I've mentioned in previous posts that I receive a lot of questions on my process of creating characters.  So, I am going to attempt to break it down for those that are interested.  These are the techniques and inspirations that work best for me but everyone is different, so feel free to pick and choose which things you'd like to try for yourself.

Since I've already written about the basics of character creation, I'm going to assume you already have a character established and that we're now working on fleshing them out so that they will be a fully individual and original character.  Generic tropes are boring for everyone.
Write A Character Sheet

I usually write my character sheets in the same notebook where I've outlined my story.  This is so you can easily reference all of those little details that you might have to refer back to while writing (i.e.- Physical Attributes, Strengths, Weaknesses, Personality Traits, etc.).  It doesn't have to be long.  Mine are usually written in bullet points and only take up half a page for each character.  These are your building blocks so don't feel bad if each description is only a few words;  you'll be constructing more along the way.

Create An Inspiration Board

This is incredibly easy and not very time consuming (Unless you want it to be.) since Pinterest exists.  Look up some quotes, mood setting photography, and maybe even some actors/models that match the vibe you want for your character.  Pretty self-explanatory and extremely fun.

Curate A Playlist

I like to use Spotify for this but use whatever service you prefer.  Personally, I make a playlist for each book and certain songs reflect certain characters.  However, making an entire playlist dedicated to one character would also be useful.  Just don't go overboard.  I try to keep my book playlists at 20-30 songs.  So, for a single character, I'd probably only make one with 5-10 songs that would effectively score their story arc.

(vibes // Vincent Roam)

Cast The Role

This can tie in with the Inspiration Board tip.  You don't have to do this but a lot of writers do.  Thinking of an actor/model/etc. as a "face character" is a fantastic tool once you begin writing.  It helps you envision things like expressions, tone, and body language.  Try to think of at least three people you would "cast" in your role. 

Playtest Them In Action

I mentioned this tip in a previous post.  It's very important to play out scenes in your mind more than once, or even to act them out for yourself, before you write them.  It forces you to really conceive all of the ideas, mannerisms, and feelings your character would be grappling with in a situation.  Also, it helps with constructing dialogue.

I hope these methods help you out with your process!  I've found they're a great way to develop characters and have a lot of fun in the process.

If you've created a number of characters already, are there any special habits you've formed along the way?  I'd love to hear them!

Thanks for reading!
Dez ☿

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Meet My Characters: Benny the Werehuahua

In this week's "Meet My Characters" blog linkup, I'm going to give you a little more insight into a ROAM fan favorite.

Benny, the Werehuahua

Benny is a staple in the ROAM series and such a fun character.  I feel his enthusiasm really jumps off the page.  Most readers tell me that he's their favorite (Beside those who have fallen for Dacey, of course. haha).

Technically, Benny would be a "reverse" Werehuahua.  Yes, it's exactly as it sounds.  He began life as a chihuahua, found himself cursed, and now becomes a human every day and reverts back to his natural form every night (No full moon necessary.).

For being a cursed creature, Benny is actually extremely positive and joyful.  I think he views his condition as more of a blessing than a curse and is actually kind of worried of it ever breaking.

I've had Benny's character in my back pocket for some time.  Originally, he was a silly little thing that I created for a Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG (Throwback Thursday, much?) over a decade ago and I always knew that I wanted to use him in an original story.  He finally found a forever home in ROAM. (Fun Fact:  He and an early version of Ethan Roam both came from that RPG.  They met when Ethan walked in on a guy [Benny] drinking out of a toilet.  haha)

In the series, he becomes both Dr. Grady Hunter's pet and employee (depending on his physical state).  He befriends Ethan and considers himself a loyal protector of his small misfit family.  Unless food is involved.  Then it's every man(dog) for himself.

(Ethan & Benny illustration by Whimsy and Noir)

Where does he go from here?

Benny will be traveling soon.  You'll have to read HUNTER for more clarity on that.  :)

Thanks for reading!  Also, a quick update:
I now have an official website and will soon be importing my blog.  I'll be sure to let you all know when it's up and running over there.

-Dez ☿