faerie_dreamer: the disney princesses as dark, chibi characters (characters)
[personal profile] faerie_dreamer
Well, it's been over a month since I posted on here, last. ::shakes head:: And that's not even surprising for me. Not to mention that I may not get another chance to really do much posting on here until after the holidays. Work gets crazy at Christmastime, and that's fast approaching.

Most of my writing I do for fun. As such, most of my characters are fae - elves, fairies, pixies, and the like. To me, the fae are fun. They are interesting, and different, and it makes them enjoyable to write about. They exist inside their own specific cultures, and their individual cultures vary even as they have certain things that are the same, or at least similar.

Recently I have actually been working on a story that involves humans - given the stories that I want to write (not to mention usually write), that's actually weird. It has the fae in it as well, though. Watching fae culture through the eyes of humans has been an interesting experience. It's been so long since I've viewed it that way myself that it's kind of crazy. I immersed myself in one specific fae culture fairly completely when I was in about eighth grade. So much of the way they think and behave is completely normal to me. Normal enough that I often have to think a moment to understand certain ways my friends deal with things. It's an odd place to be, and I've been there for a very long time.

Anyway. This post is about characters,

I've always found learning about characters to be fascinating. My husband thinks that's an odd way of putting it. After all, I've created these characters, right? So, shouldn't I just be creating more about them? But that's just not the way it works. I create a character. The basis for the character is in my head, sometimes pretty bare-bones, just so that I have a folder in my head for them. I like jotting down stuff about them in a notebook no matter how little it might be. I usually have a physical description. I might have that first, or it might come later, but when I organize my information into a notebook, the physical description always comes first. To a certain point, the way I write is almost ritual.

Once the character has been born and has their own folder in the computer of my mind, I'll often do scene-runs with them, put them in a room with other characters that I all ready know pretty well to see how they interact. It tells me more about the character I don't have as much information on yet. As the character develops themselves, I get all kinds of interesting information about them. Background stuff, what kind of clothes they prefer to wear, what situations they are most and least comfortable in, whom they get along well with, what kinds of phrases one might hear them use often. Once the character is comfortable inside my head, they've carved out a place for themselves and their information to go, they'll actually start "talking" to me. There are scenes playing about in my mind almost constantly, the way I hear music pretty much all the time. Some of the scenes are ideas I'm working on and developing - usually I'm concentrating on them to shape them up and make them viable for writing. Other scenes are things that just come to me on a whim, stuff I'm not concentrating on in the slightest, and usually is where I learn the most about my characters.

My characters are not always considerate about what information they've decided I need to know about them, nor are they always considerate of their timing when they're informing me of said information. But then, my characters aren't living my life, they're living in my head. I had a character inform me of the first time they realized their enjoyment of a particular activity while I was eating dinner, which was just...atrocious timing. The movie reel of my characters and scenes in my mind is not generally under my specific control. After all, if I tried to control absolutely everything my characters were doing all the time, it's unlikely I'd learn anything about them at all. Though it can be unpredictable and spontaneous, I really enjoy letting them roam about freely in my head. The stuff I find out about them is mind-boggling. The longer they're running around in my head, the more complex they become, the more history I have on them, and the more interesting it is to throw them into new situations and play with them.

I've often wondered if other people's characters talk to them, too. Holding conversations with a character isn't like holding a conversation with a flesh and blood person, but I think it's pretty important in order to really flesh them out. What are their speech patterns? Their mannerisms? Do they stutter? Do they breathe much (I have one character who usually speaks in run-on sentences and doesn't do much breathing in between her paragraph-length speeches.)? What kind of pet names might they use? Who would they use pet names for (if they would for people other than a significant other)? What's their sense of humor like - dry? Sarcastic? What role to they usually play in their normal group of friends and surroundings? I like finding out a lot of the small stuff about them. It just makes working with them so much more interesting!


faerie_dreamer: an open book & writing utencils, a blank page ready for all the creativity you can pour into it (Default)

May 2013

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