Well, it’s been a while.
I had been putting off updating this blog in the hopes the next thing I would post would be a completed first draft of a slightly longer teaser piece I’ve been working on but, due to some distractions (Geralt and Eli, I’m looking at you) I still haven’t finished it. Instead, here’s another character writeup from the same world to keep things ticking over.
This exercise was harder with Reika than it was for Tamina as her role in the overall plot was less well defined when I started. She eventually became a meld of her original character and another who didn’t really have enough to do to justify their existence but I’m now concerned she’s become too useful; I’ll just have to think up some interesting and crippling problems in addition to those below to stop her running the show.
In reading over the text below before posting it I’m not really happy with it, so as usual everything remains subject to change!
This is a writeup of a character I’m playing with for inclusion in a project, created using the character creation exercise mentioned in the previous post. Whilst the character concept didn’t change a huge amount during the writing of this (the biggest changes happened when I redid her mother’s concept and had to adjust their relationship, but this will be talked about in a later post), but I did end up doing two ‘test drives’ for her as I found the first one to be a bit boring after completing it.
Tamina’s plotline is a largely personal one so her problems and solutions are very inward looking. This made her quite an easy character to start this exercise with as I didn’t have to make any concrete decisions about a lot of the rest of the setting, though all details should still be considered subject to change. Be warned, there be minor spoilers within.
EDIT: Let this be a lesson in why you shouldn’t write something on a tablet whilst on a train then proof-read it whilst pretty sleepy, stories below edited to remove bloopers.
One of my favourite parts of writing anything is the planning that goes into the piece beforehand. This mainly takes the form of me imagining a world and characters and a load of exciting set pieces for them to be in before coming across my normal stumbling block of how to link the set pieces together without being boring, but that’s something I’ll deal with another time.
As part of trying to kick-start myself into producing something I’ve been dreaming up different settings and new characters (well, some rehashed old characters as well) to put in them. One of the exercises I’ve been using to do this is Chuck Wendig’s The Zero-Fuckery Quick-Create Guide To Kick-Ass Characters, the author’s quick-start method of getting inside the characters’ heads. Aside from answering a number of questions about a character’s personality (ignoring the normal height, weight, hair colour etc.) it also prompts you to write a 500 word flash piece about the character to ‘test drive’ them, and I’ve been busy doing this for a number of mine.
I highly recommend you read his article in full as the explanations he gives are far better than my summary below, but if you just want the basics here’s something you can copy into Dark Room (other text editors are available) and get started with:
Name: <the character’s name, duh>
Logline (v1): <a one-sentence description of the character>
Problem: <what the character wants to achieve, what drives them to act>
Solution: <what the character believes the solution to their problem is>
Conflict: <why the character’s solution hasn’t worked yet>
Limitations: <personality traits the character has that make their life more difficult>
Complications: <external factors that affect the character and make their life more difficult>
Greatest Fear: <…their greatest fear>
Description: <a description of the character, max. 100 words>
Test Drive: <a 500 word flash piece to test out the character>
Logline (v2): <a one-sentence description of the character now you’ve thought them through to see how they’ve changed>
I will post some of the write-ups I’ve done for my characters soon.
The Vault is empty! I’ve finally hit the end of my back catalogue and from this point onward will have to write anything new that I want to upload! I actually have a few small pieces prepared now, but I won’t speak about them too much as I’d run out of things to say in their updates.
The last item in the Vault goes out with somewhat of a whimper rather than a bang as it’s the last chapter of the unfinished Whispering Rock; it isn’t even much of a cliffhanger to go out on! Regardless, hopefully you’ll enjoy it as it’s both the longest and most recent work I’ve produced and thus is a pretty good example of how I currently write. If anyone who actually can write is reading this blog I’d love to hear any feedback you have about the Whispering Rock pieces (as the pinnacle of the back catalogue) and about anything I upload from this point out. TIA!
The final chapter can be found here: Whispering Rock, Chapter 3
Work is now underway! In the last few days (partially prompted by realising this is the penultimate Vault piece I have to upload) I have been working on a few new things; an original piece that’ll serve as a teaser for a larger project I want to start working on and an application to write freelance for Evil Hat Productions.
In all honesty I found the process of sitting down and starting to put things on paper again pretty tough. I’ll release the first draft of the original piece on here when it’s complete and if you do take time to read it you’ll probably see how clunky the first few hundred words are; I honestly felt like a rusty machine finally lurching back into life and it’s going to take me a little while to reacquaint myself with how to actually produce something passable. Regardless, I feel pretty good at finally sitting down and getting something done, and since starting have found myself pottering back to the document every hour or so to tweak something or add a few more lines; it’s not quite the floodgates finally opening but there’s a little leak there at least.
Anyway, to keep you punters flocking back in the meantime you can find part two of Whispering Rock here: Whispering Rock, Chapter 2