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.