Creating Characters

A place for writer's to congregate and commiserate about the life of the writer. Discuss techniques for fixing your prose, livening up your dialogue, or awakening your muse. Also share in writing victories, be they publication or contest winnings.

Moderator: Metaphor Makers

User avatar
Nephtalius
Wordtripper Extraordinaire
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 7:38 pm
Location: Western U. S.

Postby Nephtalius » Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:33 pm

Do you ever think of a name, and then invent a charater to fit the name??

For example, think of a woman named Evelyn. How old is Evelyn?? Is she married?? Does she have kids?? Does she work outside the home?? What is her income?? How much education does she have?? Does she go to church?? If so, which one?? How does she dress?? And, of course, what does she look like??

Now, ask the same questions about a woman named Bubbles. I bet the answers will be different!
Ethics are so annoying. I avoid them on principle. -- Bucky in the Get Fuzzy comic strip.
User avatar
JillStar
Moderator+
Posts: 12824
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 8:36 pm
Location: The land of Pensive Reflection

Postby JillStar » Sat Oct 07, 2006 3:57 pm

That's an interesting way of doing it... and I think a great idea. Names mean different things to everyone and I would be interested in what one person thinks of Evelyn vs. another.

Part of our reasoning will have to do with people we've met through our life or movies we've seen or books we've read. For instance, I could never have a character named Buffy because I would always think of the tv show character. I could never have a character named Jordi because it makes me think of Star Trek.

I like this idea!!
Fast Fiction Friday Blog 2011-2018: Additional FFF Prompts
User avatar
hyperfine
Wordtripper Extraordinaire
Posts: 500
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 9:55 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Postby hyperfine » Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:26 pm

I tear pictures out of magazines sometimes. But you can ed up with too many glossy perfume ads that way.
Me fail English? That's unpossible!
User avatar
pengwenn
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 5534
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: a nice padded cubicle
Contact:

Postby pengwenn » Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:30 pm

Hey, I work with an Evelyn. She goes by Suzy. Don't ask 'cause I don't know why.
Is this my reality or yours?
User avatar
Etto
Wordtripper
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 9:51 pm
Location: USA

Postby Etto » Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:40 pm

When I create characters, it seems a lot less visually oriented then some of the apparently more common strategies... I don't know why. It seems to work, though! Instead of imagining a face, I sort of imagine their personality... which isn't such a dry concept as it sounds!... and what they do for a living, and where they're from, and other things that form people like geological landscapes. (For a lack of a different simile!) After I've got those elements floating around in my mind, a personality, or attitude, surfaces. Then I start seeing gestures and habits, and the things that surround them, and how they talk, and most importantly, what makes them tick.

Dang, my brain is vague. XP Does anyone else work this way? I think looking at a photo would freeze me up - it always has in character prompts. The closest description of it is finding the texture of the character. Weird, huh? :wink:

ETA: On second thought... I do visualize the character - but they're always doing something, which always leads on to what they do, and why, and what they want. Anyway! :-P
User avatar
Mlou
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 16613
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Vermont

Postby Mlou » Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:10 pm

Pengwenn, what you've got there is the perfect character for a split personality! :wink:
I've never thought about just how I get my characters. They sort of just form as I'm working on them. If I know they're going to be the heroes or the villains, I start slipping in little traits that will point in that direction.
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...


GINGERBREAD MAN by Mary Lou Healy at Amazon.com http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/ ... ogid=16658 at Publish America

Return to “The Writer's Life - Techniques, Characterization, Writing Ideas, & More”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests