Tuesday 19 January 2016

On Character Creation

Hello everyone,
I found this morning that either something is wrong with Blogger's stats or over 100 people have looked at my blog today. I'm leaning towards the first option.

I've found coming up with the characters for my story quite interesting. It’s strange how they can become almost real in your head. Having characters just walk in as interesting people or having to figure them out a lot. I tend to like the ones that I haven’t had to put as much thought into more.

For example I decided I needed some female brigands for balance reasons. (Perhaps not the best reason, but it doesn't matter now.) I decided that the leader was a girl named Joane Artyn, that she was very bossy and not particularly friendly. Before I knew it she had a unique way of speaking and a unique view on life. She became the rival of the main character, and somewhat ruthless against her but also has a somewhat caring and honourable side. She is so different to myself, but I love her. I love the way she says ya instead of you, pronounces Adlayda in a mocking way (ad-LAAY-da) and makes everyone call her Lady Joane. I love the strangely forgiving side of her that occasionally shows when she pities someone.

On the other hand there is Nylf (I need to give a new last name too.). He is an essential character and I kept trying to make him act the way I wanted. He came out boring and dull half of the time. I didn't understand his motivations at all. I didn't know why Adel liked him. I didn't know how he ought to act always. I kept trying to figure it out, but got nowhere. Finally I changed his name. (The previous one was so bad I shall not even honour it by a mention.) It helped slightly. Then I realised that he needed a bit more natural wit and charm. I actually borrowed some ideas from a couple of other people’s characters. Now he springs to life and I mostly understand him. It has taken a long time though and isn't finished.

There is also the pain of having to abandon characters. Before I started my current story I had taken the same initial idea in a different direction. I had created a rather accident prone, somewhat slow tongued hero. His name was Symun. He was my MC’s cousin, and they had an interesting relationship. She didn't really like him particularly at first, while he saw it as his duty to protect her and kept failing dismally. It made him feel terrible. He was a delightful character to work with. I didn't really write much with him, but I enjoyed every bit. My MC, Princess Elnissa (Yes I was writing about a princess.) was well rounded too and her little sister Lekita was adorable.

I'm actually surprised how good my first characters were. Most of them had a good motive. My villain was just slightly too dark-lordish and had a moustache and wore black, but he had intelligent soldiers not stupid minions. My worse blunder would have been with a character named Rahazera (She was an odd character who came from a foreign country to make her exotic. Some time she was Arabian or Indian, other times she was an albino from the ice land. I thought that having her a normal person would be too boring. Other times I thought it would be better without her.) She did have some interesting traits though, some of which I realised she shares with Joane. I will miss Symun and Leki and Elnissa and I may work them into another story. I'm afraid the original one is really too similar to my current work to write, though sometimes I'm not sure. It may actually be the better of the two. (and the more I think about it the more I am convinced it is that way, so I try not to think about it.)

Enough rambling, I think that’s all the thoughts I have on characters at the moment. Anyone got anything interesting to add?

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