Sunday, August 5, 2012

Writing: What I Look for When Creating Characters.

A friend of mine took this picture.
     One of the largest parts of my life that I rarely share with the blogging world is my writing. Most of the time, my writing is personal and in depth or I think it's just plain stupid to share it. However, lately I have been writing endless short stories and poems, and I have discovered my favorite thing to do is create characters.
      You can create anyone and you can make them be virtually anything; you can change their hair color, describe the way they walk, have them be a jerk or a saint-- the possibilities are endless..
      So, I figured I would share some of the stuff I look for when creating a strong and well-developed character :)

1. A Strong Name.
    The name of your character is one of the most important things. This is where your reader is first introduced to this new person and a awful name or a name you can't quite pronounce right can ultimately throw the reader's first impression away. On the other hand, awful names are very helpful in the process of writing a bully or a villain. :)
     Some of my favorite names that I use quite often in my short stories or my novels in progress, are names I've either heard been called on the street or overheard in a book store. I also use names in the process of further developing my character; for example, if I wanted the character to be strong, I would name them "Bree" or "Brogan," both names mean strong in Greek.  And on some rare occasions, I name them after a historical figure. I am literally always on the lookout for a cool new name. Here are some of my most used names: Nash, Gemma, Lottie, Kyan, Rakel, and Matteo, just to name a few. :)

2. First Impressions.
    Typically, when you first introduce a character you mention their name, and then their initial description. This where I sometimes seem to falter, only because I can totally see them in my head but then when I try to hit the mark on the paper, I am slightly off. I mention their height, hair color, and overall persona without being wordy.
     Here is one of my all-time favorites that started off one of my short stories I wrote for friend:
     "I spun around on my heel of face him once again and I got my first real look at him. He had shaggy dark hair that looked like it would always be in his eyes, piercing crystal blue eyes that looked even bluer in this rainy weather and he towered over me, way over 6 feet."

3. Be creative.
     In the initial writing of a character, I typically over-exaggerate and write them in a total creative manner. Then, I go back and edit. In the world of writing, I don't see any limits. There isn't really a rule on how crazy a character can be or how they talk.
     And I love that. :)
Be looking for some of my short stories/poems/novels-in-progress soon! I am starting to want to share them :)

mckenna k. xx

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