Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How Do I Get To Know My Characters?

Question by Rebecca.

Well, let's see.  I don't interview my characters.  We don't really interact.  Maybe in my head, right before I go to sleep, where no one can see the jumble of insanity going on, I will think about asking him/her some questions.  

I think what I tend to do instead, is go through an ordinary day, and imagine how characters would interact with an environment or situation if they were in my place.  I let myself imagine the snide remarks they would make (if they're the kind of people who would make snide remarks) and how they would feel about a scenario.  One at a time, of course.  I don't need an entire cast crowding my head.

Some of them are more amusing to spend a day with than others.  I designate characters as "the one I would want to be with if we were going to a party" or "the one I would want to be with if I had a huge exam and needed a ton of patient tutoring" or "the one I would want to be with if I was in a crap-tacular mood."

I really, really hate looking for pictures of my characters.  They look so distinct in my head that I can never find just the right picture.  And I also don't like pictures because they're very cut and paste about looks.  If I do look for them, I prefer paintings or sketches.  They give a dreamy quality to the character, a more fictional feel that I like.

But since I feel the need to physically represent a character for you, here are some pictures. They're not perfect, but they're about as close as I can get, I guess.

This is Megara from Across The River Styx.  I call her Meg for short, but nobody else does.  She is the MC and the first-person narrator.  This particular representation of her has green eyes, which is important.  Not to the plot, but to the way she looks.

This is Elladora from the NaNoWriMo project.  I call her Ella.  Most people do.  She's not even the MC, but I just really adore her.  I think she's my favorite character so far, out of everything I've done.  This representation of her has the upturned nose and short brown hair.  That is, apparently, really hard to find.

The pictures are actually of Rachel Hurd-Wood and Tatiana Romanov.  Tatiana usually looks so sad, so I found a picture where she...doesn't look AS sad.  Ella is not a sad person.  Really not.

Also, I am registered for NaNoWriMo under Icy Roses, so if you're participating too, look me up so we can be buddies!

Monday: Sometimes Nonsense
Tuesday: me
Wednesday: Girl With A Notebook
Thursday: Flames and Shadows
Friday: Somewhere Nowhere In My Kingdom


  1. I always end up doing a 25 things about a character sheet. I feel like I need all those details to really create a person.

  2. Ooh, you decided to do NaNo? I don't think I knew that! I was going to do it without registering and being offical about it, but maybe I will....

    I don't look up pictures for my characters either. It's such a time killer (and really, I have Youtube and Twitter and People.com for that) and also sort of skews my mental perception of characters.

  3. I'll find you on NaNo! And I don't like looking up pictures of my characters either. They're never quite right.

  4. I wish I could do a sketch for my character...however my skills are simply inadaquate to represent someone in a drawing. (Best not to humiliate myself and to eternally ruin a character's image)
    By the way, if you have time, check out my newly registered blog and give me some feedback on my poems!! :D