Currently Listening To: Undersea Palace, originally from the game Chrono Trigger. Covered by Rare Candy.
Our characters are our best buddies right? Don’t you just want to have dinner with them, or bring them to happy hour?
Ok…maybe not all of your characters.
Anyway, when you’re writing your chapters, I’m sure you’re running the scenes all through your head:
The princess with the silky golden hair, the green eyes, and the curves… is screaming as the the dark wizard – an aging man with white hair and a savage beard whose brown eyes send shivers down your spine – prepares to release her soul into a mighty volcano. The hero, a tall and muscular man with a shaved head, blue eyes that are full of life, and skin that’s just a shade below pale, is climbing up the treacherous land mass in order to save the girl he loves.
Did you come up with physical characteristics out of the blue? Maybe had a hat full of those traits and picked a bunch to design a character.
Or when you were planning out your characters, you thought of people you know and/or seen and probably used them as a template?
I went the latter route. Nothing wrong with the former though.
I utilize the application Evernote and basically have notebooks for each of my major characters. Before I began planning them out, I went on Google and searched images of actor and actresses. If I had friends with striking physical features, I noted them down. When I was enjoying sitting by the river on Sunday, I was observing people and all those images are fresh in my head.
One other tactic I used is my ears. No my ears can’t see things (that’d be one heck of an episode of synesthesia though). My characters need a voice. I love watching movies and TV shows, why not use them as a study tool? Characters who are typically sarcastic could sound a bit like Dr. Gregory House. A character who runs his mouth might have echoes of The Doctor.
Now keep in mind, the point is not to copy characters off of other shows or stories (seriously, don’t do that). But rather they can be used as a stepping stone and then you, the author, add your creative touches to them.
What do you guys think? How do you go about creating your character?