Tag Archives: characters

Day Fifteen – Where do we stand?

Song of the Day: Walk With Me In Hell, by Lamb of God

Word Count: 33,142

So we’ve hit the halfway point of Camp NaNoWriMo. Lots of hot dogs and marshmellows cooked at the camp fire. Trails traversed. Rocks climbed over.

I’ll let you guys decide the analogies…

Anyway, how am I looking so far?

Here’s a screenshot of the word count graph:

A chart representing my word count for each day.

I wish my savings account grew this fast.

Day 9 was a big help for me. It allowed me to always stay above the minimum words needed for each day. While the graph continues to grow, it has slowed down recently. Work can do this to you.

What to expect? Well I’m hitting a crucial midway point. The antagonist’s grip on the protagonists is tightening. It’s only going to get worst for my heroes for a while. Can they overcome this growing conflict?  Sidewinder and Kait need to work together.

As you’ve probably read the character profiles for Sidewinder and Kait, you can see how they may work together.

Sidewinder represents the bold, but reckless partner who lets his fists do the talking (though he does have a big mouth). He’ll jump in and give anyone a hard time right off the bat…though sometimes he really should think before he acts.

Kait represents the level-headed, but overly-cautious partner. She’ll analyze the situation and figure out the best way to win. She’ll sit back and wait for the opportune moment. Sometimes that moment will never come.

Both methods can work at the right time. They just have to figure out when.

Enjoy the weekend folks!

 

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Day Twelve – Bacon Sundaes!

Song of the Day: Generation Swine, by Motley Crue

Word Count: 28,959

I’m at a point in my story where I am giving Sidewinder, my male MC, a hard time. I’m enjoying every moment on it.

Of course, there’s more to come in terms of conflict, but I like taking a light-hearted approach to putting my characters through hell.

Not to mention, all of these points will come up later in the story. They are defining Sidewinder’s character and giving Kait some moments to shine.

Never forget that your major characters should grow in some way. It doesn’t have to be positive growth, but by the end of the story, there should be some significant contrast between the characters.

Before I sign off to go watch Game 1 of the NBA Finals, I want to remind people doing Camp NaNoWriMo that in the end, you have to have fun doing it. It’s a month of writing and that’s it. Try to hit the goal, but don’t take it too seriously.

P.S I know I haven’t talked about bacon sundaes. So I’ll post something else: a bacon martini!

Bacon-infused Martini!

Very smokey!

Perverse Selection – Character Profile #2

Currently Listening To: Dammit, by Blink-182

This week, let’s say hi to my female main character of Perverse Selection:

The rising star named Kait Drummond.

Kait is what every employer wants – she’s punctual and gets all her work done. Need those reports by the close of business? Kait will do it! Need her to be in for the early morning conference call? She will be there!

However, she’s employed right now. She’s a political aide and a darn good looking one.

Kait’s deductive skills are also up there on her list of qualifications. She will find patterns and observations looked over by her coworkers. Finding solutions to problems is second nature to her.  She can also figure out most people’s true motives by observation and what they say to her.

Her father was a chief scientist and her mother was a lawyer. She got her ability to find solutions from her mother and her deductive skills from her father.

However some of the people closest to her describe Kait as someone who is sometimes too cautious. She tends to be soft-spoken at the fear of overstepping her duties as a political aide. She also wants everyone’s perception of her to be perfect. As a result, she becomes over-obsessive with her image. That’s not to say she doesn’t have thoughts of bending the rules, but she prefers to play by the rules.

She also panics when things don’t go according to schedule. If she happens to take  longer than usual going out for her morning run, she’ll panic and rush to shower, eat etc. Traffic is her nightmare, so she gets to work early.

Change can be scary for someone as methodical as Kait. But with time. she’ll get use to it.

Overall, Kait is a good person at heart. She’s loyal and has great work ethics. However she worries too much about what others think of her. In fact, sometimes Kait just needs to take a chill pill!

(Oh, and she’s taken guys. Sorry!)

Day Four – Sneaking in Words

Song of the Day: Enough Space, by Foo Fighters

Word Count: 11,753

I managed to hit the magic number in terms of words per day – 1,667 words. That’s how much you must write each day minimum if you want to hit the 50,000 goal.

To help me get some words in, I carry around my baby Dell netbook with me. When I am on the train going home or on the bus, I try and write a few hundred words. When I get home, I either email the draft to myself or use a flash drive to get those words to my primary machine and continue writing from there.

If you’re falling behind, here are some tips that can help:

  • Go overboard with description. Say your female MC runs into her hot boss. Spend a good amount of time describing him. When you go to edit, just trim the fat.
  • Give your character some insane routine they do every day and describe it in great detail. To the color and brand of panties they wear on their head before every prep rally at the smelly, rat-infested high school to the number hairs they pull from their bushy chest before going to a tail gate in the parking lot with all the oil spills. Have some fun, give your character something to laugh about at themselves.
  • Just had an argument with someone and it seemed like hours past during that verbose fight? Well put it in the story! It’s likely you won’t use it in the final draft, but know knows? If you have any crazy idea for your story, NaNoWriMo is the time to go loose.

It’s a little sad that I already want the weekend to be here. It’s only Monday.

Putting a face to those characters (Part 1)

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?

*blank stares*

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?

I type from an iPhone

I’m on the train and I’m writing a blog post!

Since I took a long break from Perverse Selection, I’m able to look at the current draft with a fresh set of eyes. Some parts of the plot need some reworking.

One idea I am considering is reworking the characters. The core set of main characters is fine, but other characters I feel were there as placeholders from NaNoWriMo. They don’t grow as the story progresses and they are most prevalent in the weaker parts of the plot. I have to decide if it is worth removing them without changing the main characters too much…

Priorities and What Drives The Plot

Currently Listening To: Lost, by Avenged Sevenfold

So, NaNoWriMo is starting to look more and more…bleak.

Not because I’m chicken.

There’s a good chance I’ll have to work some major overtime at work next month. I won’t bore you with why.

Anyhow,

I found this nifty little article on the website Writer’s Store

http://www.writersstore.com/character-driven-or-action-driven

As the URL suggest, this is an article about whether your story is action-driven or character-driven.

There’s a quiz that you can take to determine what you prefer to write.

Myself? I seem to prefer a little of both.

I like characters that evolve. I like characters who make mistakes and learn from them. After all, they are human (usually). Like the protagonists,I want to leave the story with an experience that changes something about me.

Maybe it’s my view on life after reading The Stranger and seeing Mersault finally break down about the meaningless of life.

Maybe it’s how I take on the inevitable fact that I grow up after reading Harry Potter and watching Harry, Ron and Hermione grow and take on the difficult tasks that lie ahead of them while dealing with seemingly trivial things that were a big deal for their age.

But to watch those characters grow, I need to see them fall on their face. I need to see them work hard to achieve something. Let them be faced with death and finally break out. Let them try and win a tournament there weren’t suppose to be in. Does it hurt me that the protagonist fails sometimes? Of course it does, but when a character gets back up and continues to climb over the hurdles placed in front of them, I want to keep turning the pages. What happens in the end?

I want to see a character go from point A to point B. Don’t just say they did, show it! Every action they take to reach their goal, I want to see them fall and get up.

A character could be the most interesting guy or gal ever, but if they have no goals, why would I want to read about them?

So in short, I favor action-driven stories just slightly more than character-driven stories because I want to read about a character who has goals. I want to see how and if they achieve them and how the “quest” changes them (hopefully).