Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Getting Personal with my Characters

What am I reading now?  Drake Chronicles (0.5, 1, 2, 3, 3.5, 4 and 5)

Annnd . . .What do I think so far?  You can probably tell by the long line of book covers that I'm enjoying this series!

Yeah, I really don't care if the publishing industry is "tired of vampire stories" -- I'm not. Good stories are good stories. Period.

The series revolves around two girls, Solange and Lucy. They're neighbors and best friends. Solange is the only girl in the Drake family. She's also the youngest and has seven brothers. Oh, they're vampires from a royal, but ousted, line dating back to the 13th Century.

Lucy is human but her family has it's quirks too. And Lucy would like to be better than just neighbors or friends with Solange's brother, Nick.

Turns out it isn't such an odd thing for this family as Solange is attracted to a human as well. But Kieran's family are vampire slayers.

There's a whole lot here that can go very wrong very quickly, and it does.

You're lucky to be starting this series with so many of the books already out--the ending of book 4 (Bleeding Hearts) about caused cardiac arrest when I read it! Luckily, book 5 had just come out. Whew--dodged a heart attack.

Getting Personal with my Characters

I did a great writing exercise (got the idea from Victoria Lynn Schmidt's book, 45 Master Characters) with my characters this week that I think I'll continue. It gave me some great insight into how they would react to situations the plot throws at them and what their conversations would be like. Here's what you do.

Write 2 pages (long hand) that tells which classical archetype character your character is most like. Classical Archetypes = Greek Gods. Write evidence that shows how that personality plays into their voice, reactions and actions.

Write another page where your character tells you what she/he thinks of the goals you've given them.

I also wrote a short character arc that moves from weakness to strength in 3 or 4 areas to help guide the revisions I'm making on the story.

I've completed two characters so far and it gave me some good ideas for strengthening scenes, characters and dialogue.


Renae W. Mackley said...

Anything that strengthens what you know about and do with a character is a good exercise. We don't often take the time to do this but it can be surprisingly helpful. As far as Greek gods, this assumes I remember enough about their personalities to label my characters after them. Ha ha. That would take another exercise first. But I could do something about the goals part. Thanks for another idea.

Donna K. Weaver said...

What kind of format do you keep it in? Essay style?

Canda said...

Donna, Ijust write it out long hand in a notebook.
Renae, you don't have to remember the Greek gods, Schmidt's book will lead you through it.

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

I can use this exercise right now. Thanks :)

Tera Mecham said...

That's new and different. I like it!

The Damsel in Dis Dress said...

Thanks! I'm always looking for things like this, both for me and for my teen writing class I teach. I appreciate it.