Thursday, April 30, 2009

What?! You're kidding me, right?

Today is Thursday? Then why does it feel so much like Friday. *sigh* Crud. That means today is laundry day. I could put it off until this weekend so hubby could help. Can't do that though, all of our beach clothes are starting to smell. Ugh. I got off easy for dinner last night cause the guys wanted my homemade pizza which is super easy and quick. But I didn't even get a chance to open any files to work...played on Facebook talking with an old friend for a bit. Then I was soooo sleepy that we were in bed by 9:00. Do I feel rested this morning....noooooo. Why can't it just be Friday. *insert whiny voice*

I thought todays blog might be a good time to talk about character development. When I first started writing I had the basic concept down. I usually had a specific character and situation in mind. Got the looks and personality traits down on paper. Then I found a romance writing tips website that had link to a psychology site describing certain types and how it showed through behavior. I went back recently and the MSN group was closed. I've heard some people use astrology and signs. Using the traits normal for a certain sign.

My next step is to sit down and interview my main character. I usually have a certain conflict in mind and most of the time it's tweaked throughout the ms due to problems presented. Maybe the conflict isn't strong enough to keep the plot going to the end of the book. But I will try to find out what made my character interesting. Their childhood and environment. And I start asking why. Why is he/she angry? Why is he/she so down on marriage? What kind of woman/man does he/she despise?

That usually leads to more questions. And it also helps me form my next character. What kind of woman would cause the main character the most angst. And why. Alot of times he/she will be the exact opposite of what the MC wants. What kind of personality would compliment my MC to bring about the happily-ever-after. We often seem to be drawn to our opposite which can make life quite interesting.

Character charts can be great to keep track of details. I'm not that organized. I'll do research like I'm doing now. I'll look up a certain occupation and see what types of personalitites usually fall within that group. Then I just open a file and start typing a really rough synopsis, which comes in handy later. And I'll add to it as I develop my characters. How do you develop your characters? Do you keep detailed notes?

6 comments:

Jody Hedlund said...

So, it sounds like your a go-with-the-flow kind of planner? No charts, no worksheets? I like your method of "interviewing" your characters. Makes them sound real!

I'm a chart kind of gal. I have a four sheet questionnaire I fill out for each of my MC's and a one page sheet for my minors. I like having the sheets to refer back to as I write, especially since I tend to forget things so easily as I write!

Chelle Sandell said...

Yep...I think I am. I tried the organized chart thing and ended up losing the sheets. So now it's almost as easy for me to do the synopsis and map everything out. It often changes as I go...but I have basics to refer back to if needed.

Chicki said...

Was that the MSN Romance Writing group? If so, they have moved to:

http://www.socialpolitan.org/grp.php?action=group&ID=4

I'm sending you the character profile I use by e-mail.

Stephanie said...

I have so much to learn from you. I'm so clueless about all of this! I try to keep it in my head but I can't remember squat!

Chelle Sandell said...

Chicki ~ Thanks, honey! That's exactly what I was looking for! I'll blog about it next week cause they used to have some great articles.

Chelle Sandell said...

Oh, girl!! You are FAR from clueless! Chicki just sent me some files on character development and novel notebook organization. I'll upload them to the crit group tomorrow;) That's what we're there for.