Thursday, September 29, 2011

9/29/2011 Terrific Thursday

Thanks again and I'm sorry for not posting last night. I got home from visiting with a friend and had a super bad migraine, and while I did take my medicine, I'm sure you would have all rather preferred a post you could all follow, and not the strange ramblings of a crazy person.

Anyway, let's get down to business, and now that I have a Disney song stuck in my head, I'll try to get through this posting. Something I wanted to talk about today was character development. This is something that is near and dear to my heart, and is something that can make or break a story. One thing that drives me absolutely crazy, and this is true or books, movies, anime, television shows, is when I could care less about the main character(s). For example, when I watched Full Metal Alchemist the first time around (not Brotherhood, that is magical) I could have cared less about what was happening to the Elric brothers by the end of it. I found the characters in the military far more interesting. This bothered me.

Now something that I believe being a table-top gamer has given me the advantage of is being able to actually make a character, and I don't just mean rolling dice followed by a round of screaming at them for obviously plotting against me. I mean being able to look at my options and putting together a person that has a life, people in their background/present/future, goals, skills, ambitions, and so forth. So one of the things I do when I go to start a story is I figure out my main character, give them a name, then actually put together who they are. Where/when they were born, the circumstances of their birth, how/where/when they grew up, and what influenced them into becoming the person they are in the story.

It's also important to remember the main character doesn't have to be the single most amazing person on the face of the entire planet. For my story, "Daughter of the Shackled King" I'm making it a point to show that the main character was just a normal person who just happened to be thrown into everything that's going on. Sure she gets super awesome powers, but that doesn't mean she's the most powerful, or the most skilled, or anything like that. What is important is to make your characters believable. Give them faults, make them fallible, make it so they learn from what's going on around them, not just instantly know how to solve every problem ever, that makes them boring.

Something that I find incredibly fun is working out what happens behind the scenes, or working out exactly how all the characters are connected to one another, and how the relationships will grow and/or change throughout the course of the story. Once you figure that out, visualize laying your plot over it and working out exactly how everything fits together. That way you'll know exactly at which point in the story the main character's view of someone else changes and they can finally start working together to stop the big-bad. Speaking of villains, those are super fun too. Treat them as another character (because they are) and develop them just as much as the good guys, make them into a person to. The villain should be as well thought out as the hero, they should be able to compliment one another so that their confrontations are entertaining and feel right.

I hope this was helpful for everyone. As for tomorrow, I'm not sure if I'll have a new book up since I had a profound lack of time this week. What I may do is re-post links to everything that's been put up already and where to find them (in case things have changed, i.e. more locations available and so forth). Hope that'll only happen this week. Thanks again! I'll post that up tomorrow!

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