background preloader

Building Fictional Characters

Building Fictional Characters

Character Chart FAVORITES Color: Music: Food: Literature: Expressions: Book: Quote: Expletive(s) (swears): Mode of transportation: HABITS Smokes: What? How often? Drinks: What? How often? SELF-PERCEPTION One word character would use to describe self: One paragraph description of how character would describe self: What does character consider best physical characteristic? Immediate goal(s): Long range goal(s): How does character plan to accomplish goal(s)? How character react in a crisis (calm/panic/etc.)? Jewelry? Owns a computer? © (c ) copyright 1990-2011 Rebecca Sinclair ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Authors Note: I worked hard on this. ~ Permission is granted to LINK TO the Fiction Writers Character Chart. ~ Permission is granted to print out a copy of the Fiction Writers Character Chart FOR PERSONAL USE ~ Permission is NOT granted to copy and/or use the Character Chart in print and/or electronic form (including the internet) without express written permission)

Ten Editing Tips, for Your Fiction Mss. | Margaret Atwood: Year of the Flood Speaking of writing, which we did a lot in Tofino: I put these together for a friend, but maybe someone out there could also use them… 1.The beginning. This is the key signature of the book. Sets the tone, introduces the leitmotifs. Are the people in it main characters? 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Like this: Like Loading... 10 Days of Character Building: Interview - PoeWar This is Day 5 of 10 Days of Character Building The character interview is a chance to explore both a character’s background and voice. It is an exploration of a character’s opinions, experiences, goals and attitudes. The basic method of conducting an interview is simple. You ask questions and then, as the character, answer those questions. Interviews come in many forms, and you can get as creative with them as you like. You may also pose the interview as a police interrogation, a job interview or a therapy session. One of the real benefits of the interview method is that it can be a free flowing and natural process. Here are some interviews of authors to get you in the mood:

Web Resources for Developing Characters When developing characters, many writers use personality traits that they see in themselves and in others, such as friends, family and celebrities. A new source of material and information that can help you develop characters is the Internet. The Internet offers some unique resources for character development, such as psychological testing websites, baby name databases and other reference sites and databases. These websites certainly weren't created for writers developing characters; nevertheless, these site are extremely useful for writers. This article will help you locate some of these useful resources, and give you some tips about how you can use them to develop your own characters. Psychological Resources Psychological websites can help writers learn the underlying principles of behavior that motivate or cause people to act as they do. Biography Resources Biography resources can be a great help to writers. Naming Characters Other Resources Developing Characters

Article of The Month This is a quick exercise designed to sketch out the major events of your novel. It only gives you a map-- you have to make the drive yourself! Get a kitchen timer or set your alarm. You're going to free-write for three minutes on several questions. Type or write the question, then set the clock, read the question allowed, and go. 1. 3. There's not enough money for costumes. 7. Okay, half hour's up. Answer 4 gives the protagonist's intended destination. # 6 lists obstacles to the resolution of the conflict. Just remember, your ending is going to help determine the message your reader will retain after closing the book, so make it fit your theme. Rogues To me, names have power, and finding the right name is essential for a book. I also need to find names that fit the period. This doesn't always mean that it'll be one of the "ten most popular" of the time, but it needs to be believable. So, when I started writing medieval novels, I went looking for medieval names. The following is a list of names collected as I researched the period, names of monarchs and nobles, or of people mentioned in court cases and other documents. Below I give a frequency of occurrence list for the fourteenth century kindly supplied by Arlene Sindelar. Please note that some names are place and period specific. Men's names. Women's names. The most popular female English late medieval names are (in order of frequency in the attorney rolls of 1329-1340) Alice (overwhelming) Joan (including Jane), Agnes, Margery, Isabel. For interesting reading on this subject, check out Back to the site menu

Handling a Cast of Thousands - Part I: Getting to Know Your Characters by Will Greenway Few writing challenges are greater than doing justice to a large cast of characters in a novel or story. In fact, the difference between simply doing them justice and handling them well is a significant level of effort in itself. Sadly, this is one of those writer conundrums that is often best resolved with a "Don't do that if it hurts" solution. Getting a grip on your cast Cast members are reoccurring characters who are pivotal to your story. Aside from your main cast, there will be supporting roles, and often dozens of walk-on or cameo characters. Least significant, but always necessary, are walk-ons and cameos. Because of the limited time these characters spend in the frame, writers tend to make them more exotic, giving them odd quirks or ticks in order to make them interesting. Beware of "extras" with aspirations of star status. Don't promote these exotic latecomers to cast status. Casting couch -- criteria for success A viewpoint character carries a heavy onus.

Lightning Bug Gothic Names Short Treatise on Anglo-Norman Personal Names It is a common misconception that medieval English naming practices centred on a relatively small number of personal names. While this is indeed true for the later medieval period, the Anglo-Norman period (which lasted from the Conquest on down to the beginning of the fourteenth century or so) provided a much larger variety of available and relatively common personal names. While certain of these were more popular than others, they did not dominate naming practices to the extent that names such as John, Thomas, Richard, and William for guys and Anne, Elizabeth, Cecily, and Margaret for girls did in later centuries. Furthermore, the popular names in the 13th century did not necessarily maintain their popularity in later years. You will notice the popularity of saints' and Biblical names for both sexes. I will not say much about surnames except to note the two most common forms. Cartulary of Blyth Priory, R.T. Men's Names Women's Names

Character Chart for Fiction Writers - If you're a fiction writer -- whether you're working on a novel, short story, screenplay, television series, play, web series, webserial, or blog-based fiction -- your characters should come alive for your reader or audience. The highly detailed chart below will help writers develop fictional characters who are believable, captivating, and unique. Print this page to complete the form for each main character you create. IMPORTANT: Note that all fields are optional and should be used simply as a guide; character charts should inspire you to think about your character in new ways, rather than constrain your writing. Fill in only as much info as you choose. If this character chart is helpful, please let us know! Looking for more character questionnaires / charts?

Write or Die by Dr Wicked Medieval Favourites - British Baby Names image by Jeff Cottenden Castles, Knights, Jousting, Longbows, Wimples...lovely evocative images that the Middle Ages conjure. And the best thing? Medieval names are just as enticing as the era they hail from. "Medieval" technically encompasses an entire century of European history: the fifth to fifteenth. So many different names were used across this era, and Britain alone had a huge variety of lingual influences. But by the twelfth century England was united; the Normans ruled and had also conquered parts of Wales. With a pool so small it is difficult to define any of the names used at this time as "popular," but we can see certain names being used again and again for many different people. Here are the favourite choices for medieval parents from the twelfth to fourteenth century:

Seven Common Character Types Seven Common Character Types by Terry W. Ervin II Fiction writers employ a variety of characters while weaving their tales. Beyond the standard definitions of protagonist (the main character in a literary work) and antagonist (the main character or force that opposes the protagonist in a literary work), recognizing the types of characters and the parts they play while reading an interesting story can add to the experience. In addition, a fuller understanding of the character types and their uses can increase a writer’s effectiveness in weaving his own fictional tales. Below is a list of common character types, followed by an explanation and short example. Confidante- someone in whom the central character confides, thus revealing the main character’s personality, thoughts, and intentions. Example: In a story, Melvin Sanders is a detective on the trail of a serial killer. In this example Chops is a confidante. In this example Ebenezer Scrooge is a dynamic character. Copyright © Terry W.

ze and zir | Gender Neutral Pronoun Blog What is a gender-neutral pronoun? What does English need a new pronoun for, anyway? Many people have expressed the need for a singular gender-neutral third-person pronoun: that is, a pronoun to use when someone’s gender is unknown or when the individual is neither male or female. Over the centuries, hundreds of new words, or neologisms, have been proposed, with the vast majority being abandoned by all but their creators. One of the biggest problems facing the adoption of a new gender-neutral pronoun is the lack of unity and organization among supporters of the idea. The title of each pronoun links to the first few pages (and concluding paragraph) of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, available for free from Project Gutenberg. This table was taken and edited from this Wikipedia page. 1. Ease of pronunciation: 4/5 Distinction from other pronouns: 4/5 Gender neutrality: 4.5/5 Although relatively obscure, this has become my favorite contender. 2. 3. 4. 5. What’s next?