Sister started this blog this morning, but her computer decided to act up again and she lost over half of this blog. I believe if that computer acts up one more time, she’ll throw it out the window into the snow. I can understand her frustration after all the computer problems I’ve had with mine. Hammers look really good tempting sometimes for fixing computers. After her portion, I’ll write about characterization.
Good morning all. I hope life is as sweet as a new puppy for all of you. Here in KY, we are just sliding by. And I mean that literally. We are under a storm warning, watch, something. As of this minute, it is raining. By 10:00 it is supposed to turn to sleet, then snow. We are expecting 6-10 inches. All I know is that it looks like a Logan County day. Logan County in WV, is mining country. The sun never came through the dust and smog when I was a child. My father came home from work and all you could see were his eyes. My mother would hang sheets on the clothes line and when she took them down, she would have to shake the dust off of them. So now, if it is gray and cloudy, we call it a Logan County.
I remember talking about paragraphs, and the fact that you need to make sure you are changing the subject, in order to start a new paragraph. Also, the statement,” He walked out of the door.” Just envision it. “He walked out the door,” makes a better picture.
When you write a novel, especially fiction, your characters have to be as familiar to you as a member of your family. Ninety-nine percent of mine are based on actual people who I know, have known, worked with, or some traits I have created. I take this trait from one, something different from another and use it. Mostly, my character’s traits are a combination of different people.
You have to know your villains just as well as the good guys.
I create their names. Their names seem to be established in my brain and pop out at the precise moment I create their folder. For every character, you should have a folder. If you have no idea what your character looks like, do as I do, look in magazines, on the internet for actor or actresses who might fit the image in your mind. Print off or cut out their photo and staple it to the inside of your folder. Now you know what your person looks like. BUT, WHO ARE THEY?
Start with their date of birth. Determine their current age, so you’ll know the time frame in which they grew up. What city, town, and state, or country were they born. Make sure you know something about that area or do a lot of research so you do. Who were their parents, are they alive, deceased, if deceased, when, where, and how. This will be the basic formation of your character’s childhood into adulthood.
List schooling. How extensive was their education, who were their friends that has influence on the character’s life. College? Military service, went war, what happened to them if they did? What do they like to eat, what type of clothes do the prefer, music, books, booze, entertainment. List as much information that you can think of. This will make your characters come to life for you.
You create every aspect of your character’s life, and you do this for each and every major person in your novel. It takes time and a lot of thought, but it is worth it.
If you start your folders for each person, and list all the above information before you start to write your novel, you will be ahead of the game, especially in a series.. Our character Jonas Black is bases on a man I knew from Texas. He was tall, had dark hair and was a genuine cowboy, I use his physical description, but Jonas is not as laid back as Jake was. Life changed Jonas with the murder of the woman he loved. The Marines changed him some more, and the war altered him further.
You have to know everything in your character’s life to understand who he/she becomes.
Once, you have completed all your research, creating your characters and worked out your storyline, your novel should flow out of you like water in a river. Always remember, YOU have to take on the personality of each character as you write. That is why you have to know what they will do in any given situation. Cause and affect. Cause and affect. For every action, you have a reaction.
I hope this information has been helpful. This characterization system works for any type of fiction novel or even a non-fiction novel.
Everyone have a great evening and stay safe and off slick roads. The best to you all.