Here’s a little character prep work I’m doing for JuNoWriMo, which starts in a few days. I’m happy to be in the process of getting to know a character called Corrine. Part of her lives inside of me and part of her is yet to be defined. My next step and hers are what follow.
What do you see in defeat? Victory? Strength? When does the curtain part and one is allowed to see the next step?
Some lie in their memories and do not create a momentum for going onward, but a precious few will transform tears into laughter, day into night, storms into sunshine.
A few receive a little help as they make a decision. Sometimes we see an outstretched hand, a friendly voice telling us to take it, and we take our pride in our hearts and flung it out the window, never too immovable to say yes.
Corrine was such a person, learning slowly how to overcome with each new person she met on her journey. Some had hands of flesh which she could hold and some did not. Often it seemed that the ones who did not were able to affect her the most.
Do you base characters around people you know? Do you have a photo in your mind of what they look like? Are they fixed or do you change your mind about their personalities. I’ve never planned a novel or long stories and I’m intrigued.
I often base characters on people I know or at least parts of them. There’s not usually a character who is based on only one person. I always have a mental image of what they look like, that’s the most unchanging part of them as I write! Their personalities, decisions and actions are the most changeable. Last year I started a story and the main character developed in an entirely different direction than I intended! I need to write that one over because it was quite derailed.
I go through a similar process when I learn a new song, I learn about the time period, the character, the intention of the song, the translation, the language, draw a storyboard, then the musical Intensions of the composer if he’s recorded any notes, the dynamics, ornamentation, putting myself into it, so that I’m not just repeating someone else’s ideas.
That’s so neat! You really put yourself into the song, its narrative and narrator. I think writing and singing have a lot in common with acting, perhaps my theatre background helps me write because we crawl inside the characters. I like to use Siri dictation a lot when I write. It’s not only a lifesaver for timed writing but it also gives me the opportunity to act out the characters, understand each voice and characteristics coming through that voice.