Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Character Sketches: Take Two

So I've been doing the sketches, which is like pre-writing with real writing, and it's taking some adjusting.

I've got the main characters and the main plot for the first book and a 'controversy' for the next book. Over it all I have a vague/hazy idea about what the main, overarching plot should be for the kid's series itself.

However, it is very interesting. I find myself cutting off the development of the vague/hazy idea short every time I get to it because I don't really want to know yet. I just want to know my people. Two of them became especially interesting last night during this exercise.

If anyone out there has done character sketches: how much time do you focus on the history of your character vs. the personality of your character. There's a difference...I've avoided the history because that's been coming up organically and the personality that these guys have will determine how they react in the situations I give them, but it also makes me want to go further into the story at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. My time is split about 50-50 between personality and history. I'm not sure how you would separate them, because the history informs the personality and vice versa.

    I think you may be worrying about a non-issue. You're afraid that if you know what's going to happen, there won't be any magic or surprises in the actual writing. It still happens even if you have a plan. And you should trust yourself enough to know that you will go with it when it does happen.

    What I find is that having a framework gives me more freedom in the writing, not less. I don't worry about whether the story is going anywhere. I may end up taking a slightly different route, but I know I will get there.

    For a series, you do need to be more careful. A three-ring binder is good for keeping track of things. If Joe's house is 3 blocks to the right of Frank's in book 1, it better still be there in book 4 unless you've said that the family moved. Maps help.

    Go ahead an plan. Then just write, leaving the plan in the back of your mind. It won't stifle your creativity.

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