Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Your Star

So I've been thinking a lot about my characters lately.

In my first draft of From the Ashes, all of my characters were really flat. They had no histories, no connections, and very little life. They were characters in a story, and that's all.

What did I do to fix this? Or at least make it better?

Multiple things, actually.

First thing I did was make a 'cast'. If my book were a movie, who would my ideal cast be? It was really fun (and time consuming) to find people who'd work, but I finally settled on the top four.

Okay, now since I'm paranoid about being sued for using someone else's pictures (it happened to Roni Loren) unfortunately I can't just post them.

But here are the four Main Characters and who would ideally play them:

Jenn Proske as Jaina Indera (MC)

Matt Lanter as Altaïr Kasev (MC)

Taylor Lautner as Azad Viraak (Antagonist)

Logan Lerman as Liam Rodan (Supporting Character)

So those are my top four. By the way, the link leads directly to a picture, and it's pretty much exactly what I imagined them to look like. Still haven't settled on the 'perfect' Jaina, though. (Any suggestions?)

Anyway, that's the first thing I did.

Second, I wrote a backstory for each and every one of them. Not just those four. I mean like, all twelve important to important-ish characters in Book 1.

But of course I couldn't just stop there.

I had to make backstories for people that show up in Book 2 and 3, and sometimes for people who don't show up at all! Like Azad's dad...

I wrote so much about each person in fact, I think I could write a whole novel about most of them. (There's an idea!)

And, since I love music so much, I chose a song (or a few) to go with certain people.

The one I'm currently obsessed with is one that totally describes my Antagonist. He lost something very important to him in his past and it made him the 'bad guy' he is.

The song is called Your Star. Yes, of course it's by Evanescence!


The video has the lyrics in it so if you're not good at hearing the words, you can read it.

Do you guys have trouble making your character realistic? Have you written backstories for your characters? Have you chosen an ideal cast? Share your thoughts!

Happy Wednesday!

-Jess

P.S.

Check THIS out if you want something to post about today! It's really fun :)

7 comments:

Insomniac #4 said...

I love the idea of creating a cast/theme song for your story. Megan Bostic just did something very similar on her blog and I told her I'd steal the idea. Definitely doing one now!

I used to 'borrow' pics from Google images all the time - and i still do now and then. It's probably okay if you use pics from well-known sites like IMDB, but maybe not? If I had as many followers/hits as you I'd probably worry more.

Great post! :)

J. A. Bennett said...

All great ideas! There is nothing more important than having a well rounded character. Great post!

T. Z. Wallace said...

I tend to sketch things. I sketch my characters, sketch their houses/rooms. I make floorplans of their space so I can "move them around" without inadvertantly changing where I previously said things were. I map out landscapes and areas they inhabit. I jot down character notes...a lot of character notes. When I go through my read-through after my first draft, I make "thought bubbles" where I make notes of what characters are thinking or feeling and then compare that with their words, their body language, etc., to make sure I am conveying what I intend to convey. I try to think of several flaws for each character, idiosyncracies, nervous habits, etc. I get a bit obsessive about it, I am afraid.

Ink in the Book said...

Fabulous post and awesome ide. Getting to know our characters backstory is the perfect way to create amazing characters.

Thanks for a great idea!

Ellie Garratt said...

Doing back stories for characters is a lot of work but it pays off in the end. Personally, I don't cast my characters. As a reader, I like to make up my own image of what they look like. However, I can see the advantage of having a physical image in your mind as you write.

M Pax said...

I was same as you, 3-Ding my characters came close to last. I write their backstories, too. I find that most effective.

Gina Gao said...

These are great ideas!

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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