Tuesday, April 30, 2013

You as the Character

           Hello, readers of THE BLOG! This amazing. They don't have this computer stuff where I'm from. It really opens up new worlds. I see why you spend your time on this-

     I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Lucky Peril. But we won't get into that. You can call me Lucky. Or Peril. Your preference.

     But Ashley wanted me to. . . why in the city does the text look this way? One second let me see if. . . There. That's - No, that's not better.


Just wait. We're having. Technical difficulties. Okay wait.

    I think. I think, yes. Much better. And Oddball said I wouldn't be able to figure this out. What does he know? Okay, maybe a thing or two.


    So as I was saying. Ashley wanted me to talk to you about character development. You have your character with all his qualities. All the fears and failings. All the hopes and desires. But when do you show these?


   Enter: Page one. Sentence one. Word one.


   Whoever owns the POV of the scene. This is his time of freedom. All the wording, is what he would say what he would think (okay, so Ashley admitted that this was like deep POV level, maybe, she said maybe).


   The things he first notices about a person, an event, a place, that characterizes him. What he says. His gestures. His posture. If he's forgetful and walks into battle without his weapons (how do you forget that, really?) then he won't remember his weapons until he needs them or someone else mentions to him, "WHAT in the city are you thinking??" The answer is: he probably wasn't. Thinking, that is.

   Anyhow, when you introduce a character for the first time. And don't worry to much about this for first drafts, they're tinder for the fire anyways. But when you introduce the character, give a strong introduction. Set the stage. Put him in the perfect place and situation that will show off his character. Does he talk fast, wheeled a sword like a Shamdram, have a terrible phobia of birds, and wants to, wants to. . . sail twice around the world, conquer the Celica nomads, and make his dead father proud?


   Eeeasy! So he's swordfighting this guy who is obviously losing because the character is a great swordsman and is talking his opponent in circles, WHEN!- his arch-enemy calls in his trained air force of fowl (the Raven Unit 09A, because the bad guys always have a raven if their pet is a bird, after all who would take a villain with a turkey seriously?). And then? Then the evil man laughs a hacking merciless, uh, laugh as the hero shrinks back from the brigade of crows and then this master of villainery mocks his dead father, belittles the old man's existence and then stoops low to spit in our hero's face, "You will be even worse than he, so far below, you couldn't even make it on a ship as a stowaway. You'd sink before you ever boarded. And the Celica nomads? They'd eat you alive and spit you back out because you tasted of poison." And then the adventure begins, and the hero. . .


   I'm sorry. I just wrote the whole scene for you. No matter. You get the point. You have already told the reader (without telling, of course. I forget telling's a forbidden for you writers) that the character is great with the sword and spoken word, you have introduced his archenemy, told us the character's strange fear of birds (which might perhaps have a story to it *raises eyebrows* I'd love to see you pull it off), and he has a desire to, well. . . you know. And if he's smart, he'll use big, fancy words when he grapples with the enemy, or perhaps he's more tame or chill with his lingo, or maybe he has strange and wild wording.

   Some people are like that, you know? They just say the craziest things. Right out of the wide wilderness too.


   And you can even squeeze in things like. . .Oo! if there's this right-hand man of the chief who is always annoying him. You see the hero and the right-hand guy? They're rivals. So instead of having a whole scene where they just blow up at each other (though that would be quite effective too), after the battle scene, the right-hand guy could come up to our hero. "You lost again, huh?"

  
   Hero: "Go stick your head in beehive."

  
   Right-hand guy: "It was the birds again. What is with you? They're just birds! I wouldn't be afeard of any birds."

  
   Hero: "But could you handle a blade like this?" And he demonstrations with a whip of his sword and the right-hand little softie is pinned between our hero and his cold steel.


  
   I'm sorry. Got carried away again. But characterization begins the first word the character walks on scene. Every single line comes from his headead. You are writing as the character. Isn't that marvelous?
   So I think that's all. Although. . . You've just got to tell me!!
llAnI thi
   person  away Got

  
   Why is the hero deathly afeard of birds? It's got to be something good. He was on the brink of defeating his arch-enemy! You don't just give that up for nothing. Why? I've got know.



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