Character Development

Ok, blog time. Now what should I say in this blog? hhmm, let me see. Oh I know. My characters and how the are developed.

Well, I was talking to some folks who have read my little stories and we got to talking about how the characters actions, conversations, and personalities were all different. So how did I do it and how do I keep them straight?
I guess keeping them separate I can blame on my D&D gaming, and chat room days. Maybe even going farther back in time. When I would be wandering around in the woods, as a munch-kin, knee high to a cricket, we did not have many grasshoppers around at the time. Anyway, I really did not have any friends of my own age, so, I had to keep myself company. I am a Gemini, the twins ya know. (DA is too)

So there I was out in the woods, playing who-knows-what, but I was a scout, trying to hide from indians, soldiers, monsters and what ever else I could think of, even aliens from a planet somewhere. So I made up all my bad guys and kept track of what they were doing and what I was doing. I even made up helpers and knew what they were doing.

Pop up the time line and now I am running several D&D characters in one game. I made up back stories and had their past on flash cards.
Pop up the time line, in chat rooms, I would be my main character, and since I was running a story line, I would also do the NPC’s as well, kitchen staff, maids, guards, what ever. A few animals as well. What fun is a NPC, oh for those that don’t know. Non Player Character. What fun is it to have an NPC that is a lump in the carpet and does not really do anything.
Pop up the time line and now I am writing all this fun and games. Demesne had a defined character in Devon. I used to play him in chat rooms. Devonshire Perciville Pellinore. Anyway, he was defined. Aithera started out as a helper character and she just seemed to be a reserved, refined character. So what is Jira’s story. Well, we were looking for another character to wander in and help. After some discussion after she got caught out in the snow storm, the idea of making her a teen just begged to be used. As the story line got better defined, so did her role in it.

Now there is Bridget, hhmm, she started out to be just the cook, but again, has morphed into something totally different, and if I say more here, SPOILER, she gets a bigger role in “The Challenge.” Then there is Beth, I find kids fun, maybe because I remember a little about my own childhood, and from remembering my own curtain climbers, at those ages, and my gran-young-ins. Then there is Gretta, Seth, Jake, Laren and on and on. I did not know how many I was using, until I had to make a list to keep the names, and who was with who, straight.
So, how do I develop a personality? The folks I have been talking to lately say, that is what they really like, my characters are unique and believable and stay that way. When I put a character that is going to be needed a lot, into the story line, their first interactions in the scene sort of sets the way they are going to be. The scene gives me an idea of what kind of personality is needed, and then after some interactions, that personality is locked in.

Like Camia, medium height, slightly heavy set, grandmotherly, age unknown but old. Smart, wise, and speaks her mind when she needs to. But, knows when to be quiet. And, a bit of a tease, for those she calls friends. Goldiran, the wise, stuffy, next in line to be ancient. Not much of a sense of humor. Takes his duty very seriously.

This does not mean that a personality cannot change, people do that all the time, over time that is. There has been a time or two where we have changed a personality, then we have to go back through the story and adjust the characters actions, and even change the flavor of some scenes because of it. If the character is going to be sticking around, then we hash out how that personality would be like under different situations and that gets locked into the brain. We have even had to make adjustments when we do a listen through, before sending off to the editor, just so a character stays in character.
Because I write in first person, when I am working with a character, that personality pops to the front of the writing and stays, even when I am dealing with many folks in the scene.
So I guess you can say, that is my talent. I may not be able to remember who is hitched to who, in the story. Heck, I can’t even do that IRL, In Real Life, but I can maintain how they act though, even if the names get scrambled.

Thats why I have a remote memory device, call the wife. Hehehe. Luvs yous dear.

 Character Development

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Short Stories & Thoughts on writing