This week I’m sharing another character development trick I have. I have several manila file filled with pictures I’ve ripped out of magazines or printed off the internet of ‘interesting’ characters. I have four files –
(1) Female characters
(2) Male characters
(3) Non-human characters
(4) Group characters
I found this picture last week and was going to stash it in my female character file but decided to make her a profile for my blog instead.
Much like with the card character development I shared last week, I start with random impressions. I don’t have a list of questions because then I feel as if I’m forcing my ‘muse’ into a box. This way my imagination is free to develop this character.
Once I pull a character from a file, I spend 5 minutes writing anything and EVERYTHING that comes to my mind. I call this list my character hint list. And I do mean EVERYTHING because if you start restricting what your muse feeds you, she will stop altogether. So if food pops into your mind, write it down. Maybe your character will be a chief. Maybe it will be the dinner a serial killer makes for her while he has her captive. Maybe it is what she makes for a dinner party. The list goes on and on.
Here is the ‘brief’ list of questions, I came up with. (I came up with over 150 character hints).
– What is she holding?
– What does this object mean to her?
– Does the object allow her to see into the future? Into the past? Spy on other people?
– Is she afraid?
– Is she waiting for something or someone?
– Is she hiding?
– Does she know what she is holding?
– Is she being forced to hold the object? By who?
– She is a prisoner. But who is keeping her? And is a willing captive?
– Does using the object cause her pain?
As you can see from my list, the object she is holding isn’t a bottle of perfume 🙂 I would list the ‘major’ character hints around her on the blank paper. I’d love to hear what are some of the first things that pop into your mind when you see this picture.