Chat session about Character Development
|- saved on Wed Oct 21 2009 13:33:53 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time) -
You entered Character Development. Room topic is: NaNo Chat.
elfmage7 joined the room.
sgambill72 Hi Dawn!
elfmage7: Hi Diane
sgambill72 I'm still gathering some notes so I'm popping in and out. I didn't want you to feel ignored, lol.
chocstop joined the room.
elfmage7: hi choc
chocstop: are we early?
sgambill72 Hi choc
elfmage7: just a tad
kybudman joined the room.
chocstop: better shoot that breeze
elfmage7: hi kybud
kybudman: HIYZ~~~~ :)
chocstop: dropped somethin'
sgambill72 We have about five minutes before we're scheduled to start. Anyone bring any food? lol
chocstop: stop it
chocstop: I'm hungry
kybudman slides a tray of freshly baked nano-cookies into the middle of the room
sgambill72 Oh sweet!
elfmage7: have a bag of halloween candy
chocstop: gott a shopful
kybudman: that's my kinda shop!
chocstop: fancy chinese
kybudman: the semi of nano-coffee beans is expected this week at my house
fantasywrider joined the room.
elfmage7: mmm coffee
elfmage7: hi fantasyw
fantasywrider: Hey Mr. Bud! I just learned this am you're back-welcome!
fantasywrider: Hi Elfmage, hi all
sgambill72 Hi fantasy
kybudman: Hiya!! :)
chocstop: hi fantasy
fantasywrider: Hey everybody
belinda_mo joined the room.
sgambill72 I need to stock up on diet coke for NaNo.
elfmage7: hi belinda
sgambill72 Hi Belinda
belinda_mo: just passing through right now
fantasywrider: Hey Belinda
kybudman: Diet Cherry and Zero for me.
fantasywrider: coffee, and second Mr. Bud's suggestions--
chocstop: 79% proof for me
kybudman: LOL If there's any pain ta feel, ya won't choc
sgambill72 We'll give the others a couple minutes before we start. Most are online.
fantasywrider: LOL, I've been into the lobby once or twice an hour ago just to make sure I wouldn't have browser problems-acting like a high school kid on Prom night here:)
belinda_mo: wow. I made it. What a pleasure to be here.
sgambill72 Welcome belinda
kybudman: ~~Hi, ,Belinda!
belinda_mo: I keep thinking, what have I done?
sgambill72 I don't ever use chat on WDC, but this seemed like a great way to do some NaNo prep so I'm giving it a go!
fantasywrider: anything for NANO is my motto :*)
elfmage7: i used it when there was a lull in scroll
elfmage7: now am in chat often
elfmage7: met my boyfriend in chat
kybudman: test, test, tasting 3.2
sgambill72 lol you ok bud?
fantasywrider: whoa, wtg elfmage lol
belinda_mo: I am not much on the chat experience but this sounded like a great time
kybudman: I used to chat a lot. I made a lot of friends here.
belinda_mo: My characters need help.
fantasywrider: and then you got lost Mr. Bud lol
kybudman: you got characters?
sgambill72 Ok, lets get started and others can join in on the conversation if they come in.
elfmage7: characters can be unwieldy
kybudman: bossy too, I find
sgambill72 I hope everyone has an idea of who their characters are for their Nano!
fantasywrider: sometimes have a mind of their own, not the author's mind
belinda_mo: Let's say ballpark concept is sound.
chocstop: of course
elfmage7: this novel is one for my mother, her story idea
elfmage7: i'm just doing the writing
kybudman: cant see my antag yet, but all the other base characters are in place
belinda_mo: This one has been trying to solidify for some time.
fantasywrider: I do-i'm doing a sequel to the 2007 NANO project, so same main protagonist
sgambill72 Great! I start off using a character sketch template to get some basics down about the main characters. How do you start?
belinda_mo: I don't have a template but I have a notebook of character names, ages, professionss
fantasywrider: that is something I think I need to start doing..I tend to just jump in the water feet first and let the characters build themselves up
elfmage7: brandiwyn's nanowrimo plus challenge
belinda_mo: not much more
elfmage7: have to do character sketches and background stories
sgambill72 I have some links to character sketches on WDC. I use them as a guideline, filling it out as I go.
sgambill72 "Invalid Item" by A Guest Visitor
"Creating Detailed Characters!" by Tehuti, Lord Of The Eight
"Invalid Item" by A Guest Visitor
kybudman: I interview 'em. Ask 'em 15 questions. Build their traits around the answers and fill in the plot from that POV for them.
elfmage7: those are helpful
belinda_mo: I'd like to try that and see if it prevents the midsection lag.
elfmage7: i struggle with the interviews
sgambill72 The interview is another great thing to do, bud. I do a job interview and also take them out on dates. It's amazing what they reveal when they're dating!
fantasywrider: Thanks for the links! I have one to add, haven't tried this but located it the other day. http://www.writersvillage.com/character/index.htm
fantasywrider: Mr. Bud, do you still do the Matrix with all your characters?
sgambill72 Thanks, fantasy. I bookmarked it.
elfmage7: i've done interviews for newspaper's but not fond of interviewing my characters
kybudman: Yes, FW. That's the one
sgambill72 It doesn't work for everyone, Dawn. Some of my characters should never be interviewed!
sgambill72 I interviewed a serial killer character once and couldn't sleep for days.
kybudman: Mine usually require a Parole Officer...*sigh*
elfmage7: yeah. the clown that kills women and uses chemistry to make them into mannequins would not be one to interview
kybudman looks stunned
sgambill72 So how do you make sure your characters are appealing to readers?
fantasywrider: that's one of my favorite types to read-I have one w-i-p which contains one but he's not the main character-yet
elfmage7: i think the extra details, the flaws and quarks
kybudman: If I can't figure out why a character acts in a certain way, I kill 'em
fantasywrider: agreed elfmage, that's what makes them believable
sgambill72 You must go through a lot of characters, bud!
kybudman: :) body buildin' is a wonderful thing!
sgambill72 My characters are always quirky. I have to work to keep them believable though
belinda_mo: me too bill72
elfmage7: some stereotypes happen, but also have the non-stereotypical along with it
belinda_mo: My characters are very odd indeed.
kybudman: Do you base their traits or style on real people
elfmage7: helps with all my gay characters at least
sgambill72 Most of mine are based on real people then evolve from there
elfmage7: I've based off people I know, but the characters take off and don't resemble them after long
sgambill72 Same here Dawn
belinda_mo: I base their looks on real people and start with that.
kybudman: If people I knew, knew...:)
fantasywrider: I agree with that too, my main current protagonist has a lot of me but she is also much more than I am-way more spunky and feisty and probably smarter
sgambill72 More the you that you wish you were?
fantasywrider: yep, I wish I could be more as she is :*)
elfmage7: I've got some of my mom in this nano's novel
elfmage7: don't like writing about me
chocstop: My main character is someone I aspire to be
kybudman: Vicarious living can be a dangerous thing for my characters.
sgambill72 bud, your characters are starting to scare me, lol
belinda_mo: I will take odd tidbits of facts from my eclectic experiences.
kybudman: It makes it hard to write consistency, for me anyway
elfmage7: living vicariously is okay, just don't take it too far, borerlines mary sue attributes
fantasywrider: I think being your characters might be a dangerous thing Mr. Bud lol
sgambill72 My NaNo main character is a mix of my two sisters. It makes it easy since I know them well, but also places limitations on creativity until I break away from them and branch out.
kybudman: sometimes, yus. LOL But, I need to really know my char's, and sometimes they have stuff I'd never have
kybudman: that's usually when I run into trouble, esp with minor characters
sgambill72 Do you develop your minor characters or just let them come as you write?
belinda_mo: I let them flow.
elfmage7: both. nano prep has days for minor characters
sgambill72 Hmm, I haven't considered developing those characters. I may check that prep out, Dawn.
kybudman: depends, but I usually have an idea of them. They carry clues, or motive, or opportunity in the mysteries usually.
fantasywrider: there again, I need to learn to develop prep, mine are usually just come as they appear
kybudman: EasyWriter helps with that some, but it isn't the "do-all" tool for me. It helps me remember to include or exclude things mostly
elfmage7: well, i do the prep as it's a challenge. It is fun, but during nano i never look back at it
elfmage7: I just write
fantasywrider: who has time to look at anything else during NANO? :))
sgambill72 http://www22.writing.com/main/forums/item_id/1474311 this is the link for prep forum that elfmage is talking about in case anyone wants it
chocstop: Once I've described the look of my character, some of their traits come naturally
elfmage7: not me, certainly not this year. One regular nano and 2 side projects
sgambill72 I won't look back at the prep once I start writing either. That's why I'm hoping to know the characters well prior to starting!
fantasywrider: and no sleep for 30 days either
elfmage7: very little at least
kybudman: Thanks for that one. I was confused.
chocstop: is this as daunting as it sounds
elfmage7: it's not too bad really
elfmage7: i've done nano 3 times, succeeded once
kybudman: exactly. I don't make time to develop during NaNo. That can lead to some exiciting times during edit
chocstop: 1 for 3 then
sgambill72 It's overwhelming, but in the end you have something written whether you make the nano goal or not
elfmage7: and very true, still writing the teen book i started in 2007
elfmage7: it's very promising
sgambill72 Who is doing this for the first time?
fantasywrider: I love NANO because it seems to be the one time I'm free from that pesky interfering Internal Editor
sgambill72 Besides me lol
chocstop: Is everyone here writing fantasy
chocstop: this is my first
kybudman: If I could get all the characters in line during prep, I could usually win NaNo. If not, it's a bowl o spaghetti
elfmage7: nope. romance/chic lit (well, the regular nano story is)
kybudman: #5 for me
elfmage7: my two others are supernatural and fantasy
sgambill72 My novel is science fiction
fantasywrider: not me, I'm writing yet another YA historical horror/Gothic/Supernatural/Paranormal Spiritualist-and this is my 4th year of NANO, 2006 only made it to 23K
chocstop: Mine is the antithesis of Sci-Fi
chocstop: and Fantasy
elfmage7: sci-fi is fun
mireyah joined the room.
mireyah: Sorry, I'm late! :(
kybudman: I hope you all will be my friends on nanowrimo. FW, that's a niche!!:)
chocstop: Sci-Fi is fun
fantasywrider: hey Mireyah
belinda_mo: or Gothic/Supernatural/fanfic maybe describes it better
mireyah: hey wrider :)
sgambill72 Welcome mireyah
chocstop: But not on the endangered list
mireyah: hello, diane
mireyah: so how much did I miss?
belinda_mo: not Supernatural as in the show by that name. LOL.
elfmage7: character chat
kybudman: I got into a lot of trouble last time. My characters told me stuff in the middle that I didn't know. I didn't know what to do about it for like 2 weeks! I don't think that's supposed to happen!
sgambill72 We've talked about character sketches. I'll send everyone a link to the conversation after we finish
belinda_mo: thank you!
sgambill72 That's what I'm afraid of, bud. My characters tend to take over. I'm hoping more prep takes care of that issue...
elfmage7: mine fight back, but sometimes i win
kybudman: Well, even people we know surprise us sometimes. Flexibility rules!
elfmage7: as long as it doesn't ruin the entire plot of the novel
sgambill72 And if they didn't surprise me at all they'd be boring and unappealing to a reader too
fantasywrider: too true
mireyah: ever had secondary characters take over the story?
belinda_mo: Yes I have a work in progress where a murderer has come on scene and I don't write mysteries yet.
kybudman: I keep my character outlines close--esp during NaNo
belinda_mo: Yes, Mire
chocstop: This is mt first novel
chocstop: so no
kybudman: usually write em in pencil
sgambill72 Yes, Mireyah. That's what stalled my last two attempts at novels.
elfmage7: not yet
mireyah: my last novel-attempt was in 3rd person, and I spent more time focusing on the secondary characters than the main ones
mireyah: drove me up the wall
belinda_mo: those characters need sequels.
mireyah: That's the thing! I had planned on it! The next book was about them! :))
elfmage7: some of my secondary characters are going to have their own books anyways
belinda_mo: I will quickly outline them to get it down so I can put them back into focus on the story at hand.
kybudman: When things get boring or bogged down, just have a character walk into the room with a gun, preferably smokin' :)
sgambill72 I'm hoping to keep mine in control enough to write this story. Then if others want their own story I can work on it later
mireyah: this is my first time using an outline...I tend to jump in headfirst
fantasywrider: Me too (feet first, headfirst, etc)
belinda_mo: You have an outline? THUD
kybudman: Is that just for NaNo, or in general (jumpin' in, that is)?
elfmage7: have to have an outline for nanoprep
mireyah: mostly in general lol
belinda_mo: I feel a little queezy.
elfmage7: rarely outline for others
fantasywrider: always jumpin in any writing
mireyah: the outline isn't required, but I'm finding that it helps
kybudman: I learned how to use an outline well for me, so they help me now. I used to be terrified of them.
chocstop: this is scary
mireyah: considering that you're going at breakneck speed during NaNo, the outline would help keep you from straying from the path you want rather than what pops into your head at that moment. At least that's my line of thinking :D
kybudman: its an adventure
fantasywrider: I read that book by Karen Wiesner, How to Write a First Draft in 30 Days-now THAT terrified me!
chocstop: i need a diaper
sgambill72 Adventure is good!
elfmage7: unless the stray makes it better
mireyah: true...but that's what editing is for ;)
kybudman passes a Pampers to Choc
chocstop: cheers bud
belinda_mo: I suck at editign .
sgambill72 Diapers.com delivers choc, lol
belinda_mo: I'm a titan at typo's.
mireyah: I have trouble making myself edit....
chocstop: can tell
elfmage7: i follow the advice from the podcast "I should be writing" The first draft is allowed to suck. It's harder to edit a blank page.
kybudman: I speak typo...fluently
mireyah: I keep wanting to write something new
sgambill72 True dawn
chocstop: Is this a contest
mireyah: I've heard of that podcast, but I've never gotten around to listening to it
elfmage7: you need to
elfmage7: mur is awesome
sgambill72 Leaving the editing behind is going to be my biggest challenge
elfmage7: and she answered my question once, it was neat
sgambill72 You have the link, Dawn?
elfmage7: she hates editing too, but talks about it
mireyah: oh yeah, Diane--is it just me, or do most writers tend to edit as they go?
kybudman: mine too, cause I'm an editor in my heart. I get stuck editing while I'm writing. Bad plan.
fantasywrider: especially bad plan during NANO
elfmage7: i listen on itunes, but here: http://murverse.com/ or http://isbw.murlafferty.com/
kybudman: I've got a sign for NaNo that says "It's a DRAFT!"
belinda_mo: sometimes I can't move on for editing!
elfmage7: nice kybud
sgambill72 I think most of us edit. It's in our nature. That's why the timeframe for Nano helps. It forces us to leave editing for later
mireyah: is it free, dawny?
elfmage7: it's free
sgambill72 Thanks Dawn!
elfmage7: and her podcast novels are free too
elfmage7: heaven and the sequels
mireyah: ooooh, shinyness
sgambill72 Is anyone having any specific character problems they'd like to discuss? We have about 20 minutes left.
kybudman: theres http://www.nanoedmo.org and http://www.nanopubye.com for later (.com or .org)
elfmage7: never tried those
chocstop: separating characters
kybudman: they've got good plans that don't kill ya
chocstop: distinguishing traits
belinda_mo: have you ever had a character you had trouble getting to "show" that you couldn't get emotionally involved with?
elfmage7: not so far
belinda_mo: IE: show not tell
belinda_mo: thats been the most oft repeated phrase in my reviews
belinda_mo: that and cut down my adjectives
elfmage7: i struggle more with details and setting than the character
elfmage7: try to cut down adverbs and certain words i use too often
belinda_mo: not me. characters are a weak spot.
mireyah: yeah, see same here, dawny. I have trouble with descriptions more than characters...
elfmage7: people seem to like my characters *shrugs*
sgambill72 Showing is easier if you use dialog, Belinda.
kybudman: How do you deal with a character you just can't "understand", or get into?
chocstop: I rely a little too heavily on dialogue
fantasywrider: well you would kill him off wouldn't you? lol
mireyah: is the character really important to the story?
kybudman: thats tough for me. I need to like them, even the baddies
elfmage7: well, i get into my characters in dreams some times
kybudman: well, YEAH!! LOL
fantasywrider: that always teaches 'em!
sgambill72 I take them into a counseling session, Bud. I have to figure out how they work in order to like them as a character
elfmage7: yeah, there has to be some interest in all characters for readers will get bored too
belinda_mo: My dialog always sounds like English is my second language.
kybudman: back story can help some, but I tend to use it as a crutch way too much
mireyah: A friend of mine does "Group Therapy" where she gets all her characters together and she talks to them
elfmage7: really belinda?
belinda_mo: I have a story in my port that is almost all backstory.
elfmage7: someone said my Blood Prophesy novel sounded like english wasn't my first language because it was too good
kybudman: mine all showed up at a bus stop once. Had to wait on a ride til I got 'em figured out
mireyah: according to a lot of people, backstory shouldn't be there until 50 pages in.
mireyah: I find it really hard to believe that they can actually do that successfully
fantasywrider: (oh oh)
sgambill72 Backstory is a good prep tool, but I agree that you can't use it as a crutch
belinda_mo: I'm finishing a contest entry and I took my characters out together for a girls night out at the VFW. I learned alot.
sgambill72 That's a great way to get to know them, Belinda
sgambill72 Some of my best friends are my characters, lol
kybudman: lock em in a room, a la "Twelve Angry Men"...
elfmage7: ooo, i like that story/play/etc
kybudman: I love loving my chars
belinda_mo: A lot of mine are "aspects" of myself as well.
sgambill72 I have some I love to hate!
belinda_mo: if your characte is going to surprise you would you rather it be early or late?
kybudman: mine usually have a tic or something that makes them unique. Actually its a "tell" that reminds me who they are! LOL
elfmage7: depends on the surprise
mireyah: I've got a couple characters I don't even love to hate--I just hate them. Makes it hard to work with them! LOL
kybudman: amen, mire
belinda_mo: kybud, I find my characters are flawed uniquely.
kybudman: but I read other authors' chars that I hate. They can bind me to a plot
sgambill72 I have to find a redeeming quality in them, mireyah or I kill them off.
kybudman: uht oh...2 guns in da room...
kybudman: at least they can die well.
mireyah: if they don't have a redeeming quality, then they have to be integral to the plot for me--otherwise...6 feet under they go
elfmage7: yeah, have my high fantasy novel where the villain falls for one of the heroes, helps redeem his character
kybudman: conflict to be overcome
kybudman: thats fun, esp with a minor char
sgambill72 NOthing perks up a story like a little character assassination
kybudman: "Christie-esque" I think
mireyah: there are also those characters that are just there to die....I always feel sorry for them. :\
kybudman: soda speak! LOL
elfmage7: i don't have too many of those yet
kybudman: writing can be a bloody biz
chocstop: like a star trek extra
mireyah: there's a video on youtube about killing off characters--it's funny as heck
kybudman: I've written chars that scared ME
elfmage7: will face that in the story about an assassin i'm sure
kybudman: you just gotta know, they gotta go!
belinda_mo: not that into killing them off b ut they do each other in occassionally.
kybudman: but at least I can understand them better
mireyah: my killing scenes are really bloody. :\
mireyah: I never intend for them to be either!
elfmage7: guess in blood prophesy there will be killing scenes
sgambill72 Latent violence... noted, lol
fantasywrider: Really? :D
elfmage7: not so much in the romance story
mireyah: lol it's that inner psycho killer emeging.... ]:)
sgambill72 I don't always murder them. A lot die of disease or get hit by a car
kybudman: I tend to leave a lot of open space in my chars for the reader to fill in. I can get too specific sometimes.
belinda_mo: how many characters should you go for in a novel the NANO length?
kybudman: As many as you need to get to the last word. No more, and no less. Thanks Uncle Jim!
mireyah: whatever works for the storyline
elfmage7: pov, number of main characters, etc have an affect
sgambill72 I wouldn't do more than three main characters, but that's only because I can't keep them straight
mireyah: I'm lazy, Diane--a disease means I have to research it whereas a nice old knife to the gut is simple. :D
belinda_mo: I find the characters appear full blown and then I'm stuck with them
sgambill72 lol mireyah
elfmage7: for nano, the research happens later
sgambill72 If they're necessary to the story, then you should keep them. Just don't let the characters get in the way of the actual tale
mireyah: true...unless you plan 2 months in advance :P
kybudman: did two weeks of research for 127 words about a char getting killed by an elevator once. I felt so cheated somehow. LOL
sgambill72 I work in healthcare so a lot of my characters die of disease!
sgambill72 lol bud
mireyah: LOL doesn't that count as cheating? :P
chocstop: Is that just a coincidence
belinda_mo: Write what you know, right?
kybudman: i like chars that teach me something I didn't know before. I figure if I like it, the reader will. Dangerous ground, that.
mireyah: me, I'm all for the kicking as much butt as possible, saving the world....and all that jazz ;)
sgambill72 I'm lazy. I like to start with a basic knowledge, then branch out. I always end up learning more. My main character is schizophrenic in this novel so I'm researching that
kybudman: I understand that. Me, too!
chocstop: Both of them?
mireyah: wow--schizophrenic character. that's awesome
kybudman: several for the price of one?
sgambill72 we'll see if I can pull it off
mireyah: kinda like writing about yourself...LOL
belinda_mo: you all know of any type character you could NOT make the protagonist?
fantasywrider: that's Dissociative
kybudman: just the one you don't understand, I think.
chocstop: a stranger
mireyah: the kind who really has no conscience left. :\ There has to be something THERE for them to be the good guy
belinda_mo: I agree
kybudman: good point, mire
fantasywrider: i don't have to like the character but I do have to find something of redeeming value in them, I think or I can't deal with them-same as in real life
belinda_mo: so know your characters.
mireyah: you can make just about any kind of character into a bad guy, because there's always that possibility, but there are some people who just don't have that thing that makes them good.
kybudman: sometimes, an amoral prot can really grist up a story though
sgambill72 Ok, I have to take off, but feel free to continue the conversation. I'm copying the chat session up to this point and will post it in my port. I'll send everyone a link in an email. Thanks for participating!