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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1610571-Character-Development-Chat-Session-1021
by Diane
Rated: 13+ · Other · Other · #1610571
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

elfmage7: *Bigsmile*

sgambill72 I'm still gathering some notes so I'm popping in and out. I didn't want you to feel ignored, lol.

elfmage7: okay

chocstop joined the room.

elfmage7: hi choc

chocstop: Hi

chocstop: again

chocstop: are we early?

sgambill72 Hi choc

elfmage7: just a tad

chocstop: Hi

kybudman joined the room.

chocstop: better shoot that breeze

elfmage7: hi kybud

kybudman: HIYZ~~~~ :)

chocstop: :

elfmage7: *Smile*

chocstop: oops

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

elfmage7: candy

kybudman slides a tray of freshly baked nano-cookies into the middle of the room

sgambill72 Oh sweet!

chocstop: nuff

elfmage7: *Bigsmile*

elfmage7: have a bag of halloween candy

chocstop: gott a shopful

kybudman: that's my kinda shop!

chocstop: fancy chinese

chocstop: Thai?

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.

belinda_mo: hi

elfmage7: hi belinda

sgambill72 Hi Belinda

belinda_mo: just passing through right now

fantasywrider: Hey Belinda

chocstop: Hi

kybudman: Diet Cherry and Zero for me.

fantasywrider: coffee, and second Mr. Bud's suggestions--

chocstop: 79% proof for me

chocstop: 70

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.

elfmage7: okay

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

belinda_mo: ty

kybudman: ~~Hi, ,Belinda!

belinda_mo: I keep thinking, what have I done?

elfmage7: nice

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 *Bigsmile*

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.

belinda_mo: ROTF

belinda_mo: ok

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.

elfmage7: somewhat

chocstop: of course

elfmage7: this novel is one for my mother, her story idea

chocstop: lol

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!

elfmage7: lol

elfmage7: true

sgambill72 I interviewed a serial killer character once and couldn't sleep for days.

elfmage7: interesting

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

sgambill72 lol

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

elfmage7: interesting

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

elfmage7: ever

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 *Wink*

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.

elfmage7: sorry

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: eyp

elfmage7: yep

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

kybudman: Mystery

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.

belinda_mo: Gothic

elfmage7: ((mire))

mireyah: Sorry, I'm late! :(

mireyah: ((dawny))

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

mireyah: coolness

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!

kybudman: :)

sgambill72 True!

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.

elfmage7: interesting.

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

kybudman: LOL

chocstop: lol

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 .

chocstop: lol

sgambill72 Diapers.com delivers choc, lol

belinda_mo: I'm a titan at typo's.

kybudman: ROFL

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

elfmage7: *Bigsmile*

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!"

fantasywrider: thanks!

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: yeah

elfmage7: it's free

sgambill72 Thanks Dawn!

mireyah: awesome

elfmage7: and her podcast novels are free too

mireyah: thankies!

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

elfmage7: true

sgambill72 Some of my best friends are my characters, lol

kybudman: lock em in a room, a la "Twelve Angry Men"...

mireyah: lol

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

sgambill72 exactly

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?

elfmage7: depends

elfmage7: *Wink*

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 *Pthb*

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

chocstop: ?

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: true

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?

chocstop: lol

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!
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