Thursday, May 3, 2012
Whoa My Goodness, It's Thursday
I should have posted this yesterday, but I had an orthodontist appointment and my teeth were so sore that I ended up taking a nap. So, sorry, the alliteration of my titles is postponed until tomorrow. :'(
I have eight questions on your Character's Character. Stunningly original, I know. (*cough* that was sarcasm, people).
1. We know your character is the protagonist. But is s/he the hero or the villain? Does your character do good or bad? Is your character Harry Potter or Artemis Fowl? (Not in a plagorism way, of course. Just in terms of personality.)
2. Does your character have a set of morals? This applies to villainy MCs as well. For example, does your kidnapping, murdering thief have an aversion to rape? Does your coldly evil gang leader have an aversion to swearing and beating his own gang members up? Does your aggravatingly good (*ahem* "nice") character hate not helping others in pain?
3. What is your character's main trait? In other words, if a stranger could sum up your character in one word, what would it be? Curious? Whiny? Evil?
4. What is your character's biggest fear? Think bigger than snakes or spiders. Perhaps he is afraid to fail the ones he loves. Perhaps she is scared of spending the rest of her life unloved. Perhaps your could-be-either-gender is scared of falling and taking everyone down with it.
5. Who is the person nearest to your MC's heart? Is it a family member? Perhaps a spouse? Maybe it's even a pet? Perhaps your MC would take a bullet for his daughter. Or she would kill anyone who comes between her and mother. Or the little boy would poison anyone if his aunt asked him to.
6. What would your MC change about him/herself? Would they make themselves more beautiful? Would they make themselves taller? Would they make themselves be incapable of fear or pain?
7. Will your character win in the end? It's such a simple question, but it so important to think about it. Does not winning make your character a loser? Is your character a sore winner? Your character's reaction to this could exacerbate their flaws or display your MC as the brilliant, shining person who is ten times the man the antagonist is? (or ten times the woman.)
8. Is your person a conformist or a nonconformist? Is your 18th century Chinese man against the patriarchal system? Is your modern-day, kick-butt, bad girl really soft and looking for love on the inside? (You'd be surprised how often that shows up in literature. It's getting somewhat cliche.) Would your character do anything to fit into society?
Your character has character; they have their strengths, their flaws, their insecurities, the things they're proud of and the things that seem insignificant. But do you know your character well enough to answer those questions? If not, I suggest you find the answers - whether you take a nap and dream it, you make it up as you go along, or you have imginary chats with them in your head.
However your character thinks and acts, make sure you can anticipate his/her next move. It wouldn't do to panic in the middle of their big scene because you cannot think of a logical way your character would react. Also, your readers might find it a little strange if your quiet, timid little MC suddenly becomes the loudest, most irritating person you know.
That concludes my makeshift topic for the day. Y'all have a good day and don't forget to think before you write!