Thursday, September 5, 2013

Giving Birth to Characters and Dreaming Details

So...I'm kind of excited. I've been mulling over this new story idea, letting it blossom in my mind for as long as it would. (Some stories wither and die, as they just aren't meant to be written.) But this one I think has a good chance of going all the way.

I conceived a couple of characters a few weeks ago, both 11-year-old boys, and gave them names. But last night I did the thing that "gave them birth," as I like to say: I filled out character charts for them. I rapidly wrote down their every last detail, from their eye color to their order or birth to their bad/quirky habits. For me, I can brainstorm all I want, but filling out the character charts is usually what gets the story ball really rolling.

Here's a glimpse of my two boys' info. I kept it a little blurry so you couldn't cheat and find out too much about them before it's time. ;) (Oh, and thanks, Kaiser, for the photo bomb.)

I'll tell you something interesting that happened after I filled out these two charts. I had a dream last night that one of my characters didn't have the blond hair like I'd given him, but instead, he had red hair. This morning I changed his hair to red on the chart because I'm a firm believer of listening to the subconscious, even for seemingly inconsequential details.

The same thing happened to me when I was writing Wings of the Divided. If you've read it, you'll be familiar with my character the dark angel Malynko. When I first created him on his own character chart, I gave him snowy white hair. Well, somewhere along the creation process of that story, I had a very vivid dream...

The apocalypse was upon us. Bombs were going off everywhere - bombs that angels were setting off. It was pure chaos. I was in a crumbling house, scrambling to gather my things and escape, when suddenly the doorbell rang. It was strange because the only thing left of the house at that point was the frame and the door. Terrified, I felt drawn to the door - I had to answer it. When I opened it, there stood Malynko. I was too petrified to look up into his eyes, so I was stuck staring at his chest and his mouth, which grinned in that evil Malynko way. He wore his red general's jacket, but instead of white hair, his was long and raven colored.

When I woke up, I promptly his hair from white to black in my notes.


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  1. Sadly, I don't remember most of my dreams. Although last night I woke up scared for some reason and don't know why... Anyway, character charts seems like a good idea. I'll have to try that. :)

    1. I have a great template. Let me know if you'd like me to email it to you! :]