Saturday, December 27, 2008


Well, I had a fabulous Christmas, and I hope everyone else did as well. Christmas break is going way too fast! I head back to school on Saturday, January 17th.

Today I'd like to describe some of my thoughts on how characterization works for me. I'll tell you a little bit about a couple different characters I've developed over the years, but I'll focus on Derek, as I promised in my last post.

This semester I started thinking about my characters that I've written over the years, and I realized that certain characters represent parts of me, or they represent who I would like to be.

Dani, for example, is a sweet, pretty, petite Christian girl. When I look back on her and her story (which I started when I was 14), I can see that she is just about everything I wanted to be, and has a lot of the things I wanted too. She is an example of a character who represents my ideal. This is not necessarily a good thing, because who wants to read about a "perfect" character? Dani has potential, but needs to be rewritten a little so that people can relate to her.

I have one character who I had to think very carefully about. He's been around a long time now, but I have begun to work on cutting him out of my writing life because I have come to believe that he represents a rebellious part of me. He pretty much goes off and does his own thing. Also, his story is mostly based on action and excitement, which is not generally a solid foundation.

Now, Derek...he's a bit harder to analyze. I think that, like me, Derek tends to be worried about what people think. He's quiet, thoughtful, and probably a little self-conscious. He also hates speaking in public. (Hurray - I finished speech class last semester!) Let me tell you a bit about the plot of Derek's story.

Derek and his friends live in an orphanage on Earth. Derek remembers nothing from before the age of six, when he was found wandering alone in the woods. His only clue to his past is a green pendant he was wearing when he was found. One day as he walks back to the orphanage from school, he notices a man staring intently at his necklace. Later that night the orphanage catches on fire. After getting all the children out, Derek and his friends are trapped in the fire. Just as the building is about to collapse on them, Derek's necklace begins to glow and transports the boys to another world - Derek's home world, they are soon to discover. In the magical land of Vallere, they experience many adventures...and learn that only Derek can lead the country in expelling the evil tyrant Xymen!

I'm not sure I really think about my characters' personalities ahead of time...they usually develop on their own. I'm coming to see more and more, though, how they come out of me and the people I know.

Feel free to comment and describe how characters come into being for you - and what different characters represent in you.

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