Tomorrow starts my four-week self-challenge. I thought I’d take today as an opportunity to gather my thoughts in text and lay out some ideas.
This week is character exploration. I’ll need to come up with five new, entirely unique people and/or creatures to write into existence. I didn’t realize when I wrote this qualifier that unique would be one of the more difficult pieces of the puzzle. Challenge accepted, though!
The idea isn’t to write up an entire story using these characters – though that might make a good challenge for Saturday! – but to really explore them, their personalities. What makes them tick? Who are they? My words should breathe life into them, if possible.
I’ve also begun scouting out some art blogs to get ideas. Then I got the idea that this might make an excellent collab project! Are you an artist? Do you have any sketches or paintings or mere smudges that you’d be willing to let me post here? Most certainly I’d link back to you/your blog and laud you for your artistry and generosity. Something to consider… perhaps I’ll contact some people. I’ve never done a collab before!
Anyway, the simplistic ideas I’ve come up with thus far are as follows:
Villain – your quintessential bad guy. I’ve got lots of heroes/heroines in my memory banks, but almost no villains. I need to start remedying this. My favorite idea at the moment is to craft this malcontent out of the little snot of a bully that has haunted the local playground for the last two years. He threw a rock at my window the other day and I revelled at the chance to finally reprimand him. Is it awful that I can have such disdain for a mere child? I have no hope for him growing into a well-adjusted adult – I truly expect him to simply become an adult version of the playground bully.
Sage – the wise old so-and-so. I love it when characters like this show up in books and movies. It’s usually someone who keeps to themselves and allows the world to carry on at its own pace – not necessarily satisfied with where it’s going, but content that it’s the natural course of things. They tend to step in when something or someone is about to really muck something up, though.
Imaginary Friend – this will be a non-human. I’ve long wanted to write a tale about imaginary friends, their world, and kind of what happens to them after we stop believing. Personally, I never really had an imaginary pal.. but I really wanted one! Did you have one? Who/what was yours?
Animated Soul – I just finished reading Diana Wynn Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle and absolutely loved the character Calcifer! Now I’ve a mind to take an ordinary household trinket and turn it into something with spirit. Like the Brave Little Toaster, perhaps. This will be a challenge to make the ordinary extraordinary!
Bookworm – here the idea would be just to write about someone very clever and bookish. Not all heroes and heroines have to have brawn, after all. I, myself, am not very analytical or strategic – but I do surround myself with quite a number of people who are. Am I able to mimic their minds enough to make it passable? We shall see. I at least have the advantage of setting up a situation that I know the outcome of, so I can make someone seem clever – right?
Fantastic/Magical Creature – try a unicorn or a demon perhaps! Per chance, the less-oft used hippogriff. Make it decidedly unpredictable in spirit, though – like Cortan, the curmudgeon of a Pixie or something.
Antihero(ine) – less excited by the thought of this one, but I have a few in mind. They’re characters I’ve had stored for a while but have developed very little, making them difficult to write. It would at least be a good topic to research as the reading I’ve done on TVtropes.com has listed a few examples I’m not sure I would have considered antiheroes. This might have the potential for Week 3’s Writing Toolbox if I don’t craft something here for week 1.
So that’s a good start for some ideas, I think. Tomorrow begins the real work.