it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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(Jenny's reads: "You should see the other guy.")

Somebody asked me how I develop characters, and Paperback Writer just did a little post on the topic over at her place. I know a lot of writers do character sheets, sketches, what have you.

I don't.

More or less, when it comes to developing a new character--as I'm doing now, four of them, for Undertow, and so far only one of the bastards has told me his name (It's Jean Kroc, and he's a con... er... make that conjure man. He lives in two schoolbuses welded side by side. It's a double-wide schoolbus. Very classy. Now I just have to figure out what a schoolbus looks like in this city. Ah well, I know it floats. Oh, dammit, the city needs a name, too.)--what I need to know about him is what he wants on his tombstone, and what he's most frightened of.

And right there, I have a conflict. And out of little conflicts, mighty stories grow.

Physical descriptions help too. Not how the character looks, per se, but the words my subconscious picks in describing him.

That's a great thing to ask somebody, by the way. "What do you want on your tombstone?" Try that for an ice breaker at parties.

The next character I need to name is the woman. And she's trying to convince me her name is Moon. Really, you'd think she could do better than that.

I'm pretty sure it's a noun, though.

Via netcurmudgeon, High-capacity industrial shredders vs... everything.


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