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Working on characters.

Oda Sensei!

As I mentioned in previous posts I’m working on a project and maybe I’m starting something that is much bigger than me but I don’t really care as I want it so badly.

You might be disappointed again, because I don’t want to talk about the project itself right now. Once again I have to postpone it in order to talk about one detail: the characters.

My ideal characters are the ones like Eiichiro Oda sensei portrayed in One Piece. I know that I’m comparing my writing to a graphic novel, but I don’t think there is that much difference.

My ideal characters must be noticeable and people should remember them. I know that the character’s voice in writing is very important and you should be able to recognize who’s talking by the way he or she is talking. But I think more can be done.

Also I think that we don’t give enough consideration to the secondary characters and even less to the even smaller ones, the ones you meet for one scene. If you ever watched One Piece, you know what I’m talking about. It seems that Oda sensei takes his time to make sure that every single person you meet it’s perfect, with his or her background and oddities. In this way you hardly forget them and get bored.

Maybe it’s just my impression, but it seems to me that my characters look exactly the same. They belong to different races, sometimes they have peculiar characteristics but I don’t know… there is something missing. A small voice in my head is telling me that I shouldn’t think that, because in the past I was prised by workshop teachers (all writers) about my characters.

The crew!

Still I’m not happy, hence the idea I want to share with you!

I think I’m going to try to use the thousands of people visiting my workplace as source of inspiration again, but this time for a different purpose. If with Monster flash I tried to look for the odd and noticeable characteristics in order to stretch my imagination and create flash stories or plot ideas, this time I’m looking for elements and small details to build my characters.

Whenever I’m going to jot down a character then I’ll have just to pick one or two details to make them unique and particular but also real enough to be empathized with.

Considering that the project I have in mind will involve many characters, I think I have to consider myself lucky to work in such a busy environment.

I just hope I won’t confuse anybody! And I won’t get confuse myself in the process!

That’s it for now!

Talk to you soon! Let me know what you think about that in the comments below!

It seems he did the same thing! More or less…


10 thoughts on “Working on characters.

  1. I think that sounds like a great idea. Creating unique characters is a challenge because there are so many different possibilities. This is why I love people-watching. 😉 Good luck!

  2. I spend a lot of my time on the bus and most of that time I keep my music off so I can listen in on peoples conversations. Not in a nosey, eavesdropping way (well, kinda…), but to get a sense for more personalities and experiences. I don’t actively listen in, I tend to just be observant of the whole bus. When I write it down, it feels a lot creepier. 😛

    I empathise with your position. It can be really hard to develop a proper character voice that feels unique to that character, like they were a real person. I’ve always had a fine time creating secondary characters, probably because they’re not in the story for as long as the main character so it’s easier to focus on them in short bursts. But my main characters always seem to lack that extra something. Well, in my novels they do anyway. I think a lot of it comes down to first draft vs editing though. When you’re getting the story out you shouldn’t worry too much about the voice. Obviously, it helps, but focus on getting the words down. You can always go back and add more character and flair afterwords. 🙂

    • Very sorry I forgot to reply! I’ll do it now!
      I feel better now that I read what you wrote, as I thought to be weird! I use the customers to borrow details here and there for my own characters. With the thousands of people visiting my workplace every day it’s a lot. I never thought I could concentrate on the speech…I have to try!
      Anyway I found a few character creating lists that can be very useful. I’ll try them and then I’ll publish maybe one secondary character so you can tell me what you think about them!
      I might set an impossible task but I’d love to create secondary characters like Oda’s!

      • Since starting my course we’ve done a lot of work on characters, dialogue, authenticity and more, but one thing I’ve realised a lot over the last few weeks is that it’s best to experiment as you’ll be surprised what works for you!

        We had to do up a character profile for a class and while it was quite tedious, I did learn more about the character by doing this. I’ve looked up so many different character profile templates on the internet, as you’ve most likely done too, and by trying many of them you’ll definitely figure out what works best for you. Experimentation with fiction is key. 🙂

        If you do throw up a post with one of your characters I’m more than happy to take a look at it! Maybe shoot me an email or link it to a post on my blog so I get some form of notification though as I don’t really get time to check my reader. 😛

        And no task is impossible, so always aim high!

      • You would be definitely an awesome life coach! Ok, I’ll let you know for sure whenever I’ll post a character profile! I agree with you about experimenting, and I think that my ideal template will be a mixture of three different ones!

      • Honest is a strong quality and anyone who doesn’t appreciate it is a darned fool! 😀 If everyone was honest we’d have a much more comfortable life.

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