Shaytonian Chronicles – Book 1: Destiny Sets
The Hardest Thing About Character Development
The hardest part of character development for me has always been remembering what I said before. You need to keep all the details about your character somewhere where you can refer to it easily and make sure you get the basics right. You might think that you really don’t need this for your main character. Maybe not, though it is amazing how often I have to go back and check a fact. More likely you will need the reference sheets for supporting characters, those that wander on and off the page at intervals long enough that you forgot what you called them, or what colour their hair was.
One example of a sheet for keeping character details on is available http://dehydromon.deviantart.com/art/Blank-Character-Sheet-doc-Over-370-Questions-298561173. There are also less detailed sheets for minor characters.
Now you probably will not use even half of this in your story and definitely not for a minor character. ‘So why gather it’ I hear you asking. Good question.
You gather the information because the better you know the characters, the better your writing will be. First of all, the internal logic will be there. You won’t have consistency problems across the book or series.
You will never have to stop and think what a character would do in a given situation. You can also use small details to give reasons for your character’s actions. For example, I would rarely see the need to simply state that my character’s favourite colour is blue. If he met someone wearing the exact shade of blue that was the colour of his favourite jewel that his mother wore, that could influence his decisions and reactions.
The other area of character development that can be difficult is creating mannerisms that round out the character without being annoying (unless that is what you are going for). Here’s an example. In the Harry Potter books and movies, Harry would push his glasses up his nose if he was confused or embarrassed. Rowling didn’t have him do it in every scene, but it was often enough to see the habit of a young boy whose glasses never quite fit.
In contrast, Barty Crouch had that annoying thing he did with his mouth. It instantly told you that he was none too stable and more than a little bit creepy. The more he did it, the more I didn’t like him and I am sure that was intended.
So write down details so you stay consistent, give colour and depth to your characters and show their reasoning. Even if they don’t know why something is pushing their buttons, with the help of your sheet, you will.
Karen Fainges works as a trainer in business and computing. A wife and mother, she started thinking up sci-fi stories at the age of 10. Editor of the K-tips business and computing ezine, she longed to present her fiction to the world. So she took those long ago stories, a love of the absurd and wrote about beings that were not humans. Sometimes you see a lot more about humanity and yourself when you are looking at someone else.
Author Links Website http://shayton.net/
Facebook Author page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Fainges/83671225033
Facebook Series page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shaytonian-Vampire-Fiction/88608175544 Twitter https://twitter.com/annalisamara
About The Book
Book Genre: Scifi/Fantasy Vampire
Publisher: Writers Exchange
Buy Link(s): http://astore.amazon.com/shaytonchroni-20
Destiny Sets is the first novel in the Shaytonian Chronicles. Lightning sears a scene against the eye. Trapped between reality and death, every scrap of life is fighting for existence. To stop fighting is to die. Some precious moments of peace can be stolen from small pockets of calm. Life can take a breath and wonder at the harsh beauty. But only for a moment, then struggle resumes. And others watch. The Shayton Chronicles begins in Destiny Sets, the story of one man. He is that drop of chaos that can spell success or failure. Born from a vampiric race of slaves, genetically moulded to provide comfort for their masters, he alone decides to be truly free. Irreverent humour and a fierce need to know 'why', war within him and entire worlds are changed. "The Stainless Steel Rat with fangs."
Painting the mythic vampire
The deep royal blue sky of the Italian Riviera provided the perfect backdrop to the posed woman. She was an otherworldly figure set amongst the ancient columns. Her softly accented voice broke the stillness. "Are you sure about this?"
She watched as he added a daub more paint, "I am sure. You said it yourself, the best way to deny something it is to say it is true."
"And what if the Council finds out?"
Alfredo dabbed on a different colour. Going by the look on his face, he still did not have the skin colour the exactly right colour of purple. It had been frustrating him all evening. There was a timeline that neither one of them had mentioned, but it loomed in their thoughts. He was getting older, and no one lived forever. His words dragged her out of the wave of sadness that swept through her. "This mythical Council of yours, what if they do notice the paintings? They are just paintings."
"The Council is no myth. They rule our world."
"I thought the King ruled your homeworld?"
Lisa started to shrug but remembered in time not to move from the pose. "His rule is absolute, so long as he leaves all the day to day decisions, like whether to exile his daughter to Earth, to the Council."
"And you, as this poor exiled waif are concerned that one of those 'day to day' decisions may be objecting to this painting?"
Lisa snorted at the sarcasm in his voice, knowing it was meant more to chide her out of the doldrums than anything else. "They defend of the safety of Shayton. They hold dear her anonymity. It keeps her from being destroyed by those that fear the different, which, my dear, you must agree describes most humans remarkably well."
Alfredo nodded, "And trust me, the picture of a masked dancer with obviously fake wings..." Lisa snorted again at this description of her body, "will ensure that any little slip ups like the one in Venice, will be seen as a publicity stunt and nothing else. Your Council will thank us."