Something New

Well, not entirely new.  I’ve tried something similar in the past with a modicum of success.  But I’m giving it a more focused go this time around.

If you aren’t aware by now, my characters drive my story.  I plot, yes, but vaguely and sometimes things I think are going to happen don’t, and things I never thought of are suddenly happening.  I was having a discussion with a friend about something in my WIP and he made a suggestion that I liked.  When I told him it was a good idea because “Mark seems like the kind of guy that would enjoy that,” his immediate response made me laugh. “Seems like?  Aren’t you in charge?”  Only moderately, is the truth.  Because the characters really do what they want and I’m just along for the ride.  So other than making vague notes about what scenes are going to happen, no I don’t plot.  Besides, that’s not what this is about anyway.

I’m talking about the character profile.

In the past, I’ve used it a bit.  A little cheat sheet that has eye and hair color, weight and body type, maybe some background info on the character, some significant event in their life that has shaped them.  My efforts were weak at best, but that little bit helped.  But these new guys?  Goodness, I just see them so clearly, and they are telling me stuff about themselves and I haven’t even gotten to the vague plotting stage yet.  So I need somewhere to put it and that, right there, is why I’m going to try to actually write out, beforehand, the character profile of my guys.  And hopefully that will guide me when my characters get into these situations they get themselves into because then I will know how they would react.  And I will be able to spot the inconsistencies a lot quicker.

That’s my hope anyway.  So I’m going to give it a try, see how it works.  If it’s good, I’ll keep doing it.  If it’s bad?  Well it’s only a bit of wasted time, and I don’t have to do it again.  I’m always trying to learn and grow as an author, and to find what works best for me.  Maybe the character profile is something that will help.  I’m willing to try.