I’m baaaaaaaack!: Now let’s talk about characterization!

Sorry for my long hiatus! My father was in town visiting for a little over a week, and then as soon as he left, I had a minor family crisis I had to deal with, so I have not been able to write or blog.

But everything has been somewhat taken care of, and I am somewhat back to a routine, so hopefully I should be back to blogging regularly.

And today I want to talk about characterization.

I finished reading John Green’s Paper Towns, and although I have mixed feelings about the book, one thing I think he does a great job with is characterization. He includes really specific anecdotes and details about his characters that make them feel unique, and real.

For example, Quentin tells the anecdote of when he was younger at a dance class and a bully tells all the girls to say no to him when he asks them to dance, even though they aren’t allowed to say no, so when they do, he is so shocked and hurt that he starts crying to the teacher. I mean, that is SUCH a specific anecdote that really reveals a lot about the character, don’t you think? And then there is Radar, Quentin’s friend, whose parents have the largest collection of black Santas. Yeah, that’s right, BLACK SANTAS. How does he come up with this?

This is the kind of thing I need to work on with my own work. Making the characters more specific and real. But like I said, how does he come up with this stuff? Does he base it off of his own life, or real people that he knows? Is he able to just literally make the stuff up as he goes along? Does he draw from inspiration in movies and other books? I. Need. To. Know.

So what about you guys? How do you work on specific details for your characters? Is is experience, divine inspiration, or borrowed from other things?

Let me know in the comments!




Sarah J. Maas: The Queen of World-Building

So, I finally finished Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas today! It took me three long weeks, but it was worth it! I am in awe of her world-building, and it really got me thinking about the world-building in Rewritten. Admittedly, it is something I really need to work on, and one of my main focuses in my revisions (if I ever get done with the first draft!)

See, Rewritten is the first thing I have ever written that was not a contemporary setting. And, until recently, I hadn’t really gotten into sci-fi or fantasy all that much, so it’s a new thing for me to think about. See, the premise for Rewritten came to me, randomly, on a long, arduous drive home through the desert from Las Vegas back to SoCal. So writing something that is science fiction is all new to me.

At first, I was doing it as light as possible. Basically, today with one or two differences. But as the writing has gone on (and on and on…), I have come up with more ideas. The world is slowly coming to me. I’ve been reading a lot of sci-fi and watching a lot of sci-fi, and some fantasy, too, to help get those creative juices flowing. But other than that, I’m not sure what else I can do. My creativity is a work in progress, I guess.

What about you guys? Any suggestions on helping with world-building? Suggestions and advice would be greatly appreciated!