Friday, November 30, 2012

Wealthy Knowledge Wednesdays - Making and Naming Characters

I have been asked if the people in my life have been written as characters. The answer is yes and no. I do not take all of the person who inspires me to create this character, this character is a person all on their own. However, I do take some aspects of the people in my life or that I met. These people who influence my characters or give birth to them are people who make an impression on me.
        I draw or sketch a picture of my characters (such as above - who is Mikwam from Hidden Powers).  Looking at this picture helped me to write her.

                I will give you an example: My dentist was fixing my splint that helps my jaw and he tighten it. He pushed it into my mouth and I hollered, it hurt when he pushed on my teeth. He knows that I am a writer and he says, “ I am so sorry, you are not going to write me as the villain now, are you?” I laughed and said, “No.”

                But then I went out to the car after my appointment and we started driving away. The book I was writing at the time was Hidden Conflicts and I knew I wanted a healer in the book. They healer popped into my head. A white hair hermit who always asked, “Do you understand?” The character was born.

                Take a little notebook with you everywhere, one that fits in your purse or back pocket. Write what a person says or one main feature and think about your book. A character could be possibly be born just by thinking about your book.

Same goes for the names of the characters. I created names by these methods.

1)   The main way I came up with names- looked at my Native American heritage. Names have power and I took this into account when I named my characters.

2)    I looked around me - I saw Officejet printer, Jergens lotions, I see the words create and love. Now I mix and match to create names, Jeceva or Firlota. Ha ha. I hope you get the point. Some of the names made me laugh and did not make the cut.

3) I looked at the heritage of my characters - If I have an English character - I look for common or unique English names.

4)    I also take people's names, especially if a character is loosely based off of them. Ex. Jean Bedell - Jedel.