Monday, October 20, 2014

30 Week Writing Survey - Week 9: Creating Characters

Now Playing: Peter Schilling - Major Tom

November is sooo close. I'm kind of freaking out since I'm not done planning, but at least I finished a good chunk of the future essays. There's still some I need to change and some stuff I need to do later down the line, but the main, annoying stuff is done.

I went tailgating on Saturday too, but...not to the actual game. Mostly because I don't know how I feel about supporting the football team when the rape scandal that happened not too long ago wasn't properly dealt with, making it clear this university and all the sports fans care more about the game than the victim that suffered the attack and the possible following stigma.


Tailgating was fun. It was kind of adorable to see so many little kids there alongside old ladies--everyone drowning in garnet and gold clothing. It's just...kind of cute. Maybe in the future I'd take my kids to football games in FSU, buy them the cute gear, set up barbecues, let them play football while the adults drink beer. Because Carla and I live close to the stadium now, we went tailgating there, and I think that's the more family friendly area.

Oh, and I found twenty dollars. I was so excited, but because I'm slowly turning into a boring adult now, I'm just going to put the money in my FSU card and use it for printing and laundry :P

Anyways, that's it for updates. Moving on~

QUESTION 9: How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them. 

I went into detail about this process in this post right here, back in May, but I'll answer the first part of the question in some detail.

The "how do you get ideas?" bit is complicated, since I'm never sure. It's always through something else. I knew of Wendy and Yukiko after watching Exit Through The Gift Shop. I met Lilith after some time mulling over Beyond Two Souls's Jodie, Ellie from The Last of Us, Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite, and Lara from the Tomb Raider reboot. I didn't know it at first, but slowly Ansel became my response to what's considered heartbreaking romantic heroes, and I ended up modeling the way he acts by some antagonist/villain performances of Michael Fassbender.

Dream's mannerisms were partially inspired by River Tam and Luna Lovegood, and her character came from the biblical heroine, Esther, who's her namesake. Oh and Echo from Dollhouse inspired both Legion and Dream. The Legion and Dragon conflict happened because of Kill Bill.

I have some kind of dumb ones o-e Especially in Ataraxia, if one can believe in. In that, the basic relationship of Sonya and Caesar happened because I saw the poster for the Jason Statham movie Safe. And even before watching the movie, I just knew I wanted to write a relationship dynamic like that. And even though Final Fantasy XIII is...painful to talk about, I was probably one of the only people who loved Hope, and adored his relationship with Lighting, so that was another influence. Katya happened because of Ma-Ma in Dredd, and because of the sibling conflict in Prince of Egypt (yeah, this is a little weird).

And of course, sci-fi begat sci-fi. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Bladerunner (adapted from Philip K Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) as well as the Mass Effect and Halo universes, have done a lot to influence my creation and development of everything in Vanguard's Exodus. And Amber Jackson was inspired by Master Chief from the Halo series, Cameron from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the Major from Ghost in the Shell, and a little bit of Miranda from Mass Effect. (Actually...I better not list everything that's led to this novel >> This page would be 20x longer).

Now this is the relevant part of the previous post that answers the second part of the question:
Characters come to me visually. I learn how old they are, as well as their race, age, height, sexuality, nationality, career of choice, and even clothing style. It's oddly detailed and sometimes changes around, but it always comes out in chunks. After a long while, I look around for a name and test it out. Before typing anything, I scribble ideas down on notebooks. Occasionally, I fill up a character bio....
It does take me a while to really get to know my characters. But when I do, I start to love them as if they're real people. And I'm thankful for their presence and proud of their growth, as if they were living, breathing individuals rather than pieces of me...
So they come in glimpses, and then drag me along to see what happens.

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"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.