Or a game of Operation, but that sounded far too cynical. 🙂
I remember mixing and matching a Mr. Potato Head as a kid. And as an adult.
Hey, a pre-school teacher has to get his hands dirty and play along with the kids. It’s for their fulfillment. Whatever, I don’t have to explain myself!
Anywho, I recently took a mini break from writing my zombie novel to do some secondary writing. Yup, I relax from writing by writing some more.
The other novel is a Young Adult novel that I started about 10 years ago but let stagnate because of college, teaching, and kung fu.
What do Mr. Potato Heads and writing novels have in common? I’m glad you asked.
I realize that everyone has a different method for coming up with the characters in their stories. Some start with a name and develop a character that would fit that name.
Others look to the environment and ask “what kind of person would live here?”
Me? I take one piece of that person, a piece that I find particularly cool, and build outward from there.
I might take a certain speech pattern. Yes, just an abstract vernacular or accent that I pluck from the ether, and build someone around that.
Let’s say I choose a cockney accent (one of my favs). Well, that accent always seems to belong to a wise-ass, so maybe I can use it for a character who’s sarcastic and uses words to make up for his size.
A small guy. A goblin.
So now I have a goblin who’s swearing in a cockney accent.
My Mr. Potato Head started with a mouth this time, and I plugged it into my oblong canvas with gusto.
Other times, I’ll start with the way a character would dress. Again, it’s abstract. There is no body or personality at all. Just an article of clothing.
A bowler hat.
Cant’ have a bowler hat without a cane (in my mind).
Bowler hat? Cane? Double breasted vest.
A refined gentleman comes into being.
This Mr. Potato Head started with his accessories first. I don’t care about his mouth or eyes or ears just yet. What he uses is far more interesting at the moment of conception.
And if one part of him doesn’t fit very well? Then I just pluck it out and choose another.
You guys get the idea.
That’s my character creation process, anyway. How do you get create your own characters?
Or, for my artistic friends out there, how do you choose the subjects for your paintings, sketches, or other projects?