Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Setting Up For The Workshop - Characters

So - are we ready???

I'm getting all geared up for the next part of A Book With Trish... so that means, in order to know what I'm doing - I have to take a brief step backwards and follow all the steps that I had already taken with the last book...

So, you can follow the links for the series as I walk myself through them and when we're all caught up and ready to go then off we launch into a BRAND NEW STORY!!!!


For Part One of the Workshop I had to do a:

Hero Character Sheet.

1/ Cast a hero with pics that suggest moods/scenes and personality

2/ Name your hero

3/ Build up a detailed profile of his life prior to the beginning of the book

Now as this is a book I plotted and started and then abandoned for a considerable time, I'm a little ahead on this... But I did have to go in and give it one heck of a shake up!!! One of the major things I did was re-cast my hero and heroine and rename them both... which gave me a very fresh approach to the whole book and brought me some interesting new additions I hadn't thought about the first time round!!!

So, and realistically it had to happen sometime, I have cast Nathan Fillion in my mind for the hero of this book... I know my hero is now named Kane Healey, I know he's a mega-rich owner of a Software and Computer Games company and I know the basics such as hair and eye colour and height and age (and due to a few hours of DVD watching I have an idea of how his voice sounds and how he moves and the facial expressions he makes... I've been very studious for this book...) But more importantly I also very clearly know about Kane's history and his conflicts and his humour and how he takes his coffee... I think I've thought about this story so often that it's almost too real for me - like a film I've seen a dozen times - so I know Kane pretty well - what drives him (his motivation), what holds him back (his conflict) and how the story will change him (his character arc) ...

Being as and how I've been looking for the right role to cast this particular potential hero in for some while, I have several photos that depict different moods and scenes and having watched how he can deliver a one liner with a completely deadpan face and how he can carry off inner conflict in the roles he has played I feel this is the perfect place to put Nathan... So I'm MORE than happy with my hero choice... There will be NO CHANGING THIS ONE - Mark my words...

Then, having all that nice and clear it was time to move onto Part Two Of The Workshop where I had to do a:

Heroine Character Sheet.

1/ Cast a heroine with pics that suggest moods/scenes and personality

2/ Name your heroine

3/ Build up a detailed profile of her life prior to the beginning of the book

Now again - I had a bit of a head start with this having lived with the story for a while, but again I had to go in and shake things up a bit. So I cast Sandra Bullock this time as my heroine. But even at this stage as I re-cast, I still had to go through several pictures to find the *look* that I wanted...

Sandra is known for that 'girl-next-door' look and although thats a little of what I want, I also wanted something, I dunno, *more* than that. I even worried for a little while that she might not work for me... until I found a few pictures like this one and I knew I had what I needed... I guess it just goes to show that sometimes its not the person but the *look* that we need to get it right in our heads...

So here we have Terri MacNally, my single parent heroine, she does whatever jobs she can to support herself and her daughter as she comes from a poor background and she's had more than her share of hard knocks along the way. She's determined her daughter won't have that life - so when she's left a chance for a whole new life in her best friends will she's going to do whatever she can to build on that legacy... I know her height, hair colour, all the basics and have the motivation, conflict and character arc all firmly in my mind... I know why she does the things she does so all I have to do is try and convey that to the reader...

At this point I also have to add a 2b to the workshops - as I have a secondary character who will feature heavily in the storyline. And any secondaries who appear in the story for more than a fleeting moment may need a scaled down version of the hero and heroine's character sheets just to have it straight in my mind...

In this case, all I need on Terri's daughter is some basics - her name, which for now is Beth, (though I may change that...) - her age - which is ten - and some of her basic likes and dislikes. I barely need to delve into things like her motivation, conflict and character arc - because she is there to act as a catalyst between the hero and heroine. But I need to understand why she might do or say certain things and I need to know how she will react to certain things... So I need to have a basic idea of her. Apart from that, I just need to keep remembering not to let her take over the story!!! It's the two central characters that I'm concerned with... And their happiness will have a knock on effect to her happiness, right???

Okay! So that's my characters covered - next I'll come back and look at things like research and setting... And when I've caught up to speed with where I should be on this one - we'll start writing together again...

12 comments:

allyblake said...

Okay, Trish. So the hours of watching Nathan Fillion were all for research you say? Right, okay...

Now I have watched the first half of "Firefly" and I am loathe to watch the rest, knowing it will end. Bwaaaahhhh... I am in love. With every single one of them. I wanna be Kaylee. And Captain Tightpants is a joy.

Great casting!!!

Ally

Trish said...

YES ALLY - Its R-E-S-E-A-R-C-H....

Ooooohhhh what epi are you up to???? I love, love, love it!!! And when you are finally through the whole series and know all the phrases abd storylines you too may become a Browncoat...

Funny that Nathan scored as Kaylee in the test for his myspace... I came out as Mal LOL!

Rachael said...

Hey Trish

Glad you've started again. I'm reading Ally's write-a-book series too and so far it's very interesting to see how different you are!

RACH!

Donna Alward said...

LOL Trish, you know I can totally see him as a Kane. TOTALLY.

Trish said...

Rach - isn't that a great thing to notice though??? I have to say I'm just like everyone else - the way that writers approach their writing fascinates me and I follow a lot of the Blogs series that are on the go about different methods and helpful books that they take writing exercises from - and to me whats encouraging is that although there are so many different ways of doing it, there are also many, many similarities...

We are as individual in our approaches as we are in our voices - which I think is why so many writers HATE being told about a *formula* - you've only to read Ally's series, Fiona Harper's series and my series, to see that none of us follow a specific formulaic path to a story!!!

There is no right or wrong - there's more than likely a mix of different *ingredients* from different methods that just happen to work best for you, the individual - if that makes sense...

Whatever works I say!!!!

And Donna YEAH - It WORKS doesn't it??? Have to say I'm quite excited about this one.... LONG MAY THAT LAST...

Natasha Oakley said...

I'm so impressed you, Ally and Fiona can unpick what you do! I'm of the opinion it's magic. That's not a lot of help is it!!

But, yes, that 'formula' phrase really grates on me. Not quite as much as 'do you think you'll ever write a proper book?'. Hey ho!

allyblake said...

Natasha, I don't quite unpick - I just have many bad habits and I've come to notice them is all ;).

Trish, where is this myspace thingie? I wanna know who I am...

Ally

Sue aka MsCreativity :-) said...

Hmm... I have my two main characters cast.
I have a complete back-story/internal conflict in place for my heroine (Claire).
I know who my hero is (Jon), but will he let me know enough about his back-story/internal conflict..? Nope!

Sue :-)

P.S. Loving the sound of Terrie and Kane (and Beth) :-)

Sue aka MsCreativity :-) said...

Cancel my last... I've just spent a 'quality' 2 hrs with my hero, and he's told me loads! I'm so relieved!!! :-D

Sue :-)

Janet said...

How long have we got until your competition?

Trish said...

Sue! So glad he decided to open his mouth and tell you what you need to know! There's nothing damn worse than a character who is secretive... makes you wanna slap them silly...

Janet - I don't wann push anyone too hard too fast so I'd say we'll run with this series for a few months - let people work on synopsis and partials and all and maybe run it after my Rescued: Mother-To-Be competition which will run til the end of April??? How does that sound folks??? And that gives you guys until end of May to enter if you want to and I can crit the winner before I go away at the end of June....???

Cool???

Sue aka MsCreativity :-) said...

Trish, the end of May sounds perfect.

Sue :-)