Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Further Trials in Character Creation

I have managed to create a handful of random characters, none of which seem terribly suited for my current project. I don't really know what I'm looking for, or why this is so hard. There are millions of possible characters out there, and I've managed to make… six. I know that I need a couple more in the story, but I don't know what I want them to do yet. Die horribly maybe.

I'm lying. I did create one possibly useful character: The Armchair Detective. They've watched a lot of CSI and the like and they think they know anything about anything. Clearly they know how to solve a murder, they've seen plenty of episodes. We'll just look at some grainy footage and click the "enhance" button. That's how the pros do it, you know.

We really need a better source for characters. Making them up from whole cloth is terribly inefficient. Unfortunately for me, while I have accrued lists and lists of plots and dialogue and titles, I've never really collected characters. This calls for a trip to the NaNo forums, but I'll do that after I post this, because I know I'll be there all day. It's like TV Tropes. It's a trap.

I still don't know who the killer is. I'm trying not to figure it out until I get all my characters in. I want them to have a personality before a motive, if that makes sense. How they are connected to The Victim (Mary Jane Sebring, she has a name) will be determined in the future. She doesn’t have a personality yet, either. She's just dead.

On the bright side, the Nightingale has a name now. I'll admit, I'm always a bit nervous about unveiling names. It's like I've created all this hype (Have I? Probably not.) and I'm afraid that the name I offer won't live up to it. Which is probably irrational, but when has that ever stopped me? Anyway, her name is Joanna Castilla. Third generation American, she grew up in San Diego. What she's been up to lately, that's a little iffy. I can tell you that her last relationship ended in misery and death, and that's somehow led her to be on this little island where things are only going to get worse.

Which brings us back to randomly diverse characters. Does it seem unnatural to you? Like it's forced? Or does she just sound like a person with a history? I'm asking because I can't tell anymore. I assume everything I'm doing is bad, and everything I'm bad at is the way it's supposed to be. Maybe that's irrational, but, well…

I don't know if you know this, but I took three college-level creative writing classes for fiction. And two for poetry, though that's neither here nor there. My point is I should at least have an inkling of what I'm doing. Maybe I did. Maybe I forgot, along with how to be a normal human and whatever the hell "cosmic muffin" means.

I'll see you Friday. With characters, hopefully, or maybe *gasp* a plot outline. But, as they say, "hopefully" doth butter no parsnips.


  1. It's like you're writing a game of clue.

    1. That's exactly how it is! I actually considered assigning characters to Clue pieces and playing a game to decide the murderer.