Step one: Panning for gold

Step one: Panning for gold

A Lesson by KristenMaye

Removing your character from the storyline


This is probaly the most difficult and time consuming step in the entire process. But dont let that get you down, If you know what to look for it could be a relatively enjoyable experience.


Before you drag out your old notebooks and files get organized: grab a couple of pages and a pen and be prepared to take notes. You have alot of information ahead of you and your going to need a place to put it. 


Dont start to write anything before you crack open your books, not even their name, hight and eye color. That's a bridge you can cross when you get to it.  You may not have realized this but the longer you write about something the more your peception of it changes so the character you started with may be a completely differnt person now. And that's OK; You have probaly changed too.


Begin with the oldest material no matter what form it is in (sketches, outlines fragmented stories, you name it).  It dosent have to be in the exact order it was written in, just so long as you keep the yellow pages in the front and the crispy white in the back. Go through these and write down any information on your character. Dont forget their emotional reactions to things that are happening, these snipetts of color reveal more about their personality then you might think. You may think you know your character front and back but they have this sneeky little habbit of surprising you.


So now that you have a small volume in your hands you are ready to move on to the next step, right? Wrong. There are more characters to your story than just your own. You need to identify wich characters serve as foils to your own.  Rember, if the characters are not yours take from them dont take them.


Finaly we come to the setting. Use things that help define your character but dont just copy another authors blueprints. For the most part this is just common sense; if your character is a ninja from the villige hidden in the sand and has sand powers you probaly dont want to put them in the artic circle(or maby you do, maby your character needs to be deprived...its your decision.) that said, dont take the entire sand villige with you. make a world of your own, onethat screams "this is me" instead of "cheap immitation"

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Added on August 3, 2010
Last Updated on August 3, 2010

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I am an engineer by nature and an artist by heart. I go to a technical highschool for Pre-Engineering and plan to major in Aerospace Eng, but i love to write in my free (and not so free) time. A very ..