Wednesday, September 26, 2012


“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”
~ Abraham Lincoln
So you want to build a character? A great exercise in the journey of building a character is having your character describe YOU. When you put on your characters personality in introducing you to the world, something happens, you learn more about your character(s) in their voice, actions, and their readability.

A lot of the times you find out things about your characters that you never knew.

1) Are they antagonist or protagonist?

2) Does their voice sound flat?

3) Do they need to be redefined in your eyes?

4) Can this (these) characters carry a fifty-thousand word novel? A short story?

5) Are you ready to hear from your character what they dislike about you the most?

Keep in mind your characters take on a life of their own. They think for themselves, dress for themselves and are everything they need to get by. When you, the nosey writer, pokes and prods, you create things that maybe really are not in character for him or her.

This character exchange exercise really gives you a window to look through at your character to see how THEY see YOU! And they’ll be real vocal about it too. Once you begin writing you just can’t stop. You didn’t realize Rapunzel (my character) could be so vocal!

Maybe I should do my exercise here, for you all to see a writer and character at work! Well that’s a cool idea. I see too many people do this exercise allowing the ego-tripping character to go on and on about THEM, when that is not the point AT ALL in the exercise. WE, the reader, want to hear about YOU, the writer, from your characters perspective!

Introducing (drum roll please) Rapunzel

My name’s Rapunzel and my Drama Queen of a writer, Joni, wants me to tell you about her. Sure she’s going to stir my story up like stew but it is her story that I can’t wait to tell YOU about.

She went and shifted gears in the mentoring stage and is now going to be teaching you, the gracious readers of her blog. She thinks the writing sites are full of fluff and has put them in the closet, but her blog, now that is her own and where she can be free to write whatever she wants to write.

Freedom, that is what she likes and I sure hope she likes it enough to give me a taste of it too! Funny thing is, she has long flowing blond hair, like me, often feels imprisoned, like me, and she tries to be a light at the end of the tunnel, like I am for some.

I’m thinking she chose to write about me because we’re so much alike. Will she be able to pull off a story of say 1500 words about a fictional character and keep herself out of it or will we merge together. Hey, I don’t want to be a writer, after some of the things I’ve witnessed her go through, no thanks!

Freedom will be the goal for both of us and I’ll watch as she soars, now if only I could too.


Malekia said...

Thank you Joni! Your way of explaining the character development has given me new insight onto what I'm giving my characters. I do love the unique approach to truly understanding not only who the character is but what they are and why they are the way they are. We truly do add a bit of ourselves into every character we create and develop. I wish you were my mentor at another undisclosed location. :) Thank you so much!!!

joni said...

Aww thanks Jess. My mentoring days may be over but my blogging days are just beginning. :D

If you can call over 1,000 blog posts as just beginning. lol

Nah, just yet another new journey for me.
*big hugs*

NurseArtist said...

Blogs can be great teaching links too. You have a unique way of dispersing knowledge that makes it seem like it's fun to learn. Don't lose that. And keep writing. Love ya.

joni said...

AWW Thanks Dixie!
Love you too!
It's great having my friends support!

I've found my niche. :)

Tiggs said...

Thanks Joni,

I too miss you mentoring, but now I will just have to come here to get your mentoring. hHis was perfect timing for me to read this, as I need to sit down and write/have a character write my intro today.

Keep writing and sharing--I love and appreciate the knowledge you continue to offer.

joni said...

You get to your writing! Make it good!

I'll be here! :D

Thanks for your support!

*big hugs*