Rewriting Lust #3: Character Design
Favor of Ares, Day 3: Designing Characters for Writing
For the past two days I’ve been working on redesigning the main characters. I stated in earlier entries that the characters are now inspired by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This gives me 8 main characters, and by using the huntsman, my total goes up to 9. However, that doesn’t really help me and the characters are still flat (one dimensional). How can I put some punch into them?
Using Victoria Lynn Schmidt’s 45 Master Characters actually help me with coming up with their archetypes. Archetypes are different from stereotypes. For example, one of main characters was the leader. His characterization was flat because he didn’t have much of a personality. Stereotypes show up as “the quiet librarian” or “the hero” but there isn’t much substance. Archetypes are characters we’ve seen, but have a little more meat on their bones. Her book dwells into 16 archetypes based on greek mythology.
I’m basically taking the dwarfs and giving them more of a detailed background. Even Snow White is pretty flat as the “princess.”
Another design element I’m using will be adaptation. For example I’m adapting Snow White to be a man and that man or god I should say is Ares. His archetype is going to be “Ares, the protector.” This makes him a father figure to the team. Doc will be the basis for Edge and her archetype will be Isis(egyptian mythology) the messiah. She has this effect of changing others. I will post a more detailed version on their archetypes on my Patreon.
The third resource I’m using to help me understand my characters more is a system called the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. This also has 16 different types based on two functions and four dichotomies.The two functions are perceiving and judging. Within perceiving there is two functions, sensing and intuition. Within judging, there is thinking and feeling. We all use the four functions, but have a preference for one of the judging and perceiving functions. Then we have a preference between the two functions. This allows me to understand how my character will react in situations. For example, I will use Ares and Edge, who are the protector and messiah. Ares is ESFJ extraverted sensing feeling, and judging. He prefers social activities, he uses his senses and process the world with details making him practical, he has his own value system and can be empathetic, and he also is very structured. Edge is ISTJ, introverted, sensing, thinking, judging. She is pretty much the same, except she prefers to activities she can do by herself and she thinks rather than feel (like Ares) so she is more logical, and believes in justice. Again I will have a chart that displays how each main character has been developed.
The fourth resource I used, is that I interviewed several of my friends years ago and with their permission I can use their answers to add realism to each of the main characters. This helps me build the characters physiology, sociology, and psychology. When I go into the drawing board to sketch them, I now have a pretty good idea of where to go with it.
The fifth and final resource I used to develop the character is finding characters that are similar. The importance of this is so that I can understand what works and what doesn’t. The idea here isn’t to “steal” but to adapt, similar to how I adapted Snow White and company as the sources of inspiration. Since my overall goal is to write a novel and see it become a cartoon or movie, I try to find similar characters. Going back to Ares and looking at his archetype, personality, and other details I see him as Maka Albarn (Soul Eater), Lily Potter (Harry Potter), and Pyrrha (RWBY). Now again, obviously he isn’t going to be exact duplicates, but he has traits that are common with the three. I usually try to find MBTI charts made by others, and see if I agree with that character’s placement.
Well that’s was longer than expected. I will talk more about MBTI and 45 Master Characters in future YouTube videos I hope you enjoyed my walkthrough of designing characters that hopefully are dynamic and in my next entry, I will talk about their “Designing their look.”
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Reference Books available on Amazon.
-The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing Comics: https://amzn.to/2LEo4Za
-45 Master Characters: https://amzn.to/2uR2tTK
-Writing & Selling your Mystery Novel: https://amzn.to/2LtKs8o
-How to Be a Psychic: https://amzn.to/2NNwI4T
-Save the Cat: https://amzn.to/2OrABOi