OCTOBER 2020 – Prepping for National Novel Writing Month / Focus on Character Development

This month the Monarch Writers are excited about the yearly November tradition of National Novel Writing Month, which several of us are participating in this year. You can get a jump on your preparation by following some of the great videos on the NaNo Youtube account and set reminders for those to watch them live. Take a closer look at the Prep-101 section of their homepage. And focus with us on our lead this month which is characterization.

There are literally thousands of CHARACTER SHEETS available online for figuring out your characters deeper story that sets them up with the background psychology, motivations, and flaws that send them spinning through their time in your specific narrative before they go back to living their own lives in their fictional universes.

Good ones have spaces to fill in for their personal flaws, which interact with their motivations, leading to conflict, tied in with the setting. If you can set certain elements out early on, you make it easier on yourself going forward with the plot so you aren’t always rechecking the ingredients and at some point have the oven door closed and can get your brain baking at a steady 425 degrees with your fingers at the keys.

Here are several links to character sheets around the net to get you started, but feel free to add your own categories for your own template.

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this was a neat exercise lining up your character with the mental health ‘8 dimensions of wellness’ as an example of things you can do to explore your character

Also, consider whether you are making your character too much like yourself, or just be aware of how your character reflects you in certain ways. It’s not a bad thing, but you can make your character have a more dynamic and dramatic life than your own rather than sticking to just ‘what you know.’

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