Via a post in Elise's blog, I found a Honey's Writer's Workshop in her blog ... you may want to follow the links behind those names and take a look at the very interesting and helpful entries.
I've been busy with a non-writing project during May and then I struggled to get back into writing (and with a cold), so I am very glad to get an opportunity to do some exercises and learn something. Not to mention to have fun with writing again!
This is about creating believable characters, and I believe I actually do need to improve in that field.
Most of the stories I started are rather character-based, instead of plot-based. But I fear one of the reasons why I haven't finished a proper story yet is, because my characters lack some essentials. More often than not I don't know why they ought to do what I want them to do, or they "ruin" my ideas because they do not what they are supposed to. While such surprises might be good, they just aren't really when you as a writer are not up to it and get stranded.
So, lets get started with the first task from Honey:
Exercise: Do a character sketch. I found this website, click on the word here, with some great suggestions for building characters.
Since I had planned to work on "Twisted Paths of Fate" this month, I choose to use it's main-character:
Valeria Temerit was born to a woman who tried to love her, despite having been abandoned by the man who got her pregnant. They shared the same dark hair, but the girl was told she had inherited the green tinge in her blue eyes from her father. Long hours alone or among strangers, while her mother worked to feed them, shaped a courageous, independent character at an early age. Valeria never feared to speak her mind, although she soon learned to be careful of the consequences. So when the first visions came, she startled her mother with uncomfortable questions and eventually found herself promised to a Lord's son and bundled of to become a seer. Accepting fate came easier to her than learning how to distinguish false visions from true ones, but she left her masters as one of the most powerful of her kind. By the time her fiancé came to make her his wife, Valeria's skin was marked with well earned silver markings and she was ready to fulfil the promise that had been made in her name. This bond had always been the only way for her to get a glimpse of her own fate, for it was closely linked with the man who was to be her husband and offered to be her protector. Valeria allowed herself to enjoy this new life, for she knew it would last only a short time. True visions can only be changed by severe sacrifices, and she was glad to finally be able to make a choice about her future herself.
I am actually rather pleased with the result, but I have to admit that I did some brainstorming about this project a few days ago. Before that, this wouldn't have been half as long or interesting, I fear.
Nevertheless, I would appreciate comments and critique about this. Does it sound interesting to you, too? Do you see any flaws? What would you expect to get from a story with her? Anything else that comes to your mind?
Also, I think I should try to make more like this - especially about characters I haven't fleshed out yet that well. And about all those that I think I know, to proof if I really do.