KJ (owlmoose) wrote,

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30 Days: Catching up, #2

25. Do any of your characters have pets? Tell us about them.

Not unless you count Nooj's pet courl in The Cat, but that was kunstarniki's concept, which I just borrowed for one story. So, no. Next question.

26. Let's talk art! Do you draw your characters? Do others draw them? Pick one of your OCs and post your favorite picture of him!

Not an artist. Someone did once create fanart for Lissira, the primary OC in "A Guardian's Legacy", which was awesome, but I have since lost the link, which is sad. So I can't show it. Alas. Next question.

27. Along similar lines, do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters.

Along with not being an artist, I am not an especially visual thinker: I think in words and always have. This is part of the reason that I enjoy writing for games; I already know what all of the characters look like. It's also another good argument for using unnamed background characters to fill in the world-buiding gaps rather than pure OCs.

It makes for a different kind of challenge in writing, though: how much description of a character's appearance to include? I can safely assume that almost anyone reading one of my stories is going to know what Auron looks like, or Yuna, or Ashe, and one of the hallmarks of badfic is that it overdoes it on the physical descriptions of characters we already know ("If I see one. more. story. that harps on Yuna and her different-colored eyes..."). But a story with no physical descriptions at all seems flat to me, especially the stories are written, as most of mine are, in close third person point-of-view. We notice what other people look like, and I think it would be artificial for the characters not to notice or comment on the appearance of the people they interact with. So I tend to err on the side of including more rather than less, while trying to make it clear that the description is from the voice of the character, not the author.

I do, of course, have to come up with the physical appearances of true original characters, just as I have to build their personalities, backstories, etc. Whenever possible, I try to use an existing character as a point of reference: Liss resembles Auron; Paine's father Xan resembles her; Kal's appearance is largely based on Tidus, except Kal is taller and leaner, hair sun-streaked rather than bottle-blond. Even with other characters as a frame of reference, though, the pictures of those characters in my head tend to be very fuzzy in comparison to the canon characters.

I'd be particularly interested in other people's thoughts on this one. How detailed do you get when designing and describing original characters? Do you use other characters as a starting point, or famous actors, or people you know? Seems like there could be an interesting range here.

30 Days of Writing: Complete list of questions

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Tags: 30 days of, writing

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