Characters and World-Building

Writing Wednesday – Writing a large cast. And http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/01/29/s-l-huang-on-the-subject-of-unlikable-women-protagonists/ – as well as others I’m sure I’ll tag with “characters” to link.

My “cast” is big. Really big, actually. So I’m sharing this to save it, because I’m going to need it later. My characters: There are two main sets, adults and teenagers. The adults can also be divided into bigger groups. The teenagers too, but less so, given there are a smaller, more focused number, which I’m thinking will largely stick together.

Every time when I write, whatever scenes are going on, I have to keep straight all the personalities etc. in my head. This is kinda tricky right now – I’ve been developing some for years, but others have had to be added recently due to the reboot the overall story underwent. It’s maddening.

Especially since I right now just want to write, churning out words like I was doing in Semester 2 last year on the train journeys. I said to a friend (hello, if you’re reading) the other day that for this reboot I was just going to write-write-write, until I had to stop; then pause. In the pause, I’ll edit however many chapters I’ve done, write down things for character backstories in my “Character Profiles” document, research names of people and places, etc.

For now, I’ll just write.

The research I do (or need to do) is another thing – I want this story to be set in the future. So of course, a whole bunch of futuristic-type concepts need to be at least scanned, in order to build up a good ideas-bank of concepts.
But it’s going to be a bit different. For one thing, it’s not set on Earth, but a different planet, though one called Terra. I’m still deciding whether or not to acknowledge this by making the “natural” range of skin colour for my “people” be something other than darkest brown to the lightest pinkish-white, like we humans are. Like the movie Avatar did with the Na’avi.
However, I do want to link back to the cultural groups and countries of Earth. After all, I wouldn’t be the first – Tamora Pierce (brilliant medieval fantasy writer of the series’ in Tortall and Emelan, especially if you like real-girls-as-real-protagonists), John Flanagan (author of Ranger’s Apprentice and Brotherband series’) and others have clearly based certain cultures and countries within their books on the cultures and countries of our own.

It’s a decision for further down the track – right now, given I’m starting from scratch in a new “universe”, I have enough work making sure the old “universe” (the original draft of this story) doesn’t cut in too much.

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2 thoughts on “Characters and World-Building

  1. I think it’s hard managing a lot of characters especially when you’re dealing with a ‘new world’ to create as well. I’ve started keeping a bible to keep details about my characters straight.So far, so good. But it’s a task to be sure. Good luck.

    Writer Chick

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a character profile document, but I’ve realised that given I’m needing to redo the story, the actual writing is more important right now, cos i need to build backbone again. And I only have certain times to write in…. Thanks for the luck. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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