It’s October, and now the planning for NaNo can being!
The best way to start gearing up for a large writing project is to tell other people that you are planning on partaking in a huge project. You’ll get a lot of support then when you start writing, but also people asking you how it is going. It forces you to write just a bit each day so that you can always report some progress and not feel bad about not making any.
Another great place to start is by beginning to create your characters, which is what I’ll be going over today.
One of the best ways I have found to create a character is to fill out a simple template with information about the character.
Occupation (if any):
These seven questions will give you a baseline for your character and how they will react in certain situations. These sheet can constantly be evolving as well, as certain events might make their attitude towards others change, such as a murder of a loved one, or the birth of a child.
There are other questions that can be asked as well to give even more insight into a character, such as a basic history, a listing of their relationships, or what skill sets they have that make them particularly interesting. A great example of these skills: flying a plane, hacking computers, even an ability as a writer.
A great question to ask yourself before you create a new character though is why you need to create them. Is there a certain role they need to perform before they disappear forever, or will they be a re-occurring one that will challenge the main character for screen-time? A fanfic writer I know creates hundreds on original characters for her fics, and has a bio on every one of them. Before creating another, she consults this list to find out if she can use one she has already created or if she needs to make a new one completely.
While this is harder for original fiction, the basic premise is still solid. With a collection of bios, it’s easier to pick one for the position you need the character to play in the writing.
Here’s a great collection of links for help creating your characters:
Fake Name Generator: http://www.fakenamegenerator.com/gen-female-it-us.php It also provides and entire backstory for them as if they actually existed.
Character Generator: http://www.seventhsanctum.com/index-char.php There are a lot of generators here, including ones for plot and setting. The character ones have a lot of variety though.
Character Names: behindthename.com It tells the meaning behind the names, which is great if you want your names to have a certain meaning for the character.
http://www.lowchensaustralia.com/names/fantasylinks.htm has names that are more fantastical
Hope this all helps, and I hope to see what character creation ideas you have!