Woohoo! Back to writing! Over the years I have often wondered how others brainstorm for their stories because my ideas tend to come sporadically and in the form of a jumbled mess in serious need of untangling. I do not outline everything, but I do enjoy concise lists that I can revisit for important points at a later date. There is little method to my madness and I am awfully inconsistent, but that works for me. However, I find that exploring other peoples methods tend to help create new ideas and better organize the globs of inspiration thrown my way. Outlines, lists, character profiles, chapter-by-chapter construction, and various other approaches are a few of the many ways I’ve seen authors go about their writing. So let’s talk about my method.
As I said I can be inconsistent with ordering, but I still follow a basic rhythm for developing my stories. It begins with one small detail such as the color of the sky, a haze of fog in the early morning, a windblown tree, a mysterious character walking down the street, or even an imaginary (perhaps ridiculous) event taking place before my eyes.
I have compiled a list for your consideration when you begin developing characters in your story. I suggest you do the list in top-to-bottom order because the uppermost decisions can help you with a name at the end.
- Age, Gender
- Profession (if any)
- Personality trait(s)/flaw(s)
- Opinions of other characters?
- Opinions region/kingdom?
- Opinions of universal laws?
- Unique character qualities?
Character 1 – Sci Fi, Otherworldly
- 27 Female
- Passive-Aggressive; Confident
- Disdain for her superiors; Enjoys the company of a particular ship Captain
- Hates living on spacecraft for any length of time; Prefers her time-off
- Universal Laws are an inevitable source of discomfort in her life; disdain for the society she is part of
- Despite extremely advanced healing technology, she has a scar that will not mend
- Irelia Farrenon
Character 2 – Dark Fantasy
- 45 Male
- Royal Painter/Sculptor
- Selective mute; entirely rational
- Undecided/emphemral opinions
- Loyal to the Kingdom
- Universal laws are logical
- Carries around a bag of colored marbles so seemingly no purpose
Other considerations for your story should include:
- How do your characters relate to the world or setting you’ve created?
- What separates your world/characters from others?
- Look for loopholes to your plans
- Question the motive(s) for your plot(s). Is it realistic?
- Find alternatives