1. MJ Preston
    Offline

    MJ Preston Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    3

    Character development through art

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by MJ Preston, May 20, 2010.

    I am, admittedly, not the greatest artist, but have found that by creating characters artististically I am actually better able to get a feel for them in writing. I have attached two pictures of two of the characters in my novel. The first is my Monster who I refer to as "Skin."

    The second pic is of a supporting Character named Jake Toomey.

    On that note, can anyone else recommend their own recipes fro character creation and development?
     
  2. Manav
    Offline

    Manav Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Imphal, India
    That's fantastic art!

    I think it'll certainly help to create your character artistically, as far as the physical description is concern and also to have a distinct image of your character in your mind, specially for fantasy type of characters. Detailing is one of the most important aspect of such arts. Those details will certainly come in handy while writing.

    I can't create such art so I rely on the mental image I create when I write about a character. That's quite sufficient for me, but then, my characters are next-door-neighbour type of characters.
     
  3. Never Master
    Offline

    Never Master Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Hannibal, Missouri
    I will be honest, this method you've discovered does not work for me. I find that seeing the still image of a character I'm attempting to develop tends to stall my progress. That one static image kind of halts the intial growth of the individual I am trying to get to know. Its outstanding that it works for you however.

    A suggestion I can offer you is this:

    Next time, attempt to gain more information about how the character works and who he or she is. Stop thinking about them as characters but as individuals. Imagine yourself actually talking with them as say an interviewer for the local periodical. Once you know who they are, the next two options (depending on the character's role in the plot proggression) are to either put the raw data into the story and allow the character to grow within and alongside their environment or to begin writing stories and plots for your eyes only that progress the individual until they become what your story requires. (I've found roleplaying to be the best form but that is my own system)

    Thats as complicated as it gets for me. Often times a character just falls into place but if not, this method I described above has always come through for me.
     
  4. Mila
    Offline

    Mila Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Newcastle, UK
    I do both the above. I don't draw my own characters because I'd rather write them, but I do...er....spend a few minutes on google looking for images that may be them. It gives an initial idea and it saves me fliddling about with notes when I can't remember what colour their hair is, all I have to do is check the pic.
    On the walk home from work ( not TO work, too early, heh ) I have them walk with me, it's kind of fun to realise they think the view stinks when I like it, or whatever.
    I say use whatever works. Quite often my characters turn up in dreams with something that shocks me - maybe they're gay, or have lost an arm, and I didn't plan that for them but it works....
     
  5. Brandon_Trotter
    Offline

    Brandon_Trotter Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Peterborough
    what medium did you use to make this ? I am assuming you did not draw these by hand ... so did you use photoshop or another program ? I personally like to do a character trait sheet when I am creating characters for a story and even sometimes poetry. however, when I did my comic I did serval character skecthes in addation to trait sheets. I try to set my trait sheets up something like this

    Name:
    Attitude:
    Most likely to act ___ toward ___ ( repeat this. I find it helps give you some early ideas for conflicts )
    ultimate goal:
    past:

    preaty basic but it works well enough for me.
     
  6. MJ Preston
    Offline

    MJ Preston Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    3
    I use to paint a lot when I was younger, but stopped about 28 years ago when I realized that I kinda sucked at it.;) Anyway I use Paint Shop Pro 7.
    "Skin's" hands are actually my hands.

    I don't initially create a picture of the character until I have gotten to know them in print. So I develop the character slowly, but have always had an issue with how the character looks. This is a good outlet for me to develop a visual for myself.

    Google is a good resource for this.

    One of the scenes in my book takes place between a North American native and the monster "Skin" This is a picture I developed after writing the first chapter of my book.
    [​IMG]

    I don't know if I will include these pictures with the manuscript when I submit it, but they have been a great tool to turn to when I'm in between ideas.

    Another great tool I utilize in the creation process is music, but that's another thread altogether.
    + deleted
     
  7. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I'm not sure it would be a good idea to include the pictures. If you do, make sure you make it clear they are not part of the submission, only an optional visual aid for the illustrator if the manuscript is accepted.

    You don't want to give the impression that they will have to carefully "handle" you over the artwork, because most publishers prefer to use their own artists and illustrators for cover art (unless you're a celebrity, in which case the ability to paint a blue sky could be a selling point for the book).
     
  8. hyperspace!
    Offline

    hyperspace! Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    2
    Nice shoops, MJ. For some reason, I'm imagining "Skin" in some low-budget 80s music video. With like smoke machines and blacklights and stuff, and he's chasing the band memebers around with a crossbow. It's kind of awesome.

    I don't have any artistic talent - I can hardly even write - so I don't really have any method for creating characters. I usually just try to think up a huge loser and go with it. Or take some overused character archtype (like, I dunno, sexy broody vampire-man) and change it around a little (awkward geeky vampire-man with a neckbeard). Those are terrible examples, but you know what I mean.

    Although, I think I might be the only one who likes reading about those kinds of people. What with that one becoming a best-seller because "OMG EDWARD". Oh well.
     
  9. MJ Preston
    Offline

    MJ Preston Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    3
    Sound advice and point taken.

    Actually the dude with the crossbow is the Native fellow. Skin is the monster. LOL. This might clarify it a tad.

    [​IMG]

    Left to right (Prostitute Kerry-Skin AKA Franklin-Daniel Blackbird aka The Hunter)
     

Share This Page