Thursday, February 08, 2007

Who are They?

What about your characters? Do you ever decorate their houses? When I was working on The Devil You Know, I had storyboards with not only the characters pictures, but clothes, cars, houses, rooms, etc. I even went so far as to use one of those home design programs and “drew” out their homes. It helped to keep me from turning right from the kitchen to the bedrooms in one chapter and to the left in another. Having the house plans drawn out like that came in handy. How much into detail do you go when creating your characters?

Oh, and that's Aidan and BooBear.

It's 9 - 5 Thursday at work, so y'all behave yourselves while I'm gone.


Loreth Anne White said...

I plan every 'seen' -- *cough cough

I think I generally go to great depths planning the psychology of my characters, not so much their physical possessions -- because those grow out their mental states as the book progresses. For example, a certain psychology just *must* have a dog -- a big one, and functional clothes and no-fuss makeup and would never cook, while another would go for cats. And frills. And she would love baking. And colors like yellow. Then maybe some emotional hiccup in her life/past would force her to pick something odd or out-of-chacater on the surface ... like a motorbike to go with the frills, and baking. Or the hard-ass spy might have an old soft teddy bear she can't throw away ... or whatever.

I'm in rambling mode again ... and making little sense I'm afraid ..

Gorgeous kitties, Bailey!!!

Meretta said...

Since I've never set a story in a house yet, I've yet to decorate it. But I do know what my scenery looks like. :)

Here kitty, kitty!

Brandy said...

I've heard Jennifer Crusie does that. She'll do whole diarma's (sp). I think it's a great idea. But, I don't write "stories". *sigh* I'm starting to think I'm one of the few who doesn't.

Brandy said...

Awww, Aidan and BooBear are so cute!

Lis said...

Awww what cuties!!

I go house shopping for my characters. That's one of the first things I do when I 'meet' them, need to see where they live and build around that.
Plus its handy to have visuals :o)

raine said...

Oh, Bailey, I admire you--but I can't do that! It's hard enough for me to let go of them when the story's over as it is, lol.

I'll know the general layout of the house. Might even have a photo of it, or find something online. And I know them pretty well (unless they insist on changing mid-stream...and they occasionally do).

But unless they're apt to be long-term serial characters or something like that--can't do it.
Maybe I'm lazy.

Melissa said...

Cute kitties! Do they lay together like that a lot?

I go in depth into the characters, but not the other stuff.

When I did a book on remodeling a house, I think I sketched out a plan, but nothing in depth. I decorated one house (heroine was interior designer) and what I did was go to open houses for a day until I found the house I wanted to use.

beautiful day said...

I love the pic, i dont write but when i was small i used to cut people out of a mag, flowers, houses, furniture and pretend it was real. Spose it was like playinig in Doll world but with paper stuff instead. That was a lovely world x If i wrote a book it would be called Beautiful World.

bebo said...

I have pictures of bedrooms, living rooms on the storyboards - I especially like to see how/where my characters sleep. In real life I don't have a headboard or anything "formal" - just leftovers from garage sales & things collected/found over the years, in my stories I have this profound need to see where my characters choose to sleep. Oddly not so much w/ the kitchen.
Oh, and please let's not forget the CAR. MUST know what they drive & how they drive it... ;>

Michele said...

I just started the creative part.
Know how hard it is to find a rustic mountain cabin partially built into a mountainside?

Impossible...people who build or live like that Don't advertise.

And most seem to be part of resorts ... wussy.

Love the kitties...nice coloring contrast. Snugglebunnies..*sigh*

Anyway, I think creating the "world" to keep on track is a clever idea.

But Diorama's? I do that enough for my kids in school, ick on doing it for me. *grin*

Have a great day!

Bernita said...

I draw rough maps and floor plans.

Bonnie said...

Hello I just dropped in from Bernita Harris site. God Bless You.

Kelly said...

I was flipping through a book on Victorian decorating the other day building the rooms to the old Victorian house that my characters are going to renovate. That's probably as close as I get. I always have a picture in my head but it usually stays in my head.

Devon Ellington said...

Setting is another character for me, because it influences the story so heavily.

I know what everything looks like. I've started to write it all down, because multiple projects tend to get muddled otherwise.

Toni Anderson said...

I always have a picture in my head--whether or not it goes on the page is a whole other matter :)

Dru said...

I'm not a writer, but I did use a design program to figure out the layout of my apartment and placement of furniture.

Awwww, don't Aidan and BooBear look so cute.

Tori Lennox said...

I love shopping and decorating for my characters. It's so much fun! And so much cheaper than buying stuff for myself. *g*

Jill said...

Ah, cute kitties!

Sometimes I decorate, depends on the story and the characters. Helpful, I know, lol.

Siobhan said...

I'm with Toni. The picture of my characters' houses is in my head - usually a mishmash of places I've known. Aidan and Boo are gorgeous. Aidan looks a bit like my Charlie Cat, doesn't he?

Susan said...

As you know I'm not a writer, but I think you should do whatever helps you to keep things straight and the story flowing from your head to the laptop.

What a cute picture!

Melissa Marsh said...

I usually don't get that extensive with my characters, but I can see how all that you do might be very beneficial.

Shirley said...

Gorgeous photo!

I have pages of notes on each of my characters. Houses, villages and towns are there too. I treat them like characters.

Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

While I don’t make actual plans on paper and don’t use outlines when I write, I do keep about a page full of sketchy notes about the characters and storyline for purposes of continuity and refer to those frequently as I write.

I've loved creating collages for years and often make large ones including character and story elements when I'm working on a manuscript. It’s fun, relaxing and makes a great visual when I need to be reminded as I write. Working on these is also great when I find myself faced with a bit of writer’s block and need a break from the story.

The collages include wording and images I've clipped. I clip stuff all the time, keeping the clippings in bins in my art & craft room. It’s so relaxing and therapeutic to do this and really helps to clear my mind--sort of like meditating.

Sometimes I’ll also glue on some small 3D items that suit the story. Later, when I have the time, I embellish the piece with paint (I drive myself nuts with minute detail, adding itty bitty dots, scrollwork, lines and other miniscule elements). Then I frame it and hang it in my office or somewhere else in the house.

These are great conversation openers when people come over and, more importantly, something that makes me happy to do and then enjoy later.

catslady said...

I just love the way they lay together - none of mine really do that.

Bailey Stewart said...

I don't do diarama's, they're more like collages. I haven't done one for the current book - I should, it helps me know my charaters better. I don't even use all of the things that go on the board, but if someone were to ask me what my heroine's favorite perfume was, after doing one of these I could answer them.

I keep meaning to welcome you Beautiful Day, glad you could "come over the pond" to spend some time with us.

Bebo - yeah, you're the one that got me started on this stuff.

Oh Melissa, it wasn't until I scrolled down further that I realized you weren't "melissa". LOL Welcome to Bailey's World!

Duchess - I set them up next to me while I'm working so that I'm "surrounded" by my characters. Maybe that's why I'm having such a problem this time? I guess I need to create one for this MS. Oh, and I have files of clippings of people for future characters - it's pathetic.

And to Melissa and Jeanne - they all lay like that, at least cuddling with one another. I've never seen the arm move before. They fight, they play rough, but they can be sweet. As Michele said, real snugglebunnies.

Dr. Bill Emener said...

As some others have said, I also may be on the lazy side. I decorate just enough to paint the mood and explain the obvious, but beyond that my excuse is that it takes away from the storyline and slows things down. (Sound good?)

Bailey Stewart said...

If it works for you Bill, it works for me. Every writer has their style, no two are exactly a like. I don't know, that sounds more like snowflakes.

beautiful day said...

Hi Bailey...thank you for the lovely welcome. I feel right cozy here, i love your world x