Character Boards

When I write, sometimes my mind wanders around. I don’t know if other authors have this problem, but I’ll be in the middle of a scene when suddenly I’ll wonder if the character who is speaking would prefer Coke or Pepsi; whether or not they would read a certain book, or if they would like cilantro. [Trust me–cilantro is a very polarizing topic.]

While doing preliminary edits on Atlantis: TVC volume #1, I started wondering if the Atlantians that Achine spends her time with were to visit her hometown–or even just the mainland in general–what would they enjoy of ours? What would they hate?

Then later I watched an episode of Backstrom [Brilliant show–shame it was canceled. Hulu or Netflix needs to pick that up and continue it, STAT!] that revolved around something called a dream board. [Also called a vision board] In high school I saw classmates use something similar to pick out clothes for important events, or to envision a dream home; cutting things they liked out of magazines and gluing them to cardboard, or a sheet of paper. Often they would end up inside of those binders with the clear sleeve on the front and back–you remember the kind, right? [I filled mine up with a mixture of self-drawn things and anime/manga images, ha ha.]

Anyway, that tangent aside, the idea popped into my head to make a board for each of my main cast members, showing things from our world that they would like or wear. I figured it could be a character defining exercise. Here are the results:

It was so much fun to go ‘visual shopping’ as each character! I was surprised at how easy it was to make the character board for some, and I was surprised by what others liked, such as Gialasa. Her bohemian/Etsy look is not what I would have expected at all, but it fits very well. In fact, the whole project inspired me to do a drawing of everyone in modern clothing! I haven’t finished it yet, and it’s been languishing a bit on my hard drive in the wake of trying to get volume #2 done, [since February?!] but it will be completed eventually.

This definitely helped me to get into my characters’ heads [in unexpected ways], and I would highly recommend it to other writers trying to define a character!

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