Friday, October 12, 2012

Elizabeth Kolodziej rocks it agian at Sizzler

The dreaded character profile… <cue music with thunder and lightning>

I don’t know about you, but I despise making a character profile. The simple: eye color, hair type/color, height and body tone is more than I want to fill out. I read some of these “character sheets” and think to myself. “How the hell do I know what fear they have? I just started writing about this person!”

Though I hate it they are important. If for nothing else than to remember Morgan the Master Vampire is blonde and not a red head. Yes, this happened to me when I was writing Vampyre Kisses. Stupid dream sequence threw me off and I got confused.

However, I am not here to preach about there importance. I am here to preach about the need for them to be designed by yourself and not go by someone else’s layout.

The basics of course are essential. BUT! I as I wrote (and this probably pertains more to PNR/SciFi writers) I began to put this whole world together of werewolves and their hierarchy, life, birth, how’s and who’s when writing Werewolf Descent. And let me tell you, I got myself so turned upside backward all around!

So I cam up with an idea for a new type of “character profile”. And I think these questions, in my most humble of opinions, can be a little more important than “what food does your character like to eat”.

Yes, those questions are great tools for getting you to think about your character, however, most of you are creating these whole new big worlds with rules you MUST follow. If you don’t, your reader is going to throw your book in the trash thinking you don’t know WTF you’re doing.

What I am talking about is questions like this:

Vampires: How is a new vampire made? If you look at one book it only takes a little bit of blood sharing. If you look at Frost than Bones is going to suck all your blood dry and give you all of his. That’s a BIG difference.

Werewolves: In my world they are born, but in lots of stories you can be bitten to become one. How are yours made?

Hierarchy. This is a HUGE question for any paranormal species because they differ greatly from book to book. In Salvaged Pieces of a Werewolf Lost I decided to mix Japanese Feudalism and British Monarchs. I really loved the way it turned out, but it took me researching both designs to get it there.

Let me show you an example so you can see it written out:

Emperor (Queen) -> Royal Family (King, Prince, so on and so forth) -> Magistrate (Judge/enforces law and sentencing; in charge of inquisitor) -> Warrior Nobility (which includes the following): Shogun (military leader) -> Daimyo/Duke (rules over cities within Japan/Lead Pack member in that city/Daughters to a Duke would be the one to pick to marry Zou Tai/) -> Vassals/Lords (rules over wards within cities big enough for them to be needed) -> Samurai/13 Warriors (would be high in the social status but not really in charge of anyone) -> Peasants (all other werewolves)

Basically, what I am trying to show/tell you is that character profiles are only the bare bones. You need to think about the big picture and get it down on paper so while your series progresses you don’t get confused. You have this piece of paper that states: These are the rules of my world and I will follow them. <wink>

Good Luck!

<3’s and fangs,
Elizabeth J. Kolodziej ^_^

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Twitter: @ejkolodziej

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