Stitch

stitch

I drew this months ago for my little buddy in gr. 2 and just found a picture of it on my laptop. The finished version was coloured and all. I rarely show any of my artwork on here, so I thought why not. Lilo and Stitch was one of my favourite movies as a little kid…probably explains why I like sci-fi so much.

AHH! Lot of Homework

Well I’ve got a lot of homework to do this month. Busy, busy.

I am working on a fun little project. Well two actually. If the one project isn’t finished by the time its due I’ll post it online. Its just something extra that I wanted to do for bonus marks but with all the essays, books and assignments I have I’m not sure if I’ll get it finished in time. I’d love to though. I rarely get to hand in my drawings for a project.

I may or may not have my children’s book reviewed along with the rest of my creative writing portfolio. I’ve got a lot of material but its hard putting together eight pieces to showcase. I haven’t done the illustrations for the children’s book yet so that means I may or may not be staying up till odd hours drawing tonight and tomorrow. We’ll see.

Hope you all have a great rest of your week and for anyone else inching towards exams or with a ton of assignments…or just with a lot on their plate right now, we’ll get through this. One step at a time.

Stay golden,

R.

Fourteen Pgs. of Character Notes…And Writing Tips for Detailing Characters!

Fourteen pages of character notes. Wow. I don’t know how that happened but I’m glad it did.

I always try to give as much depth and detail to my characters as I can. I believe that the more I invest in a character, the more attached I will become and that attachment is what makes that character seem more real (that’s a lot of mores). Its great because my characters go from being an idea to becoming like a close, life-long friend (until you know…that scene where they get silenced by the pen aka they die).

It’s a fun process honestly, even though I’ll admit it takes time. Despite the time it takes to do it is a lot more fun than just naming a character and throwing them into your story. A name is only a fraction of a person, there are many other things that make us who we are.

A lot of the time I like to draw pictures of my characters: the facial expressions they might make in different scenario’s, what clothing they might wear, what their hair looks like, their height, the colour of their eyes.

It can be really helpful, but of course I know that not everyone likes to draw. What I used to do on my drawings was create a list beside my character. The list usually looked like…

  1. Name: Bob Robert Bobbinlee
  2. Age: 22
  3. Likes: cows, cats, cookies and cake
  4. Dislikes: anything that doesn’t start with the letter C (is for cookie)
  5. Family: Mama Bobbetta, Father Bobert, Juliettabobo Boblee, Bobafett
  6. Friends: Cookie Monster, Elmo, Pinkie Pie and Ash Ketchum (yes I was talking to my 4 year old niece recently…any watching Pokémon)

What I’ve begun doing now is creating this same list in a table on Microsoft word.

Its pretty easy to do, you just go to insert, then click table…etc.

So now I keep my images and my charts separate, giving me more room to add written details about my characters. This is especially helpful when I have side characters. Usually I don’t know the personality of a side character. Some times I might just have some character who until named is called “Book Store Clerk.” The first thing I like to do is to draw this character out (or imagine what they might look like), then I take that image and I create a detailed character chart, similar to the list above but in chart form…and because it isn’t on the same page as my drawing I can add even more detail.

Using the same example from above:

Name Bob Robert Bobbinlee
Age 22
Appearance Hair: Crimson

Eyes: Crimson

Height: Average

Special Features: Tattoo of the letter C

Personality Hot-headed, sweet-tooth, perfectionist, crazy about cats and cows, creative, incredible cook
Family Mother: Bobbetta

Father: Bobert

Siblings: Juliettabobo, Boblee and Bobafett

Friends Cookie Monster, Elmo, Pinkie Pie and Ash Ketchum

 

Partner (or partners for them playa’s) Cloe Ver
Pet Cactus the Cat and Carver the Cow
Hobbies Reading, eating and baking cookies and cake, chillin’ like a villain with his squad…I mean crew.

 

Occupation/Education Book Store Clerk

 

Fears The letter Z…because he isn’t sure if it should be Zed or Zee even though he’s Canadian. He just…doesn’t know.

 

Dreams Publish a Children’s Cook Book

See, its that simple, and even though some of these details won’t end up being in you story, they are details that are significant to who your character really is. Once you know this much about your character they begin to take on a life of their own, and as an author I have to say that is one of my favourite things that happen while I’m writing.

Whether you like to draw or not, this is a method that I highly recommend. It’s easy to set up and once you get going it can be a lot of fun. Before you know it you’ve got fourteen pages of characters and this amazingly long chart!

Also, if you are a tech-savvy person you can even scan a drawing of your character and place the image into the appearance box on the table. I’ve never done this but I’m definitely going to give it a try. The idea just came to mind.


 

I hope that this post was helpful!

If you’ve never tried to do this sort of detailing with your characters I highly recommend it. Its both fun and rewarding.

If you have any different ways of detailing and developing characters (or you’ve written a post with another writing tip) feel free to share in the comment section. I’m sure, myself and many people would appreciate it!

Happy writing everyone!

— R.

 

Lots of Homework….

I haven’t posted anything in a little while. Again, I’d like to apologize for this. I’ve been pretty swamped with homework. I need to know my priorities. I’m really beginning to think that I should have set days or times for blogging and writing so that I can stay on top of it.

I’ve done some work on my personal projects in between my homework. It’s probably the best thing for me to do in between school work because I’m still being productive. I find that if I stop and…watch a movie or something, then I don’t end up getting back to work.

I managed to get an assignment finished this morning. I hate doing things last minute but I’m still trying to get myself to stop procrastinating. I’ve mainly been doing this with my readings, which is why I’m got swamped last week. I was really behind in a book. This week my goal is to stay on top of everything.

No worries, I’m not working myself to the bone here. I’m going to get myself to the gym sometime this week (possibly after class if it’s not freezing outside) so that I can relieve some stress.

I wasn’t feeling well after school started so I fell behind in a project for class. Thankfully my professor is the greatest human on earth (you’re all great too…but he’s really awesome) and knows that I’m doing a 67 panel manga for my assignment. I love my project so much I could kiss it…but I won’t I’m just really happy with how its turning out. I’ve only got a few panels left to draw and then I’m going to outline everything, possibly add backgrounds (if I have the time) add the dialogue…all that fun stuff.

I hope to publish graphic novels as well. This is my practice run. Its fun. A lot of work but so much fun.

I’ll try and blog again this week. Probably won’t be until this weekend though. I’ve got two projects I’m working on for class…no three. Two classes, three projects.

Well that’s my update for now.

I hope that you’re all enjoying your Monday. You’ll get through it.

— Ryder.

I think I miss my family now…

Ugh…I never should’ve watched these clips from kids movies.

Oh well. Gonna see everyone for my mom’s 50th. I’d better get some sleep. I’ll finish my random video watching…colouring…thing later.

I was colouring some pictures I drew of character’s I forgot I made. I didn’t realize that I’d started a really good novel a few years back. I’m shocked at how well it was written. It’s a huge step up from my first few novels. I wish my sister didn’t talk me out of writing that one. She said the introduction was too dark.

She doesn’t like it whenever people die in my stories and I describe their like…deadness.

I should seriously share more drawing on here. I should also sleep now because…I don’t want my professor calling me out because I’m asleep in his class. I was late for the first one because I went to the wrong class and then I lost my keys and…it was a really bad day. So this week I’m going to show up on time and I’ll be all smart and actually try to contribute. I guess being in a class with upper years is a little intimidating at times. Wow…I’m really tired.

Who wants to clean the pencil crayons off my bed for me? I’ll give you peach flavoured juice….and a twizzler.

Alright…I’ll stop being lazy.

— R.

First Big Writing Assignment of the School Year…Yikes!

So this week my class is starting our first big writing assignment, which is our short story assignment.

Now I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before on my blog but short stories aren’t my strong point when there is a limit as to the number of pages I can have or the word count. I’m stronger when it comes to novels and writing lyrics. Actually many of my novels have songs written into them so that when they’re adapted into films there will be an awesome soundtrack. I’m being serious. I actually have soundtracks for my novels of songs that I’ve written about characters, chapters and if my character is a musician then I actually record the songs that my characters perform in the text. I go all out. It is not just a book. It is…like…a living breathing thing. I guess that sounds over the top.

My sister thinks it’s kind of cool but she also gets annoyed when I record these songs while she’s trying to sleep. I’ve had things thrown at me and no, I’m not a bad musician. I don’t suck! My sister just has to hear me all the time. We actually write a lot of music together and perform it. I’m teaching her to sing because our voices automatically complement each other. She’s the one person that I enjoy harmonizing with because the sound it makes… I can’t even put it into words. Whenever we sing together and harmonize perfectly off the bat we both react like this

Me: WHOA!

Lil Sis: That was…AWESOME!

Me: REPLAY THAT! REPLAY!

And then we have to stop the recording because we usually interrupt our flow due to the fact that it sounded good. It also has to do with the fact that my sister thinks she’s a horrible singer.

ANYWAY back to talking about the short story thing. So the first big assignment is a short story assignment. It’s a story on whatever I want it to be which is great because I get to be creative with it. However, as I just said short stories aren’t really my go to thing.

I do like to write children’s books but those to me are sort of…well they’re for my nieces age group. That’s who I’m writing for. I write those for her. She’s in kindergarten (age’s 4-6 in Canada).

To me, short stories and children’s literature are in two different sections. Perhaps that’s simply because I separated them in my own head but because children’s books tend to have pictures, are not too lengthy and are geared toward a specific audience I place them under their own category outside of the short story category. Does that make sense? I hope so….

I’m not sure of how I want to approach this assignment. I have readily made written material for novels, however I don’t want to have to convert that material into short story material. It’s almost like…I have to plan out the format based off of the idea and if I’ve already decided on a format that I would like to present my idea in then it’s difficult to change it. I mean… that’s why we have different forms of writing. Not all films should be adapted into novels and not all novels should be adapted into screen plays. They were written a certain way for a reason. Now most books make great films, but of course for those of us who read the book before seeing the film it can be pretty difficult to separate them.

I had an interesting discussion with an upperclassman about it the other week actually. I’ll share that another time though.

Well…as you can see I’m stressing over an assignment that should be fun. Hopefully before I have to bring in my rough notes on Friday, I will have come up with something. I might see if there’s any guidelines for my assignment before I make any notes. My professors are being extremely loose on the formats and guidelines as this is a creative writing course. They’re just awesome like that. They’re really…fantastic. I’m so happy I took this course.

— R.


Yes, that is the Pharaoh. Yes, his hair is pretty awesome. Yes, I do watch LittleKuriboh.

If someone actually styles their hair like this with the different colours and everything that would be really cool. Someone needs to do this. They would look like the coolest kid in all of…well the world. Okay I’m done. Got some writing to do…obviously. Can we just…admire his awesome hair. I always wanted cool hair like that but nope I got stuck with my plain generic black hair. Oh well…I’m thankful I have hair. Better not complain. I don’t wanna go grey early like my dad did. Ha….yah. I love you hair…but still…his hairs so cool.

Thanks for Being So Patient

I’ve been trying to draw these images for days…I’m getting a little frustrated because I can see them in my head but then when I illustrate them they come out looking opposite of what I want.

Hopefully I can get a few decent images…I’m almost thinking that if I draw them in pen or marker off the bat then I won’t be so picky.

Thank you for being patient. I’m doing the best I can.

Writing Tip: Drawing and Writing

I’m apologizing once again for not blogging as often. I haven’t been doing much other than work.

Novel wise, I decided to do some character sketches. Which I highly suggest. It helps you visualize your characters look and personality. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures are capable of telling stories within themselves. It came help you form a characters background and it gives them more depth. The reason I suggest drawing them rather than searching up say…brown haired girl on Google, is because using an actual image from the internet takes away from your own creativity. What you visualize your character looking like won’t be found on Google (that is unless you chose a specific model and based your novel around them). It is better to draw your character. You don’t need to be artistic. What you might see and what someone else sees on that paper is going to be different. If we were not taught in school to over analyze the world of art and weren’t told that only ONE way of seeing things was the RIGHT way, then each and every person that saw your image would see something different.

It is just like when you finish watching a film or reading a book. You might have enjoyed it very much, but another person might not have gotten that same effect.

By drawing your characters you can remain in control. You won’t try to fit them into someone else’s image. They’ll remain apart of your world. You also wont feel the need to over describe them.

Random Writing Tip on Designing Characters

Boy with Hat

I find that what really helps me when designing characters is to actually draw them out. Especially if they’re a main character. I know that this doesn’t work for everyone, but I find this extremely helpful.

To do this, you don’t even need to be a talented artistic. It’s your vision of what the characters look like.

I find this much more useful than forcing my characters to look like a person in a picture that I found off of Google…that sort of thing takes away from my imagination. I’ve been sketching my characters from the beginning. I used to make music videos about them as well (which sadly are no longer available because my dad took apart the old computer and I have no idea of how to turn it back on. Plus I think the old monitor is at my grandparents now?).

Anyway, just thought I’d share this quick tip to any potential writers out there who might want to see their characters “face-to-face.”

I hope that you’re all enjoying your weekends so far.

— O. Ryder.