So, this week I wanted to rant on about character sheets ((Do you have a character sheet for me?? Is it cool? Under comedic value do I have like the highest score??))
I looked around on the tinterwebnet for information on character sheets when I first started out and found a few bits and bobs. These vary widely on what kind of book/series you’re going to write. I’m starting to realise that my series is going to be slightly complicated, hence I’ve come up with a system to make sure I keep on track. I decided early on that I wanted to write a series, my two main characters just had that longevity to them. I’m also trying to make each novel a standalone – so anyone can pick up the series, but with an overarching story with the two main characters. ((that sounds too complicated for you – why don’t you just stick to learning how to write properly first! BOOM on fire already this fine Friday…)) I’m starting to realise that this is quite challenging; just like having to put up with these brackets each week! ((oi)). It means I can track what the characters have been up to in each book. Firstly, I started with these sheets, these were just general ideas to help start writing a character;
These really helped me think about the characters as I was writing my book, and I generally jot down any character information as I’m going along ((Ohhh wonder what my character traits are??)) annoying, egotistical, rude… ((funny, witty, entertaining… you need a bigger box for mine)) shut it or I will shred yours like that Banksy art. ((then I will be priceless!!)) oh lord!
Anyway, like I was saying, I write on these as I go along, it helps me to keep track of the things I have told the reader. You can pre-fill this info in, so you have a guideline, but I prefer to put it on the sheet as I have written it in the book, then I know where I am up to with characters description/story line etc. I think it stems from playing dungeons and dragons, and making up character sheets.
On the back, I keep track of what’s happening with regards to storyline and this is where I write potential story arcs for the character. If the character has certain ‘quotes’ or a saying that I want to make sure I use. ((Can I have a quote, a saying?? Please??))
These may be too complicated for some people, depending on the type of book you are writing. I’ve seen that some authors use post-it notes, or just scribble down on paper. I love being organised and I love stationery, spreadsheets etc so this doesn’t come as a hardship to me. It’s a part of the process of writing I really love. I can also read over the character information at a glance and it helps me to visualise what everyone is up to.
Recently, I transferred all the information from the sheets into a new journal as I have finished book one. I’m 30k into book two so using the character sheets for these and will then transfer to journal ((She wasn’t kidding about her stationery addiction!!! It’s out of control – seriously someone needs to intervene… no seriously!))
So, I have transferred it into here – look at all the little tabs I created 😊 told you I love organising! This really does help me to keep on top of the story arc. I’m also going to keep a breakdown of each of the books/chapters in this as well. You know when people say what five things would you save if your house burnt down – it would be this notebook, laptop, baileys bottle, the trophy that I won at Butlins in 1981, oh and obviously my mobile phone. ((Heartless, what about family photos, your bloke, sentimental stuff… oh wait deffo the laptop – that’s where I live)) everything else is backed up and the ‘bloke’ can save himself lol.
I put a note next to each character so I will know which book they’re in. Maybe some people can keep track of all this, but I write loads of stories so need to be organised, I write fantasy, young adult, romance, sci-fi, the list goes on. ((showing off… again!)) no, not showing off – I just love writing. Most of them will never see the light of day, but if I want to write about it then I do.
Hope these character sheets/story info has been useful. ((Not really – I haven’t even been given a quote or anything? Maybe some of you fab people can come up with one – since she won’t!!)) Don’t panic if this seems daunting – do what works for you, don’t try to copy someone’s else’s way of doing it if that doesn’t work for you. If you have hints or tips on how you keep yourself organised as a writer feel free to comment 🙂
I’ve been looking at something called Wattpad this week – only got as far as signing up – but apparently, it’s a good place to get your work out there. If anyone has any thoughts on this let me know. Still, haven’t heard anything from my submissions… waiting, waiting, waiting… have a good weekend.
Breaking News just in…
While uploading this I’ve just heard that I have an interview for a part-time job I applied for… so, fingers crossed as this will allow me to earn pennies doing an interesting job, as well as having time to write. My first interview in eleven years..eeekkkk