CFS: Part 7



Greetings,

At last! The last one!

7. ‘How’ Stage

    1. How does your character display his various moods?

      What are the distinctive mannerisms that show the various moods of your character? What does he do/say when he is pensive, angry, afraid, excited, in love, etc.? Be simple (“whenever he is afraid he stands on his head and yodels” is not quite right), realistic (but imaginative), and natural (would he really do that?).

    2. How does your character live normal life? habits/hobbies/normal life

      What habits guide your character during his day to day life? What are his hobbies and curious interests? What is normal about him? Now is when you get to say that he likes blueberries but not blackberries, and that he likes to look at the stars, or that he hates running. Also, does he brush his teeth? Is he neat and tidy? Or is he like me: toss-it-there-so-you-can-find-it-later?

    3. What is your character’s frame?

      What shape is your character? Is he tall, short, wide, lean, muscular, wimpy? What shape is his face? Does he have a strong jaw, a high forehead, maybe a wide cranium? How well built is he?

    4. How does your character fight?

      What system of martial arts does your character use predominantly? Does he prefer to keep at a distance and cast projectiles, or use a sword and spear at closer range? Does he prefer striking to ground fighting? Does he fight at all? What sort of tactics does he use?

    5. What are your character’s features?

      Everyone has certain distinctive characteristics that are unique about his or her face and body. These make up what we immediately recognize as that person, even before we hear their voice. Most people realize this, and spend time filling out endless character charts of the hair and eye color and etc. of their characters. There is a lot more. George MacDonald said no description of a character was complete until you had described, among other things, their nose. Therefore, we have compiled a short, and by no means exhaustive, list of features to consider in your description of your character: hair, eyebrows, facial hair, eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, cheekbones, ears, chin, hands, fingers, and complexion.

    6. How does your character speak?

      Does your character have a deep, high, whiny, cruel, or cold voice? Is there any particular turn of speech that is distinctive to him? Does he ask questions in a particular way, or does he neglect a certain grammatical rule? Does he have an accent? Is he proper, witty, or laconic? You get the point.

    7. What does your character wear or carry with him?

      What is you character’s choice of clothing? Of course, he will end up in situations that will dictate his garb, but what about when he is able to choose? Does he dress very austerely, or very casually? Does he like foreign clothes, or maybe he likes to make his own (odd, but you never know)? What weapons does he carry about with him? What heirlooms are important to him?

  1. How does your character look? What are the distinctive characteristics of his appearance? This is the last stage, and you can at last have fun with what your character looks like. Yes, it is important (just not as important as the rest), so go be creative and artistic!

There you go, our fractalling system for characters. We are very proud of it. Though, to be honest, we have not yet succeeded in sending one of our characters all the way through it. I tried once, and ended up with a very deep character, and a novel to boot, before I got to the sixth step on the first stage. Oh well. I hope you will benefit from reading this very long system, even if you don’t use all of it.

With joy and peace in Christ,

Jay Lauser aka Sir Emeth Mimetes

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14 Responses

  1. What if you’re writing a book in first person? Is there any way to work in a description of the narrator?

  2. GREAT CHARACTER FRACTALLING SYSTEM! Awesome! Nice question Zoe.

  3. POMTL,

    Just wanted to let you know that the friend who liked your writing style is working on fractalling a character. 🙂 She’s not allowed to comment on anything online, which is why I’m doing it for her.

    -YLGP

  4. Cheryl printed out the whole system, and I finally read all of it. (before I just kind of skimmed parts)

    It is very thorough and helpful! You all did a good job.

    The last paragraph of this post is funny. 🙂 I am kind of glad to hear that you all have never done it all the way… I was getting a bit overwhelmed thinking of trying to do all of our characters with this system. I’m sure I will use it often, though!

  5. Right. 🙂 It sounds like it would be fun to do.

    It would be amazing to know a “real person” enough to answer all those questions about them…

  6. Right.

    I don’t think I could even answer all of them about myself. 🙂

  7. This is great! It is way more in-depth than anything I’ve seen. I’ll have to give it a try soon.

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