Wednesday, July 28, 2021



 





Carmen White is a writer who spent her childhood falling off horses and raising baby goats.
 
Carmen studied Creative Writing at BYU-Idaho and writes books about her many adventuresbe it real life or imaginary. 
She now lives in North Carolina where she’s raising two more outdoor loving/bookworm hybrids just like herself.


Writing Activites: Creating Characters

 

Characters are basically the most important part of any story. So, when Luna Grey and I teamed up to do a web comic together, one of the first things she started doing with my script was figure out characters!!

 


This is an example of a few versions of our main character,  Monica, in Ghost and Girl. She’s a girl who, instead of getting haunted by scary ghosts, does a little bit of haunting of her own. Deep down she’s resourceful and strong, but a little afraid of some things going on in her life at the moment. It was tough to choose which design we liked best, especially since Luna did such an amazing job. I liked number 3,4, and 5 and I thought number 2 was really cute. In the end, we decided to go with a design very much like number 5. Sometimes it’s hard to tell why certain characters resound with you and your story, they just kind of come into your mind and start unpacking their bags and setting up house in your head.

I think some of the best characters come from mixing something really important to you and something new and exciting together in one person. These two things can come together in one new and interesting person for a story. The qualities they have that are like my own helps me connect to them, and the qualities that are different keeps them fresh and exciting. For me, writing is often about discovering. Sometimes I even discover things I didn’t know about myself through my characters.

So, try out this writing activity. Sketch out a character you’ve never met before and list two things about them.


1. Something you have experience in/something you care about—like an event or belief in your life.

2. Something you’re not so experienced with. Something that might scare you, or something your character might be good at but you’re not. This helps you explore new things and think deeply about who your character is.

 

Sometimes discovering a new character can be quite the journey, but it’s always exciting!


Below is a sheet to print if you want!

And if you want to meet my newest character, You can meet Monica here in "Ghost and Girl"




 

 

Name______________________________

Something about them I can relate to:



 

Something about them that is NOT like me:



 

Something they are good at:



 

Something they are bad at:



 

 

Sketch

 

 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Character Design- Clothing

 

 



If you watch cartoons, you have probably noticed that the characters often wear the same thing over and over. This is for a couple reasons. It helps keep them consistent for one thing. Wouldn’t you hate to be the group of animators who have just spent WEEKS on a scene only to find that your main character magically changed outfits halfway through?

Clothing can also tell you a lot about who a character is, or how they feel.  Superhero’s actually do undergo a costume change occasionally, often marked not just by new artists drawing their own take on it, but a dramatic change in their stories.  Superboy in Young Justice for example starts his life out in white, but quickly changes to something black and brooding when Superman rejects him. How would that story and character feel different if he’d kept his original colors? Or tried to copy Superman’s blue costume?

GiGi, my insecure pile of amorphic goo, wears something long sleeved and warm when in her human-ish form. She’s shy and insecure, and what she chooses to wear tells us that.

Monica’s clothing in Ghost and Girl is another good example of hinting at her feelings, but it also has a plot aspect to it too. She wears an oversized coat that envelopes her and she holds her backpack protectively close so she has everything she needs right at hand. This hints that despite her bravery against those ‘spooky’ ghosts, she really is unsure of herself at times, and might be carrying around am important secret.

So, the activity for today: Take a character of yours and change their outfit. Put them in something opposite of what they generally like to wear, put them in a few things that are ridiculous in their situation, or let them switch clothes with their best friend. Maybe switch outfits with the villain or antagonist! Not only is it fun to play around with, but you might find that your villain kind of likes superhero capes. Or you might find that the boy wearing his coat to the beach does so because he’s cursed and always feels cold. It’s fun to put your characters in new places and situations. Experiment with it and see how it feels to you. You might find something you like better, or you might realize why the way they look and the things they wear are so important to them and the story you’re telling.


Also, if you want a good comic to read for free, check out Monica's story On Webtoons.