A dizzying montage of abrasive red and white splashes from the overhead light slathered the room and savagely doused her sleeping form without effect. But when the red alert horn’s undulating shrieks stabbed mercilessly at her body and knifed their way to the marrow of her bones, consciousness aggressively irrupted into Jenetta Carver’s sleep-anesthetized brain.
I suppose it’s kind of mean-spirited of me to ridicule some amateur writer’s fiction that I pulled off his Deviantart page. No, I’m just kidding, this shit is actually being sold for money. I suppose it’s not the worst fiction ever sold for money, but it does happen to be something terrible that I stumbled upon randomly on Amazon today. So there’s that.
I’ve heard it suggested on one or two occasions that writers might benefit from using RPG-style character sheets to sketch out characters for their fiction. With this idea in mind, I made a simple one that suits my purposes. Here’s the top half of it:
Download the whole thing if you really want to (PDF).
The “base motivators” cross is a device I use when creating characters. It applies very broadly to their personalities and general motivations. Yes, I know it’s simplistic. And while it works for me I’m not necessarily suggesting you use it for yourself. I make no claims to being a great fiction writer. But if you wanted to use it I wouldn’t stop you.
The axes are pretty self-explanatory but I might as well say words about them anyway. The materialism/spiritualism axis refers to the character’s overall drive: toward material gain or toward self-improvement (spiritual in this context doesn’t have to mean religious, although obviously it can). Naturally the two aren’t mutually exclusive, but that’s why it’s an axis. Power/submission could be seen as a conscious desire or simply as an unconscious impulse. Most people probably tend toward the middle of that axis, but people at the power end make for charismatic, powerful characters who get what they want. As such they make great antagonists; using them as protagonists requires careful balancing if you want to keep them sympathetic.
Opinions? Suggestions? Harsh criticisms? (I say this as if anyone’s reading my blog, but seriously, if you are, you could totally offer an opinion.)