This week for Inktober, I’m drawing larger portraits of the main characters of Rondo of the Rising Sun. So I’ll be sharing each girl’s character profile with you as I finish their portraits. :3 First up, we have the Rondo’s guild leader, Ruby!
There is an age-old debate about which is more important to the art of storytelling: character or plot. Each side has its merits, of course, and each side its pitfalls. I don’t really want to get into that today; suffice to say, I fall on the character side of the debate, as I believe that plot evolves from the character’s actions, and that any amount of fancy plotting is essentially useless if it’s just to move sock puppets around. So for the first phase of Plotober, I’ve decided to focus on character development and really get to know Ruby, Lazuli, Tiria, Luna, and the other characters that inhabit the world of Rondo of the Rising Sun.
So for the past few days, Cloud and I have been talking & debating while trying to nail down their characters. I think we’re getting pretty close! I’ll share their profiles when they are done – but in the meantime, let’s talk about something that is close to mind: what makes a good character.
Just as there is debate over character vs. plot, there is debate over what makes a good character – or rather, a well-written one. It’s important to note here that in this debate, there is a clear divide between readers and writers. Readers are wont to pick the characteristics that resonate most with them, and hold that up as a holy grail of “good” characters. As a reader myself, I fall into this trap. However, as writers, it might help to take a more concrete definition. And after giving it much thought, here’s my definition:
A good, well-written character is one that is flawed, that grows over time, and that genuinely connects with the audience.
Sounds simple, right? And it should be. Let’s look at it point-by-point.
Happy 1st week of October! You know what that means, right? NaNoWriMo is only twenty-odd days away. . . and today Cloud and I are happy to announce our NaNoWriMo 2017 project:
The Third Turning: Rondo of the Rising Sun
Genre: Fantasy / Slice-of-Life
Summary: Trapped in a game world with no hope of getting home until the final boss is beaten, what are you supposed to do when you know you aren’t a hero? Ruby, Lazuli, Tiria, and Luna – together the guild Rondo of the Rising Sun – may not have all the answers, yet they work every day to make lives worth living, even in the dangerous world of The Third Turning.
We’ve had the idea for Rondo of the Rising Sun for about a year now, and we’re chomping at the bit to finally start it! Only one problem: We could probably know a little more about the story, our characters, and especially the world. Since the main storyline takes place within the MMORPG The Third Turning, we want to carefully consider this world and develop it well, so we can describe it with ease. Character development, world building, and (of course) plotting – these are some of the topics we will discuss this month for Plotober!
If you are doing NaNoWriMo 2017 – or if you’re writing a book in general – I hope you’ll join us this month for Plotober! Please join us on our journey as we figure out what this world is supposed to be. And if you like, post your own progress, or talk about your process, on your blog or social media and tag it Plotober or #Plotober. Happy Plotting!
As September casually rolls around, there is a breath of crispness in the air. Even in the hot, humid area where I live, the nights have a touch of coolness. Autumn is definitely coming, and with it, several events that inspire both excitement and nervousness. Chugging along with my everyday work as I am, there is also a sense that this is the final calm before the craziness that will be Autumn 2017.
I am speaking, of course, of the no less than the three-plus events I have looked forward to all year: Sketchtember (this very month!), Inktober (which will also be my Plotober), and NaNoWriMo in November. Three events – plus prep for the third, which in itself may be its own event – and three months of intense creative effort. Am I crazy to try to tackle all this? Maybe so. Especially since I’m also juggling making the buffer for Upcoming Webcomic. We will just have to see. . . .
Sketchtember is by far the most low-key event. Every day for a month, artists sketch something every day and share their sketches with the hashtag #sketchtember. For me, September is a month to return to the foundations of drawing and reinforce the habit of daily warmup sketches. Though September is half over, and I’ve only just begun – oops! May the rest of the month fare better. (If you are interested in following along, head on over to my Twitter. . . . )