I should remind myself that it’s only day 7 and it’s okay that my characters are not complete beings yet. I shouldn’t rush it.
I am actually amazed on how much I covered in just a week. I accomplished more in a week than in the last 10 years (Gasp.Shock.Horror!).
Seriously though this is what I have so far:
A group of teenagers are lost in the woods. There is Chris and Sarah (brother and sister), Jenny (Chris’s girlfriend) and Ben (lifelong friend of Chris and Sarah).
They know each other from school and they grew up in the same neighbourhood. Jenny and Sarah is in the same year, but don’t get along. They tolerate each other only because of Chris.
Jenny is the popular girl in school: pretty, blonde hair, the cheerleader type. Materialistic, egotistic. Will do anything to have a good time. She is wearing heels (not such a great idea for a hike into the woods). Wants to be a model when she grows up.
Sarah is not so popular: she has a strong mind and strong principles, know the difference between right and wrong, a bit of a goodie-two-shoes, worries over trivialities, adores and looks up to her brother. She has dark-brown hair and she wears it in a braid. She is wearing a red T-shirt, chocolate brown jeans and sneakers. She aspires to be a lawyer one day.
Chris is tall, lean, has dark-brown hair, wears glasses, athletically built. He is an adventure seeker, always looking for the next adventure. It was his idea to go for a hike through the woods. He likes to explore which makes him one of the popular kids in school. Everyone wants to be his friend.
Ben is Chris’s best friend. They are the same age. He is the clown of the group. A bit sarcastic maybe? He likes to tease the girls. He is a bit shorter than Chris, blonde, has a sharp hooked nose and his hair is styled to stand up on his forehead (it makes him look a little bit like a cockatiel. He is secretly in love with Jenny, but values his friendship with Chris more important. He hasn’t decided what profession he will go into after finishing school.
Then the occupants of the house:
Man: Owner and master of the house. He is wearing a suit with a black top hat and a bow tie (almost like Willy Wonka). Overfriendly, he wants to keep the teens in the house as long as possible. Plays piano, poor singing voice very false almost like a donkey.
Nurse: Silly, short, plump woman, eager to please her master, follows him around like a sick puppy, nervous giggles. (inspiration: Mrs Kitty Forman from That ’70s Show; Charlotte Palmer from Sense and Sensibility). Always chattering away (mostly about nonsense).
Boy: 6/7/8 year old boy. Short, fat. Wearing brown shorts with suspenders over a white cotton shirt with buttons. Found in the playroom upstairs, clutching his crotch as if he really needs to go pee (but for some strange reason he never does). Shrill voice.
Hmmm Now that I’ve actually written it down all in one place it actually doesn’t look that bad.
Finally I have some idea of the house’s occupants. It’s a man, woman and a boy. And with that, I’m starting to get ideas for the plot and how to introduce these characters to the readers.
In one scene, the man will be playing a song on the piano and singing. He will be singing a familiar song but the words will be different.
The boy is up in the playroom. The man and woman will drag the teens (two each) up the stairs to go meet the boy.
I’m still deciding if there will be other teens in the house (who trespassed before). If I do decide to include them, maybe they can be locked up in the playroom in makeshift ‘cages’. One of the prisoners can try to warn the new teens.
Later, when the teens try to sneak out of the house the man will get really angry and say something like:
“Well, if you do not choose to stay, you must be punished!”
I still need a smooth transition from that to the trial.
Tomorrow is Saturday, so I will have more time to spend on each character’s description.
I’ve decided to get some inspiration for my characters, because I’m really struggling with this.
First, I wrote down all my friends’ names and their characteristics. But now I can’t even figure out what is our common interest???
The only stories that I know of that has a group of friends is The Famous Five, Secret Seven and Scooby Doo.
Famous Five: 2 boys, 2 girls, younger, and a dog.
Secret Seven: 4 boys, 3 girls, older, some are related.
Scooby Doo: 2 boys, 2 girls, older (students) and a dog.
Maybe I don’t need to have 5 characters, maybe 4 is enough?
I’ve picked random names just so I can differentiate between the characters for now – it can always change later on. (I’m so TERRIBLE with giving names to my characters).
Sometimes I think this whole thing is a waste of time and I’ll never be able to pull it off. And then I get a crazy idea that might just work.
Okay, so if I am going to try to write a farce I need to figure out what I am going to make absurd in the story. And it’s okay if my characters are stereotypes.
I’ve also started writing the beginning of the story. So far it’s only dialogue, I will fill in the blanks later.
I remember long ago, I also tried to write a beginning to the story. I should find my notes and see if I can use something from that as well.
I’ve decided I want a group of friends to feature in the story. At first I couldn’t decide if it should be 5 or 7 friends – I also thought I could make it interesting and base each character’s personality on one of the deadly sins (that is if I chose 7) but I realised I was making it too complicated for myself so I’m sticking with 5.
The next problem I have is that I can’t decide on the age group: should they be older teenagers or younger? I can’t really work on their personalities and common interest until I’ve decided that.
Also: how many boys and girls in the group of friends? Are there some that are dating? Are they brothers and sisters? Maybe they don’t all have to be the same age?
I have to say I really like this approach of working on one specific story element each day. But it is also very overwhelming, because right now I end up with more unanswered questions.
I have a general idea of some of the characters. There should be someone in the group who is the ‘moral compass’, a goodie-two-shoes; someone who doesn’t like to get into trouble. Maybe a bit of a know-it-all.
There should be a clown or joker in the group: someone who always joke and fools around, seeing the lighter side of things.
Also: a superficial character. This one will definitely be a girl. Someone who is obsessed with themselves and material things. Maybe a little greedy.
The other two I haven’t really decided on yet: one can be chubby or geeky?