Finding Fictional Characters and The Breadcrumbs They Leave Behind

“Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.” -Yousuf Karsh 

Once I have a basic plot concept and a pretty good sense of who my major players are, I start character diving. I can say with a lot of confidence that characters are the game changers, the difference, and what initially pulled us book-lovers in, in the first place.

What would Katherine Patterson’s Bridge to Terabithia be without Leslie Burke, Jess Aaron, and the friendship they shared? How could Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight make us fall without Edward Cullen? Characters are the life-blood in our stories and spending time with them is so important.

This week I’ve started creating character quick fact sheets for my new project and NanoWriMo 2015 entry, A Story Unwritten. I thought I’d share one with you.

Who: Benny Cooper

Age: Five months away from eighteen

Where does he live? In an apartment in the Lower Queen Anne/Belltown area with his Aunt and Uncle. He moves into the apartment across the hall from Samantha in the first act.

Large or small events that happened in his past: His dad didn’t stick around past diapers, so Benny doesn’t have any relationship with him. Benny’s mom died in a tragic bus accident when Benny was only nine. Benny went to live with his dad’s brother and his wife. Not the nicest or most put together couple you’ll ever meet. There was a good reason they never had kids of their own. Benny has mostly been raising himself.

Things that aren’t well-known: A while back, Samantha let Benny go ahead of her in line at the store because he only had one thing. He’s always thought of her a nice since that encounter, even though he never really knew her. They travel in circles that wind up in the same places.

Habits: chewing gum, messes with his hair, plays the guitar, skateboard only once he totaled his car, wears beanies.

Life Style: A bit wild and loose. He feels like he’s somewhere he doesn’t belong, he’s going to wait to figure stuff out until he’s somewhere else more comfortable.

Future Ambitions: To get out of dodge. Counting down the days and working to save money for his own place.

He makes Logos for companies, bands, etc. He does this online. Started with tagging walls.

Has a reputation for being a player, liking to party, and over all trouble if you’re a girl who happens to find him attractive—it’s hard not to.

Has a strong feeling something’s bound to come his way.

Catches the bus to school, but skateboards everywhere else. He’s going to design the new book cafe’s logo.

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