Thursday, August 28, 2008

West Chester Blogger Shares Steps to Building Memorable Characters


..speaking of old people, the characters portrayed in the last post were actual real people that I saw in the Exton Kmart last week. I never met these old people, I just saw them there. I'm not kidding. Never met them but I was still able to get inside their heads and turn words into character that "jump off the page".

You my friend are about to get a free lesson on how to create memorable characters in a blog post. Here's how you can get some of the boring characters YOU write about in your posts "come to life".

1) Always, always carry a camera, tape recorder, note pad and release forms.
2) Go to a mall or Kmart. These places are full of freaks from all walks of life. And these future characters of yours will be gabbin' about all kinds of things. "I think the sale said it goes until Friday" is what you might hear from someone. Write this gem down. When you get home, review what you've heard and try replacing the words with different words. It's that simple. How about:

"I think the GIANT BIRD said it goes until Friday."

"I think the sale said it goes until MARTIN LUTHER KING'S BIRTHDAY."

(See? It's like mad libs but easier).

3) What if you see some weird looking guy but he's just not talking? How are you going to turn this guy into blog gold when he hasn't said a word? I never said this was going to be easy. You, yes you need to GET him to talk. Turn on your voice recording device and try this.
You: You've won!
Muse: Won what?
You: You'll see. (flee the scene).

4) Draw a few rough sketches of how your characters walk. When at home, piece these sketches together and live that walk through practice. Forgot to number the order on the sketches? No problem. Imagine some of the quirks your character might have now! You might even have created a crazy walking creature from scratch!

5) Live the life of the characters you've created for at least a day. Don't break character. Remember that pickle joke post? I wore a green leotard and cape around for a day. Sure it looked ridiculous and you look like a fool at a wedding but WHO CARES?

OK. That's it for now. Give it a shot and let me know some the techniques you've tried.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I enjoy taking my mp3 recorder to the local Wal Mart.

When I run into a shopper that appears worthy, I ask in question form:

"Bubble Up?"

They in return respond in question form:

"Bubble Up?"

After 20 or 30 interactions with the public I now have GOLD!!!


With some quick editing skills and an uncanny sense of rhythm, I now have a catchy little tune that goes something like this;

Bubble up (pause)
Bubble up, bubble up, bubble up
2-3-4
Bubble up (pause)
Bubble up, bubble up, bubble up
2-3-4.

In the near future, I will take my 1980's boom box, hoist it high upon my shoulder and march down the street with the wimsical "Bubble Up" song playing loudly as children and woodland creatures gather too me.

Much like the famed Pied Piper.

All will be amazed as I become the talk of the town.

Mo said...

Ah, yes--the pickle joke post. That old classic.

Dr Zibbs said...

Anonymous, did you crawl inside my brain while I was asleep and steal my style of writing? I'd like you to go one step further and make a Youtube video out of this. I may have a job for you writing here at the TBY - after a 3 year training/probationary period as a janitor.

Anonymous said...

It would be with honor and great fondness to sweep up the clipped toenails of the staff of TBY and wisk them away to the dustbin of memories.

Alas, my current position does not afford me enough economically to pay to work for TBY and my morgage

Some Guy said...

Dude, you have NO idea how much of a spike in visitors I got from your generous link! You, fine doctor, are a giver. I shall never forget it.

Mnmom said...

I'll get right on it

Falwless said...

Sorry but that comment from Anonymous was funnier than this post. (The post was pretty good, too.)

Anonymous needs to come out of the shadows at once. I'm tired of this coy little game we're playing. C'mon, 'Mous, make a Blogger name already, so I can love you properly.

tonyspunk said...

I like to tell the ladies they've won a prize and they have to claim it in my pants. Then when they stick their hand inside (sometimes you have to go to like halfway houses and 'tard schools to make this part work) they pull out something lame like a wooden spoon or a map of China when they were expecting my johnson.

Anonymous said...

O.k., o.k., o.k.,

I'm out.

Now that I'm out, I have to get over my fear of sucking.

P.S.

You're cute too!!!!!

Gwen said...

I like to imagine the pet peeves and vices of my characters to make them come alive. Acting them out lends a heightened reality to the character. Like that time I went on a drug induced gambling binge. That was ALL for a character, not me.

enc said...

At first, I thought #3 was such GOLD that I didn't need to read further. However, since I can't live without Yak humor, I read on. I continued to laugh, and then when I started panning for GOLD in the comments, "Anonymous" delivered.

Thanks for the nuggets, "Anonymous!" I really, really hope you'll go for the video, and also that you'll unmask yourself. Don't deprive us. You wouldn't like us when we're deprived.

BeckEye said...

I've spent a lot of hours lately wondering what living with you would be like. I think it would be kind of like an episode of Mindfreak, but with less magic tricks and eyeliner.

Falwless said...

'Mous, you are terrific!

Beckeye--I'm seriously laughing at that. I don't know why I just used that adverb "seriously," as if you wouldn't believe me or something? God, you never fucking believe anything I say, I hate you. This took a wrong turn somewhere.

Dr Zibbs said...

Beckeye, as you love pop culture living with me is like livng with the spawn of The Fonz, Charles Manson, Fred Garvin "Male Prostitute", Ed Norton and Chim Chim.

kirby said...

I believe this is how Flannery O'Connor got her start.

Falwless said...

I had to come back to reread "Beckeye, as you love pop culture living with me is like livng with the spawn of The Fonz, Charles Manson, Fred Garvin "Male Prostitute", Ed Norton and Chim Chim."

Thanks.

Dr Zibbs said...

You should just print my blog out on parchment since it's like the bible to you (and anyone else who's willing to believe)

Miss Cellaneous said...

I agree that you can never get enough freaks and crazies at Walmart or KMart. Going there just makes me angry on some days. . almost to the point where I must leave and do my shopping at 4 separate stores instead of one giant shopping area. . I guess it's a small price to pay to do all your shopping in one place - you have to deal with all the mud butts.