The question of the day: What roots my characters to their world?
For me, this is filed under little details, and it’s one of the things that great authors do really well. From experience, I know it is really easy to ignore, but those pieces of information that effectively tie your world and your characters together is truly important.
So, what’s your character telling you about themself? What are their hobbies? What’s their favorite food? music? art? sport? Can you see how these add dimensions to both your character and world?
It is a little easier if your world is familiar. Everyone can relate in some way to a Bull’s fan, but if your world isn’t this world you’ll have to find those things we often take for granted in our own world as simply being. It’s a good challenge to our worlds to find the sports, music, foods and so on that make it what it is. Who are the artists that inspire? What is common and what is exalted? These little things can say a lot about your character with you saying very little.
So, as an exercise, think with me… what are your roots?
I am a follower of Christ and I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church, a denomination I did not leave until college.
I am an avid reader of fantasy which I discovered in the pages of The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. Some other favorites are J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern, Michael Stackpole’s Dragoncrown War Cycle, and C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce and Chronicles of Narnia.
I love romantic comedies. “You’ve Got Mail”, “Serendipity” and “Music and Lyrics” are among my favorites.
I love Eastern philosophy and thought and long to study martial arts. I spent a little over a year studying Taiji and hope to one day have the freedom to study again… for the rest of my life. I would also like to one day study Chinese medicine beginning with Asian Body Therapy.
I am a dancer. But not just any dancer, I prefer social dance. I want to dance with a partner and experience the spontaneous interaction and relationship that every dance brings. You never know what your going to get in that lead/follow relationship with your partner and the music.
I’ve been teaching people since High School thanks to an incredible teacher who let me take the lead in my Physics class. If I do something, I usually end up teaching it whether that is writing, dance, music, or anything else.
I prefer to play music and sports. Listening and watching is OK, but the experience and interaction trumps the observation. However, some favorite artists are U2, Sigur Ros, Bela Fleck, and Robert Miles (dream and trance), and my favorite sport is without a doubt basketball which I grew up playing.
I grew up in northern New Mexico between the desert and the Rockies, living next door to farmers along the Rio Grande river where I learned to ski, fish, and hunt.
I think that’s enough to give you a picture of who I am in linking pieces to the puzzle that are my connections to this world we live in. A world we all know fairly well. I’m positive there are things I listed that all of you can relate to. What are those things for your character?
Well, have fun!