Thursday, October 22, 2015


Welcome to Teapunk Noveling, the place where ink and caffeine collide to form musing on the writing process! You can call me Evie, and I invite you to follow along as I navigate the vast world known as writing. 

I am drafting my first adult fantasy novel, and it's my hope that we can learn things together as I go through the process of writing, editing, and publishing. So make yourself some tea (or coffee), and join me!


As a gamer girl, I love getting lost in Role Playing and Adventure games. There's just something about gaming worlds that is appealing to me on many different levels. But before the hero can save the day, start an adventure, or take an arrow in the knee, the player is first shown the "Character Creation" screen. And that's where I will begin, too.

This will be a multi-part post, but here are some steps I use to create characters. These are merely suggestions, and are not meant to be the only way to go about making characters. If you find things not useful to you, skip it! In the end, it's all about how you organize things that helps you out. 

1) Ask yourself the basics about the character: The who, what, where, and when.

  • Who: What is this person's name? Do they go by any nicknames? Do they even like their nicknames? A name says a lot about your character and the world you are trying to create. How old is your character? I  like going to baby sites if I can't think of a name. I also create a "Master Name List" with names that I may or may not use. If I hear a name I like, it gets added to the list for me to draw upon later.
  • What: What is this person like? List 3-4 main traits of the character. This will form the base of their personality and influence how they react in the world. What does the character look like physically? I create a personality and name before I think about the physical looks of the character, but feel free to reverse the process if it works for you.
  • Where: Where is the character living now? Where were they born? Even if the character doesn't know this or is seeking the answers to this question, you should have this knowledge from the start. Doing this will help you form a backstory for your characters which will, in turn, help you later on when writing.  
  • When: When was the character born? And no, I don't mean at 6:07am, but rather, the era in which the story takes place. Even if it is a fantasy piece where you construct the world yourself, be mindful of the era you are basing your story. 1701 France will impact a character's growth in different ways than if they would have grown up in 2010 New York.

2) Going Further: Now is the time to flesh out the character, giving them more "meat" to their bones.

  • Defining features: Does your character have scars, beauty marks, 7 fingers and 6 toes? Write it down, weave it into your writing.
  • Strengths/Flaws: Expand upon the traits you listed earlier. What does your character do well? Are they a good listener? Do they take the lead and get things done? On the other side of this, what does your character struggle with? Do they have a temper, are they impatient, or are they so naive that they get themselves into trouble? Giving your character flaws that impact the plot will make them more relatable to the reader.
    • *Note: To avoid making flat characters that do not resonate with readers, try to limit your character's strengths. Not all of us can be experts in everything we do, so don't expect your characters to be perfect, too.
  • Motivations: What does your character want most of all in their world? Do they want to find love? Discover hidden truths about a world they thought they knew? Become the best pirate who ever pirated things in space? Giving your character a driving force in their life will push the plot forward as well. 
  • Fears: We are all afraid of something, whether it be physical things like snakes or sharks, or non-physical things like a fear of abandonment or rejection. What does your character fear? What do they do to avoid their fears?

This is a general overview of some of the things you can ask yourself when you create characters. If you'd like me to go in depth on any of these topics, comment below or ask me on twitter at momonigiri. 

My next post will be more things to help you with character creation, so I hope you'll stay along for the ride~

Question Corner: What do you struggle with most when creating characters?

-☆ Evie ☆

PS. Still tinkering with the title of the blog, so if you have any suggestions dealing with tea/coffee, steampunk, and writing, I'd love to hear 'em!

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