Posts tagged ‘character’
This week I just want to brush over how to get your proportions correct just by knowing how tall your character should be.
In my case my average character is 6 heads high. Male or female. Males can be 7 if you like and females can be around 5 if you prefer. 6 is just average. Take a look at the drawing for this week.
I have sketched a character, paying attention to where all the important joints should be. All together it measure 6 heads in total. Usually the crotch area is 2 and a half heads down from the chin. And the last 2 and a half heads are the legs.
My character is almost perfectly split. 3 head bottom and 3 heads top. Experiment with height and let me know how it turns out.
You want to start any story with a strong beginning. Something that keeps the reader turning the pages. There are a few simple tips to get this right.
Start with a mystery
Joseph opened his eyes. Something hard and grey was in front of his face. His nose was aching from pressing into the floor.
The mysterious start is a good beginning for a thriller. Keep the sentences short and look for effective ways to describe the environment without creating fluff.
Tip: Fluff is the enemy of writing. Always ask yourself, does this tell me something I didn’t know? Is this description important? Is there a way I can make it better, shorter, slicker?
Start with the end
Looking at her willowy hand as it stroked her daughter face, May realised, “I am dying, child.”
Her daughter gave a small yelp as she sobbed louder.
“Listen to me child, while I still have a breath of air in my body. I need to tell you about your father.” May’s voice cracked.
“Dad died last year, mom. Don’t you remember?”
“No child, your real father is still alive and he will come for you when I am gone.”
This type of beginning lends itself to a more epic drama or fable. Generally you will want to look at more dialogue and description. Tapping into memories always gives you a feeling that is overwhelming. Describe this with sound and smell even where it is appropriate.
Once again avoid the fluff.
Start with a tale
Once upon a time…
There is a legend…
In a galaxy far far away…
These are typical beginnings for a story where you are expecting people to suspend reality and bend the rules of the universe. In this case you want to make sure to tell them what the new rules are. You can do this by showing them someone flying or walking through a closed door.
Make sure that the way you begin your book reflects how you will continue your book, don’t start fast and end up describing every detail of every rock on the mountain.
Remember that putting a book down, changing the channel or walking out of the cinema is the easiest thing in the world.
The first steps towards writing your own book.
This week we look at how eyebrows and eyes can affect expressions and how they can depict different character personalities.
Picture 1 & 2
Sharp angles on eyebrows are usually used to depict bad guys, but the can also be used for neutral characters. I had a bit of fun with the top two and it’s pretty easy to tell what they are thinking.
In the third picture the eyebrows were placed to show fear. This is pretty universal and easy to grasp. When working with eyebrows it’s important to not forget the rest of the forehead, note how each emotion adds furrows or wrinkles to the face.
In the next illustration I’ve drawn your typical calculating, bad guy. To get this effect use black, heavy eyebrows to draw attention to the character’s personality.
Picture 5 – 8
With the last four I just had fun. The old Chinese shop owner, the goofy fat guy, the narcissistic hero, and a dark haired guy flashing a goofy smile – Note how the cheeks go up and the eyes squint.
Examine each of these and just have fun! Create a few characters of your own using what you see here!
The second part in how to illustrate a character. In this session we look at how to add colour.