My husband and I are just back from a mini reunion in CT with “The Originals”…a group of guys who came together, for my husband, in 5th grade through Jr High, HS, college and onward to our present ‘newly medicare’ status… over 50 years! I’ve known them since I was 16 and started dating the love of my life…but that’s another story.
What I NOTICED is that though we sometimes don’t see some of this group for 20+ years at a time, it’s only moments till we are all comfortable and ‘back’ together. The old stories and the belly laughing starts, and it’s SO good to experience! Friends like that take a life time to create…and it did. That coming together also reveals our TRUE CHARACTERS. Gone the ‘executive’ or the ‘naturalist’ or the ‘egg head.’ They are all just boys…and they KNOW each other’s core. We girls also revert to a bit ‘our younger selves’ as well. Though I’ve also noticed that the girls have perhaps grown more into who we always were…wonderful to see. Just like writing or drawing good characters!
It takes a life time (however long your life time is so far!) of experiences and careful visual ‘noting’ to be able to come up with GOOD CHARACTER. Stories are so often all about character. You must get into your character big time to make your audience believe in him/her. Explore all the tips and tricks you can to create the best. REALLY KNOW THEM. How would they be with old, old friends? new personalities? How would they react if something went wrong, or someone disappointed them? How would they take a bike ride, swim in a lake, ride a hot air balloon, open a business, care for their aging parent? This might not be in your current story, but if the character will be ‘real’ you have to know how he/she would react in most life events. Now, we who have lived a few years, know a character might surprise us big time with how they react to an event….and you need to be aware of that too. The story, drawn or written, might just be in that difference of your character but it’ll only work if you and your audience really know the ‘normal’ for your character.
I just have to include a photo of five of ‘the girls’ (second from right is me) because we took this same photo 22 years ago at the last reunion and needed to revisit our characters in photo style. Yes we’re that much older, as are our husbands, but we ARE OUR characters now and it shows. Not all bad ladies! Get into your characters…pull at them, test them with life, give them tough challenges…. THEN write or draw your story!