Category Archives: Character Creation

What’s the Meme about?

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This is another one of those words that pop up occasionally on Twitter and in blog posts and the like, something that you might not understand if you haven’t studied human behaivor.

What is a Meme?

In short it’s an idea, a behaivor, a style that expands over a society or culture. It’s a trend. You can get more indepth here

If you’re still not sure about Memes (or don’t want to read that kinda dry Wiki entry) a prime example is FaceBook. You have probably seen links or ads or silly sayings, quotes or photos while scrolling through your feed. When something gets reshared by you or others, and they reshare and reshare it again, they have created a Meme. Even as short lived as those reposts are, the act of copying the link or image is a Meme. In fact, the act of copying not even a specific item but the act of copying in itself is a Meme.

YouTube is another example. Videos going “viral” is just another term for a Meme. When an author Tweets with a link to their book, they’re hoping to create a Meme.

How to make Memes work for you.

I realize that many of my examples are for social media but as a writer using Memes is really quite important. Especially when creating a world or society. This is an aspect I think gets overlooked a lot of the time when we’re busy building cities and empires and creatures. It’s something important I think we need to ask ourselves:

What social trends have occured -or are occuing – that shape my character/city/world?

And these not be technical like in my examples, clothing, speech, design, these are all things that are driven in part by Memes. Where I live we can see Meme in the size and style of houses in urban areas. The small, square “ranches” of the 80’s, the “Florida” house of the 90’s, the much larger sprawl that marks the housing boom of the early 2000’s. Even car companies use the economic Meme to determine car colors. Nearly everything is influenced by Memes.

Even in history we see the abundance of Memes so far back as the Stone Age when that first gal (or guy) picked up a rock and used it as a tool, that caught into a trend that blasted humans forward in evolution. It wasn’t that each hominin picked up a similar shaped rock and used it in a similar way at the exact same time without influence, nope, a Meme was created and BAM! Memes can be powerful things.

Knowing the social background of the setting your characters are in can be a helpful resource to determine how the character will react or what is available for them in the world. Even placing a character in the near distant future will be a future that has been determined by whatever Memes have occured between now and then, short or long lived.

What trends in agriculture, technology, fashion, TV will have passed that shape the world in which they live?

Creating a believable world, one in which Memes exist, is a vital part to getting your readers interested and willing to accept the rules you’ve created in your work.

Now for my ROW80 update

– I started the Paleo-centered blog and made three posts already! Go me!

– I’ve replied to 16 fellow ROWers last Sunday, well above my goal

– Now  that I’m feeling better I’ve lifted weights once this week and bought a Yoga dvd that has 20 minute sessions (I think I can handle 20 minutes at a time).

The goals are going well though I do need to sit down and write more Faylinn I hope to get another installment out by the end of the week, it’s been almost 2 weeks since the last one (oops).

How are things going for you? What do you think about Memes in writing? Have you used them before? Conciously or without knowing it?

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Character Creation ~ Krista

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I thought a fun little post for the blog would be to give some background of characters I’ve created and the creation process for the specific character. I am what is known as a “pantser” meaning that I don’t exactly plan out what I’m writing or who I’m writing. Heck, sometimes I have to write out the same story in different voices because I don’t even have a firm grip on point of view.

So, here is a character I have created, who’s story is posted under Writing.

Character: Krista

Story: Krista

Character Description: A seventeen year old highschool girl. She has flaming orange hair and dresses gothic/punk. Krista is caucasian, middle class. Her mother is remarried and she has no siblings, she doesn’t know where her father is. She is a frequent rule breaker and has little aspirations for the future beyond a vague notion to travel to New York City. She is sarcastic, pessimistic and angst ridden. She posesses a strong inner core but rarely feels confidence in herself to utilize it, feeling herself a victim to her surroundings and authority.

Inner Conflicts – Krista is trying to sort out who she is in life. She knows what she doesn’t want in some regards but otherwise feels lost, incomplete. She feels abandoned by her mother even though they still live together. She knows she is being abused but cannot reconcile how to make it stop, thinking her only “out” will come when she turns eighteen and can leave home. She’s embarassed by the abuse, is made to feel it is her fault.

External Conflicts – Krista is being sexually abused by her mother’s husband and has been for many years. She holds that part of her life separate from everything else, something that happens in the dark, where no one can see. She works hard to hide the physical evidence. This makes it hard to connect with other people, she has little confidence and lacks social skills, feeling pulled around by circumstances, always having things happen “to” her instead of making things happen.

Where did the character come from? Krista is a little bit of me, a little bit of other’s and a whole lot of victim fantasy. Her story is dark, from that place inside of me that still houses the abuse I sustained as a child. While my own experience happened quite differently, I drew on the feelings and experiences I had. You might almost say, in part, that this is autobiographical and also that it’s completely fiction. And yes, I did have orange hair for a while.

What I wanted this story to say: This was something I felt needed to be let out. I had the thought of Krista many years ago and I think it really helped me express some of the things I was still holding inside. I don’t imagine everyone will enjoy the story, I don’t think it’s very enjoyable frankly. It’s not meant to be. But I think it can possibly allow others that haven’t experienced abuse to get an idea of what the victims deal with as well as connect to other victims, possibly to allow them to share their own fiction stories of a similar nature. Dealing with and writing about abuse is a tough and tricky subject. In this instance I did not want to identify with the abuser. I don’t easily identify with abusers in general in real life. Some of the things Krista dealt with, her internal feelings as well as social experiences, I dealt with on a daily basis. Where you sit next to some one thinking about how your being abused, long to tell them what is happening but at the same time can’t manage to open your mouth to say it. It’s a double edged sword, especially if there is others in your life that you love that will be hurt by your admission.