Inspiring character development with memes

A couple months ago, a friend shared on social media one of those memes where you search your name and use the first search results to make a fantasy name, etc. This meme caught my interest because you had to search:

  • [Your name] fantasy gown
  • [Your name] fantasy crown
  • [Your name] fantasy weapon

For fun, I started with my given (legal) name and came up with this collage, which I love because I’m obsessed with white lace dresses with low backs and curve-hugging forms. I’m a huge fan (otaku) of Sailor Moon so the crown of moonstones and moon-shaped filigree is just to die for, and that sword is nothing to sniff at!

Then I got curious and searched against my writing name, Belinda Kroll, which was interesting because it feels like a darker personality to me. While the dress is reminiscent of a Victorian interpretation of a medieval dress with ruffles and embroidery, the crown, with its sea shells and obsidian gems, speaks to some sort of dark sea goddess. Throw in the emerald sword hilt and again, you’ve got a persona no one should think about messing with!

And finally, I searched my heroine’s name for my gaslamp fantasy and squealed because it’s just so perfect. I love the gold military-inspired detailing in the bodice, the simple elegance of the gold diadem, and the angular shape of the sword spun up so many ideas!

All of which made me think, I should be using internet memes for inspiration more often! One reason I usually don’t do memes is because sometimes I worry this is a method for internet scammers to get information (especially the ones that ask for your middle name or birthdate). But for a character who only exists in my mind? I mean, why not?

Unrelated, I wanted to share that I’m currently cuddling my second child! Wish me luck with recovery and regaining my writing energy after everything settles into place at home. See y’all soon!

Nifty Online Plotting Tools

I found these tools online by searching “character, writing tools” through Google. Some of these are actually meant for students to map/study an already published text, but I see no reason why we can’t also use them to analyze our own work.

Drama Map: this is a smiple organization tool to help with character, conflict, resolution, and setting mapping. Not the most detailed, but if you are working scene-by-scene, this could actually be very useful. Plus, it’s always fun to work with pretty graphics.

Circle Diagram: another way to map out scenes (or your overall plot) is to use the circle diagram theory. The idea is that you place the beginning at the 23:55 and the ending at say… the 00:05 position (if we’re thinking clocks). Then, you put the exact center of your plot at the 12:00 position. Keep filling in with plot twists, etc, and when you’ve filled the sides of the circle, you can start drawing lines across it. This allows you to draw on information that only you as the author knows early in the plot, and have it relate to something much later.

General Themes that (almost) all stories start from:

*The journey there and back.
*Winning the prize.
*Winning or losing the loved one.
*Loss and restoration.
*The blessing becomes the curse.
*Overcoming obstacles.
*The wasteland restored.
*Rising from the ashes.
*The ugly duckling.
*The emperor has no clothes.
*Descent into the underworld.

I’ll return later with quick summaries of all the books I’ve been reading. I sort of fell behind on my reviews. Such is the life of a student. Or rather, such is life.