Quick Character Notes

Writing character profiles is a very useful thing to do if you want to maintain consistency in your characters’ background, personality, likes, appearance, and pretty much everything.  In the writing course I’m doing, we had to make very brief point form notes about a character in our notebooks.  I decided to do this on one of my characters in Journey to Ariadne.  I’ve already done a character profile in a different way, but I thought this was quite thorough.

So, I’m going to share it with you.

Paolo Fernandes

Physical

  • Age: 51 (born January 7, 2112)
  • Height: 176 cm
  • Size: slim
  • State of health: A bit of stress, but healthy
  • Assets: Good physique, full head of hair
  • Flaws: Lower bone density due to Mars gravity
  • Sexuality: Straight
  • Gait: Confident, long stride
  • Voice: Middle, pleasant sounding

Psychological

  • Intelligence: very high
  • Temperament: Kind and understanding, but has a sense of control, good charisma
  • Happiness: Family, job, swimming
  • Unhappiness: Stress from Earth situation and long work hours
  • Attitudes: Dislikes capitalism, loves peace
  • Self-knowledge: Knows he gets worked up about intrusion into his projects
  • Unconscious aspects: Constantly checks his hair

Interpersonal/Cultural

  • Family: Wife Irina, no children
  • Friends: David Martin, Mari Watanabe, William de Boer
  • Colleagues: Ben Taylor, Gianni Marino, Mari Watanabe, William de Boer, Jean Fourier, Malika Said, Gary Fitzsimmons, Carol Parent, Jan Goerz
  • Birthplace: Manaus, Brazil
  • Education: PhD in geology from Brasilia Academy of Science
  • Hobbies: Swimming, guitar, reading
  • Beliefs: Atheism, democratic socialism
  • Values: Equality for all, fairness
  • Lifestyle: He works a lot, but spends time with his wife and does a lot of swimming.  Reads on his breaks.

Personal history

  • 2130 – Graduated high school
  • 2138 – PhD in geology
  • 2142 – met David Martin
  • 2144 – Went to Mars – geologic survey
  • 2147 – Joined Ariadne Project, geologist
  • 2148 – War in Brazil, father was killed
  • 2153 – Principle geologist of Ariadne Project
  • 2158 – Married Irina Kuznetsova
  • 2159 – Chairman of Ariadne Project

This was done in about 10 minutes.  In the exercise, it was recommended, that many of the attributes should be thought of quickly, rather than spending a lot of time dwelling on it.  This way, the character will be more realistic, and the character’s personality starts coming through.  The character helps create him or herself.

I’ll be doing this for the rest of the main characters and some minor characters, but I won’t be posting them.  How do you develop characters?

Also, just a reminder that the second What Will You Write? has begun! Check it out if you haven’t done so.

Fight Scene Point of View

I’m currently reading The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons, and I’m getting closer to the end.  This book has been taking me a long time to read.  It’s a dense book.  In this book, as with Endymion, the title character is the narrator.  In scenes involving him, it’s in first person point of view, while it’s in third person when it doesn’t involve him.  However, there are some scenes that take present tense, which is explained by Raul Endymion in the book as he directly addresses the reader.  It’s a rather interesting style of writing, which I’ll touch upon when I write the review.

Now, I read a fight scene in the book tonight, and I was blown away with how intense it was.  First person point of view in present tense gives it an incredible sense of being there.  I’ve previously read a novella which used this same POV and tense, but it didn’t work for me.  However, in The Rise of Endymion, it’s working remarkably well.  I just loved the fight scene.  I felt drawn into the battle, like I was a part of Raul Endymion.  I became him.  How did Simmons do that so well?

Most novels I read are in third person point of view using past tense.  That’s how I write, as well.  But sometimes, first person is very effective, and if done correctly, present tense can make you a part of the story.

Have you read any novels that use both first person and present tense effectively?