As the title of this journal suggests, I'm looking for some advice on character creation. For the past several weeks, I've been working on the story of Demordicai Diamonds, about 2 or 2 and half years ahead of where the comic is currently at in the story, and I've gotten to a point where I'm suddenly in need of a batch of 12 interconnected characters (pretty much a variety of royal advisers/confidants of a particular queen) but I'm having a bit of trouble coming up with all of them and fleshing them out. Normally coming up with a character here and there isn't a big deal for me with the exception of naming them but this time is a little different. Right now, I have a rough idea for about 4 out of the 12, names included too (woo!), leaving me with still 8 more to create. So what kind of process or methods do you journal-readers employ when creating characters? Is there any characteristics that you think are more important than other character traits? I'd love to hear how you guys go about making your characters and fleshing them out.
In regards to character creation, I finally might be having a better time with naming now. My friend and co-writer Professor Awesome finally finished compiling all his notes and names he's come up with written down in oodles of notebooks and scrap pieces of paper. It's about 5 or 6 years worth of name ideas that were scribbled all over the place but when compiled, the list is almost 3,500 names long! It certainly took him forever to type all of them, let alone sift a messy treasure trove of papers and notebooks scattered around. He's been working on that for months now and now it's a great 19 page print-out that we've started using to great effect. A little organization can go a long way! We both are still extremely picky when naming people, places, and things in Demordicai Diamonds so it still takes us a while to figure out names but so far we've come up with a handful of full character names, including 4 of the 12 characters that we're still in the process of trying to create. Hopefully there will be more to come name-wise!
In other good news, I can now officially confirm that there are only 3 more pages left in Demordicai Diamonds: Chapter 2. Yay! That means I'll be done with it sometime next year! Lol, sarcasm aside (I pray that it stays sarcasm), I'm really excited to almost be finished with it. Me and Professor Awesome have a long list of things to discuss about the future of the comic once DD80 is finished. The big one on the list is how to plan it out better. Since Chapter 1, Demordicai Diamonds has been one giant experiment to see if I could even do comics. Even if it turned out I couldn't, we'd still go making the story anyway but I'm happy to say that I apparently can do comics and have gotten a lot better since I first started with DD1. And boy did I make a lot, A LOT, of mistakes, especially in the planning department. It's been tough trying to do comic work and regular art work as well for months now for me. Life just loves giving me a hard time and my mind-numbingly ridiculous family have only made it worse (you can throw Obama in there too, not being able have regular employment for almost 5 years is super fun!) but it hopefully won't be long now until I can move on with the comic and eventually figure out how best to improve it before I start Chapter 3.
In light of my atrociously terribad page rate, it's come to my attention more and more that I might need some help. It's tough fulfilling the artistic roles of penciler, inker, and colorer all by myself and I have been considering more and more seriously looking for a colorist. The ideal colorist would be someone who can take my line work and color it either just as good as I can though better would obviously be preferred. Me and Professor Awesome both have a preference for traditional art, more so since there is very few comics produced traditionally nowadays but we would be willing to consider a more digital style if it looks good and "feels" good for Demordicai Diamonds. The problem is, I'm pretty much broke most of the time unless I'd find someone who wouldn't mind being paid in chicken eggs but I'd have big problems shipping them. So it probably would be more of a partnership unless I get more money coming in. I'd rather have someone helping me out with a legitimate interest in the comic, the world of it, and everything else related to Demordicai Diamonds than just an art mercenary looking for some quick pay and something to slap their name on to. I've actually had a few encounters with folks like that in the past who were trying to goad me into letting them on the team, very insistently too, and even going as far as trying to get me to change the comic so it would "appeal to a wider audience" as if it was their own project! Damn good thing that me and Professor Awesome stuck to our guns and kept it to ourselves back then but we now know that we truly are serious with this project and Professor Awesome isn't going to be getting much better at art (seriously, his art is horrible, lol). I'm just throwing all of this out there in case anyone might be interested sometime in the future but I got work to do and I'll do it with or without a little assistance.
Congratulations! You've reached the part of the journal where I rave and ramble on about my crazy family and other depressing life problems! Turn back now or you will hear about how my family has pissed me off since my last journal and how the house I live in is now, in addition to being mice infested, an electrical fire hazard, extremely drafty in the winter, disgustingly cluttered, and literally falling apart , is now becoming infested with mold, has bad plumbing problems and is potentially explosive!
So for a while now, the hot water heater in the basement has been leaking. As with all house problems, I bring it up to the man who's more in charge of the house than I am: my dad. Sucks being in my 20's and still jobless and living at home but this kind of stuff just pisses me off more. After informing my dad of the leak, which I'm no plumbing expert but I don't think hot water heaters are supposed to leak and be covered with calcium build-up, but like usual, he doesn't seem to think it's a problem. All the moisture in our cave-like basement has turned the mold growth rate up to turbo though I don't know just what type of mold it is. So, I started to attempt to clean off the build-up on some of the pipes and I went ahead and wiped off the gas pipes downstairs as well. To my surprise, The suds starting bubbling on the gas pipe in certain places, like something underneath them was blowing bubbles. My sense of smell is at least half-dead by now thanks to the ammonia and junk from all the mouse piss and shit everywhere (once again, my parents don't consider it a problem) so I can't really smell the additive the gas company puts in with the gas that gives a smell to the gas but the bubbling suds seem to me like a clear sign of a gas leak. And what does my dad do when informed of this? He refuses to do anything about it because he's terrified how landlord will raise our absurdly low rent if he calls him up and informs him of a gas leak. The landlord even pays our gas bills and has for as long as we've been here so it would be a pretty swanky deal if the house wasn't a decaying death trap. That really made my day though, my dad not wanting anything to be done about a gas leak in the house. If I suddenly fall of the face of the internet and don't post any more art or anything at all for that matter for an unusually long period of time, my house probably exploded, reducing me to meaty chunks in the process. It's very difficult to do art when you are meat chunks.
For the past 3 weeks, I've also being trying to deal with my car. It has vehicular cancer and car chemo costs a lot of money. A little less if you find someone to work on it on the side but it still costs big money. My car, almost 20 years old now, has had a perpetual oil leak for a while and recently sprung another leak but recently the muffler corroded off. My car is very loud now and I really don't want to get pulled over and given a citation with an order to have it fixed in X amount of days. It's been really tough trying to scrape up enough money to get it fixed and there's no way I can afford to take it to a professional garage. Employment is still difficult to find and near impossible to break into the workforce around here once you do find it. I'm hoping I might be able to get it fixed sometime today with the help of one of my sister's friends who's apparently skilled in car repair and works on the cheap. We'll just see how that goes. I'm still open for commissions if anyone would like throw me a few bucks and get some art in return. $1.00 sketches and $3.00 for colored. I might even do comic commissions if anyone would be interested (and willing to be patient).
Besides that, this week in particular has been interesting if not monotonous. I've been stuck in this crappy house for a long time and I've learned that even without my middle brother (I'm the baby if the family) and my mother around, I still can't do art very well here. Maybe it's the ammonia, the gas leak, the lack of food or just everything put together but I used to feel very creative here and now that I have some solitude...nothing really happens. My creative art spark is dying more and more here so it looks like the days of me being mentally able to create art at my house are coming to a close. Once I get my car fixed, I'm going back to Professor Awesome's house to do some art just like before. Anyway, my mom and my middle brother have been gone all week going down south to go to the beach and visit the same bitchy relatives that stirred up drama a month or so ago when they came up here to "visit". It's been wonderful not having the two of them around at least, being free of the incessant whining, complaining, moaning, bitching, gossiping, and ranting the two of them do. My middle brother is going further and further down the path of a near-mindless drama-obsessed drug junkie and my mother is further devolving more and more into acting like a child.
Both my middle brother and my mother are OBSESSED with Facebook and I've watched it turn the two of them into idiots. My mother, who ironically has a job taking care of folks who can't take care of themselves well like the disabled and retarded, is now not wanting to do basic tasks for herself because of Facebook. Before she left, she threw a fit because I wouldn't do her laundry for her (which wouldn't take all that long to throw in the washer). Why wouldn't she do it? She didn't want to stop playing Farmville and Candy Crush on Facebook. It's bad enough that Facebook games are scams (I'll save my rant on all the bad problems about Facebook for another time and that one's a doozy!) but she's gotten so obsessed about them that after she comes back from work, she just plays them all day and is devolving into a state to where she refuses to put down the toys and do basic chores. She already refuses to walk up the stairs in the house because she's "getting old" and "it's too much work!" and now with her not wanting to spend 5-10 minutes on laundry is a new low. I wonder how long it will be until she gets to the point that she doesn't want to feed herself because it would disrupt her Facebook gaming. Oh wait, both her AND my dad are at the point to where they can't put away any groceries themselves. They leave the food out to rot and for the mice to get into it. And my dad wonders why he spends so much on food but that isn't really a problem. On top of that, all the stuff is cheap, half-spoiled crap (especially the meats, ugh) that tastes like crap but my dad's excuse for not wanting to get better food? Why, it will get eaten FIRST! That's right, good, healthy, life-giving food will get eaten first so let's not buy it! I got that line yesterday and I was livid after that. I can understand if it was finances, upon which I would have recommended that my family learn to pick up after themselves, seal up the food, and put it away back in the refrigerator or seal it up so the mice can't get into it. I have suggested that before only to be given some very rude and bitchy feedback on my innovative ideas.
Sigh, the two of them will be coming back sometime this week. I hope to be out of here by then or I'll never hear the end of all the drama my brother and mother will be ranting about. That and my brother constantly pestering me to be his personal taxi and take him back and forth from his friends' house and here EVERY DAMN DAY (and that's about 15 or so miles both ways) so he can be bored somewhere else for a few hours, come back, be bored here for a few hours, demand to be taken back out, and the cycle never ends. When he says "bored", he unfortunately means "I NEED TO GET HIGH" so he needs to go and try to get some drugs and when they have none or it runs out, he wants to be driven back home and then he needs his drugs again so he can't sit still and has to go out on the hunt to find more and get high. The only thing he cares about in life is getting high and drama, everyone else be damned. He doesn't give a shit about the money I got to pay to fill up my gas tank nor the condition of my car (my sister is getting a little like that with wanting me to come out to her house to babysit for her all the time), or even my time. The only thing that matters is getting high to him. Hell, he's getting close to 30 and he doesn't have a driver's license or even a high school diploma but he doesn't care about that either. On top of that, my parents coddle the shit out of him and feed his additions but I get shit for it when I call them out. They try to get him to clean up around the house but pay him before he works, and what does he do? Runs off with the money and is high all weekend. Never does the work and then comes back ranting on about plans to "work" around the house to get some more money.
Man, I REALLY need to get out of this dump. Maybe I should call up MTV and some other asinine television channel (I remember back when TLC used to stand for The Learning Channel, not MTV3) and pitch a reality TV show based on my family and make some money that way. On second thought, it would probably just piss me off even more and I might die from a brain aneurism.
Alright, I'm done venting at least a week or two. I should be getting out of my house soon and maybe getting some art done. I got 3 more DD pages I need to do and you might be seeing some concept art of those 4 new characters I mentioned at the beginning of the journal sometime soon as well.