One of my writer friends asked me how my writing was going. I told her that I haven't been writing much. I've been developing my characters. I expressed my frustration over my antagonist. My story, at the moment, has no antagonist. The old manuscript had your average evil villain, but I am striving for more.
My writer friend asked if I had tried character boards. After I displayed my ignorance, she explained that character boards are when you write down character information on index cards. "Sometimes the 3-D, being able to touch the cards, triggers something in your mind to help you find what you're looking for," she said.
So I tried it. I wrote down different traits for my antagonist on pieces of paper. Some of them were obvious: "Prideful," "Selfish," "Vain." Some were contrasting: "Male-Female," "Rich-Poor," "Easily Angered-Not Easily Angered." Then I picked out the ones I really liked and wanted to see in my story. I had a "Eureka!" moment after looking at them for a few days and wrote down some possible motives.
Since the antagonist board is going slowly, I also wrote down each of my characters' names and made a "main cast" character board. I found that the characters naturally fell into pairs. After a while, I felt that something was missing. Then I realized I had forgotten the most important "character." Jesus. I wrote His Name on a paper and it really helped me figure out how each character relates to and views Him, which of course affects their personalities entirely.
Have you ever used character boards? How did yours work?
Post Tenebras Lux!