HELLO FELLOW WRITERS! It’s been a while, I know… but, hey, I’m back with a great new writing tip that I may or may not have just thought up!
We all know character development is a super big huge good ol’ part of the creative writing process or whatever… but, honestly, it can extremely boring to just sit and map out all day long before you even getting the writing part started. Which… is why I (unanimous gasp in the background) don’t do it.
Instead, why not get started with the fun writing part and collect the facts you find about your character on the way? And then, as I’ve just discovered… organize them in a Wiki-style page for more fun reference later on when you can’t remember the tiny little details about that character, like… was his hair gray with dark spots or dark with gray spots… ???
So, since I’m assuming/hoping a lot of you are like me and necessitate seeing someone else’s version of an idea before you can fully grasp it… see example A of this below, folks!
(It’s my own “character Wiki page” of my own main character in the current series I’m writing, which is named after her, Emma Lenford.)
Emma Renae Lenford (born in October, 1999) is a Central Talket High School student who is notoriously known for her extreme bad luck, which is thought to be the result of a curse put on her by Miranda Lively.
Childhood and Early Life
Emma Lenford’s parents were both married at age 19 in what was described as an “impulsive, Vegas-style wedding”1 in a sketchy Milwaukee suburb after only meeting each other at a Spice Girls concert in Canada six months prior. Emma’s mother found out that she was pregnant 5 weeks afterwards and mentally struggled through the pregnancy, often seen attempting to eat cotton balls, gouge her eyeballs out with plastic spoons, and cutting the top of her own ear off “Vincent van Gough-style”. After Emma’s birth, her mother recovered and remained a stay-at-home mom until Emma turned 3 years old, when she suddenly left the home in her ’97 Ford Contour and never returned again.
Ever since, Emma has lived only with her father, who works at a local bacon packaging/silicone breast implant factory.
Emma Lenford is a highly comedic person with a naturally sarcastic personality. She keeps tabs on every person she encounters, and she often attempts to talk her way out of dangerous situations with her wits. Her Myer-Briggs personality type is ESTP.
Emma Lenford’s longest-standing feud was with Stella Anderson, which lasted from approximately 2009-2017, and began with an incident in which Stella refused to work on a school history project with Emma because “[She was not] Abby!”1. Later on, in the two’s middle school years, Stella implied that Emma was a drug-addicted prostitute simply because her shorts were one inch above her fingertips. However, after undergoing multiple traumatic incidents together, including being kidnapped by an elderly woman obsessed with Britany Spears music, the two have put their differences aside and resolved things, for the time being, as friends.
One of Emma’s current enemies is Miranda Lively, another young woman of the same age with the belief in witchcraft. Miranda has kidnapped Emma on multiple occasions, extracted her “virgin blood”, and even inseminated her with “a cup of all the rejects from the sperm bank”2.
Emma also has entered feuds with multiple other, lesser-important “villains” in her life. These people include, but are not limited to, Grayson Decker, Barbara Bodenhigger, and the unnamed elderly woman obsessed with Britany Spears music who kidnapped her.
Friends and Relevant Acquaintances
One of Emma Lenford’s longest-running best friendships is with Ashlee Neysmith and has lasted at least six years. Ashlee is a confident, overly-sassy Jamaican with no middle name or initial that gives incredible insults. However, she often returns to Jamaica from Talket County, Wisconsin every time there is a death or illness in her family, which occurs quite often considering she has a large family with some super old relatives.
Kyle Ermings is another new friend to Emma since he found a shared connection with her—he, too, was cursed by Miranda Lively and has had terrible bad luck since childhood. However, Miranda is also his first-cousin.
Mr. (Miguel) Mortinez is Emma’s high school 11th grade English teacher as well as her likely future husband. He is a 25 year old man from Costa Rica with a heavy Spanish accent, and she has been secretly romantically interested in him since the beginning of her Junior year.
Briana (Bri) Bodenhigger, granddaughter of Barbara Bodenhigger, is a girl of seven years whom Emma has babysat. She is known to wear short-shorts and colorful knee-high socks, and she has claimed Emma as her favorite babysitter, much too her mother’s dismay.
Emma is notoriously know to know everything about everyone, and she also knows a thing or two about every other student at Central Talket High School, from Trever Minger to Fiona Pindell, among hundreds more acquaintances.
1M, Kari Lynn. What Now, Emma Lenford? Kari Lynn M, 2018.
2M, Kari Lynn. What the Luck, Emma Lenford! Kari Lynn M, 2020.
And… hey, I hope you guys like/liked my example!
I wanted to show you my general idea for this “writing exercise” while not making the showcasing too long. So, you should also know that this “Wiki page” is meant to evolve and be added to, especially as I keep on writing. This is something that you all can definitely do, too! You know, so you’re not hunched over at your laptop pecking up a character development sheet all day… and you still have time for the fun, good ol’, regular writing!
Let me know, of course, if you plan to use this “development” method! (References not required.)