Creating a Character/Deity Journal



Do you see your characters as real people?

Do you enjoy having conversations with them in your head, reading books relating to their interests, taking classes to learn their skills?

Do you dream about their journeys, spend time fantasising about their relationships and pondering how they might react to situations outside of the story and within it?

 What if you could find a tool that both expands your own creativity and opens a portal into the life of your character?
Wonderful news my fellow writers there is ...

Introducing


THE CHARACTER JOURNAL 



(Here are a few of my Journals)

A Character Journal is a Journal written in the perspective of your character or characters. It is a little different from a character profile or scenes in your story featuring your character.

Sounds pretty basic right? But where do you start? What could to put in the Journal?


 Fear not writer friends, here are MY TOP THREE IDEAS about how to build the foundations of your Character Journal and THREE SUGGESTIONS about what you could create within its pages.


I am not known for plotting and creating a Story Bible/Book of Shadows in a chronological way. I find that creating as I go and being able to explore a diverse terrain of creative tools and techniques allows me to not only navigate and keep track of the story I am creating, it also allows me to reach out and delve into the psychology and behaviour of my characters and how they relate to themselves and the world around them.

Here are the top techniques I have used when it comes to laying the foundations for creating my character journal.

Use Pinterest and magazines- First to find images of your chosen Character – ones that most represent qualities, traits, physical appearances, their likes and dislikes and then find images to inspire you to build a world around them. These could be photo's or artwork that represents their ideas of their location, favourite places, colour, music, objects.

Draw your character I would recommend you start drawing them from your own mind. It doesn’t matter if they don’t look ‘polished’ you are looking for raw sketches. 

Then look at your character, what or who do they represent? Are they an Elf Dragon, Supernatural Hunter, a Baker, Police man? Find drawing tutorials on the things that they represent. There are a number on Pinterest, or online if you are looking for specifics.

Here are a few to get you started


Figure Drawing : Figure Drawing Class




For example in my novel they are in the military – I would look for how to draw badges, weapons,  uniforms and gadgets. 

In another story I am working on my character is a forest mage. For him a potion bottle, a Book of Shadows, Animal totems or sigil tattoos and trees would be things that help me to distinguish how I see him and more importantly – How he sees himself.



(Example of my Character Sketch)


Create or use a Spread – In the same way we interview Tarot Decks take the time to interview your characters current position as they begin their journey. You can start in the middle of action or on the sidelines, in the story itself or outside of it to gain a better understanding of the things that occupy your characters mind.

 It can be a large or small spread. 

I personally like to stick with three card spreads using image heavy decks like:

       Japaradize

 Druid Craft

Tarot of the Sidhe

Tarot of Vampyres

( Druidcraft Deck - Published by Llewellyn Publishing)

This would be a great time to ask them about their shadows [below is a quick shadow spread I created to understand what I was looking at beyond the physicality of the character]







Here are some more suggestions of things your character could explore in their journal.

Write about their dreams [Aspirations and Sleeping Dreams]: have your character keep a dream journal where they explore alternative lives, realities and ponder their subconscious mind. These can be powerful when it comes to writing your story or  even connecting with your Character/Deity in the ASTRAL.

Create a map or parts of a map where they are travelling to: You could draw a map of their town, of their city or the entire world. Start with where they are currently and their surroundings. 

Are they in the woods, city, country? Is it an urban, fantastical, science-fiction or contemporary setting?

 This is where image of places come in handy. My novel is set in a Military compound that is divided up into four sections and throughout the story they venture to three different towns. I also have a map for an underground tunnel that used to be where people lived when war was waging above ground.



( Map of my Underground Tunnel)

Talk about how they see other characters:  In the same way that we can use a Journal to reflect about our relationship with the world around us, our characters can use their journals to do the same.
The most effective form of reflecting from the characters perspective that I have found to work in my practice is to set a timer for a certain period of time and free-write. Just listen. 

I have been surprised many times by the things that my characters say and how they feel about a certain character that later on I have been able to use in the story itself as sub-text or to accelerate momentum in my story.

I believe one of the most important aspects of creating believable characters that are real, raw and fleshed out people, is to know what is going on in their mind, in the shadows and to unravel that out in their secret space.  


Looking for Inspiration? Use any reference books you have






·        You can have them write letters that are never sent.

·        Talk about unrequited love or the throes of their blossoming relationship.

·        Listen to what they have to say about the environment they are currently in and how it reflects the environment they grew up in [are some places more triggering than others?]

        What about Animal totems, Deity or Spirit guides ? Characters have their own spiritual or religious beliefs. 

  What would their Deity or Spirit Guide say to them?

 Who would they connect with and why?

 If they don’t have a spiritual belief listen to what they have to say about that and ask yourself how would that affect their character in the role they play in your story?


These are just a few of my ideas that have worked for me and that I am excited to explore in my own creative process. Each of these suggestions alone can add depth to the character you are creating and assist in developing a relationship with them inside and outside your story or practice. You will be spending a long time with your Character or Diety and being able to approach your connection in different ways can only enhance and deepen your understanding and reverence for them. 

Blair Mirth

Blair is a Pagan Loving, Earth magic maverick with a love for Tarot, poetry, Herbs, Creative Writing and Learning. Here you will find all manner of magical tips, techniques, interviews and sharings

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