Now I love drawing. Since I was fifteen I've mostly self-taught myself from books and YouTube videos. I've noticed a lot of writers are multi-talented in different forms of art and drawing is a great talent to help with writing.
When I was at DragonCon this past year (Yes, geek here), I attended a drawing class. During it, the teacher/comic book artist said, "What your character wears shows who they are." I thought about that and realized that's very true. Clothing reflects personality, lifestyle, and more. It made me think about my character drawings. What my characters wear tells much about them. I'll give you some examples.
Caleb is one of my main characters from the first book of my science fiction series Subsapien. He's nerdy, insecure and a bit awkward.
Brian is a side character from my second book of Subsapien. He's a boy genius and very mature for his age, but he's not very sociable.
Sting is a villain from the the second book of Subsapien. He's a psychopath and likes to toy with his victims.
Can you see their different personalities in their appearances?
Try putting a little more effort into describing your characters clothing in your books. Don't give every detail. That will get boring. Give us what mainly makes them stick out. A black skull hoodie. A navy polo shirt. A vest.
Drawing helps me get a better picture of who my characters are while writing. I can describe them easier, and, well, they make good wallpapers to motivate me. While I'm drawing them I often get some ideas about the character's personality because I'm focused on him or her.
Maybe you don't have a huge talent with drawing. Perhaps you can ask a friend.
|A chibi of a friend on gimp|
Lemme tell you one secret about drawing that took me forever to find out: proportions. If you focus on guidelines and how big or small each body part is and where they're placed instead of just shapes then you can get your drawing to look right far easier. I learned this from YouTube guru Mark Crilley. He really focuses on proportions. Though he mostly focuses on manga-style (my style also), he has some realistic drawing tutorials also. His book Mastering Manga is fantastic. It changed my drawing for the better.
Though many people have different methods about how they go about their drawings, I use a mechanical pencil, a sketch pad, and a knead eraser to do the basic sketch. Afterwards I scan my drawing into my computer and using my WACOM Bamboo Tablet and the free graphic design programs gimp and Photofiltre I edit my drawings into what you see in my gallery and album. :)
Drawing isn't easy but with practice you can get your drawings to look great. If drawing a person sounds too daunting for you right now, how about you try sketching a floor plan or maps for locations of your story or try drawing objects like special robots or magic swords? Tapping into another side of your creativity can help get the inspiration juices flowing.
Have you tried drawing your characters? Does it help your writing?
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Finding and Taming Inspiration Part 2
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