So as part of my birthday present, my mother took me to the theatre. I hadn’t been in ages so naturally, I was excited. We saw a rendition of Carmen, preformed by a Flamenco dance company. It was amazing! The spirit of flamenco dancing was a perfect mold to Carmen’s fiery and sensual personality. The women dancers were insanely talented and beautiful with their hair pulled back, and their long flowing skirts, and wraparound shawls. Their movements were crisp and intricate combined with lightning fast percussive footwork. And then there were the male dancers with their tight, tight outfits and superior glutei maximi. *stops to fan self*
Ok, so there was a point I wanted to
touch make here… yes, so what I found interesting was that while I was drooling observing the dancers, I noticed each had a distinct persona and I had a lot of fun naming them. For instance, there was The Rooster. You know the one I’m talking about, the short dancer with the hooked nose that compensates by sticking his chest out further then the others. He was by far the best at the flamenco strut. Then there was Tarzan (my favorite). He traded his vine swinging moves for some flamenco feet stomping. He was the tall guy with the broad upper body, shoulder length dark hair and angular jaw line. He also had deep V shaped eyebrows that gave him that savage look… There was also The Gentlemen with the walking cane. He was simply bad ass. Every time he preformed, he did so with the cane, pounding it on the floor to rapid beats and wielding it through the air like a deadly weapon. During the zombie apocalypse, I want this guy on my side. And then of course, there was the dancer with The Hair. He portrayed Don José, the guy who kills Carmen at the end. He was your typical male lead, good looking guy with the great hair. I’d add that he had great buns but frankly, they all did. Anyway, I’m not going to name them all, but you get the idea. What was unfortunate however, was the lack of personalities in the women dancers. They were all beautiful, sensual but all cast in the same dye. All except for fiery red Carmen. I guess that can be attributed to the story of Carmen itself, but still, it would have been fun to see the men pair up with their matching counterparts. When I write, (holy transition Batman, give me a break it’s ) I want to be able to create characters like these flamenco dancers. I want characters who step out onto the page with crisp, distinct personalities. How do I do that? With great buns dialogue, but also through the use of physical tags and attributes that set them apart from the rest. But there's a whole lot more you can do to create great characters.
So how about you? How do you all make your characters unique?