Making Character Aesthetics: How, and 3 1/2 Reasons Why

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If I use one of my character aesthetics, I’d get arrested for copyright infringement (Pinterest doesn’t exactly cite its sources)

So, Writeousness hasn’t been around much lately. I have a manuscript I’m deeply in love with, but it’s not the passionate love of a new relationship. It’s more of a married-for-decades type of love.

Which makes editing dismal.

I needed some way to rekindle the flame of my affections. First, I reread some of my favorite scenes (works way better than you’d think) and second, I made character aesthetics.

I don’t know how tech savvy most writers are, but I had to look up how to do that. (I also just had to look up what character aesthetics are to make sure I’m getting my lingo right since I’m that grandma who has no clue about pop culture outside of nerdy stuff).

Here’s How:

I don’t have a Tumblr, so what tutorials I saw were useless. In the end, I downloaded a free photo editing app (I used Collage Photo Maker Pic Grid which has everything I can think of, but I’m sure most apps would work).

Then, I stole shamelessly from Pinterest. When you pull up a pin on mobile, there’s three dots in between the like, send, and pin buttons. Tap that, then hit ‘download pin,’ which will save the image to your phone. You can then use those images to make your edits.

Here’s Why:

1. When you’re bored with your story, you need the reminder of why you write. Gathering what your characters like, their settings, and how they feel is a reminder of why you loved your story in the first place.

2. It’s the opposite of Pinterest for planning. Pinterest is a great way to brainstorm for your story, with song lyrics suggesting emotional arcs and pictures prompting scenes. However, once you know what you want, Pinterest becomes nothing but a distraction (or is that just me?). Character aesthetics narrow your focus to what matters- the most important emotional struggles and which scenes shape your character.

3. It gives the overall ‘feel’ of your character. Before I sit down to write, I need to get into the right mindset. Am I writing a quirky character, a withdrawn character, or a guilty character? Character aesthetics can give a snapshot of their mood.

4. It’s a great way to annoy your friends and loved ones. “Hey, look what I just made!” “Can you guess which character this is?” “This image fits perfectly because *launches into elaborate backstory.*”

Yeah, so maybe not that.

Anyways, there are several benefits to making character aesthetics. Do you make them, or do something similar?

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