When I used to write fanfic, my chapters ranged anywhere between 9,000 to 16,000 words. As for Choicescript, I’ve yet to finish a whole chapter yet for my game, but I have a strong feeling they’ll be around 50,000 words on the low end. If I’m being conservative and just judging from what I’ve done so far! Choices and flavor text, man… choices and flavor text.
Providing backbone to a story is usually the last thing I do, now that I think about it. A vaguely interesting scenario pops into my head, first and foremost (diplomacy, but in space!) and then fun or interesting character ideas (cannibal monarchs! shape-shifting diplomats! space vampires!!). Then I refine and develop the general scenario into a plot and settings, and the general character ideas into full people (deciding on names, appearance, personality). And once those are cooking, the themes start to surface.
I think for my writing style… the plot is the meat, the characters are the blood, and the themes and tone end up being the backbone. That’s what ends up bringing the characters, the setting, and the plot together into a cohesive story. If that makes sense? I think it does…
*edit: I’m now realizing this might not be the right interpretation to backbone… whoops! It’s honestly a better answer than anything about my outlining process though, that just consists of barely organized 80-page word documents. the program Scrivener has been a lifesaver for me for that reason!
There’s some small influence of my family and friends (usually unintentional) and that can be either positive or negative traits, background, or small personality quirks.
There’s always a little bit of myself in my characters, too. I don’t think there’s a single one I’ve created that doesn’t share at least one aspect (and I do try to limit it to one or two) of either their interests, background, or personal philosophy with me. But I like filtering the parts of myself through the rest of who the character is in order to create someone I can relate to (and thus write convincingly) while still being someone vastly different from myself.
And finally, there’s often an element of wish fulfillment in my inspiration; creating characters that I want to see in media but either don’t or haven’t. I’m blessed with a vivid imagination, so why not create the characters I want to see, y’know?
Absolutely, absolutely. @hustlertwo puts it perfectly.
A lot of this is answered in what I said in #2 and #3, actually! I come up with the general role of a character, then I build upon that with some of my imagination and some of the inspiration from #3. And then the character that comes from that gets filtered through the story and setting that they’re to be a part of. How would they react to their surroundings, to the circumstances, the other characters; would they be one way or would their environment force them to be another way?
Also, character sheets. And personality quizzes when I’m very bored. And Choicescript games! All of these things help me expand and explore who my characters are, who they definitely are not, and who they could be. This is my favorite part of writing–aside from the actual writing!
happy writing @SpanishBrEaD! i wish you the best of luck and sustained inspiration in your creative endeavors