Your characters are next, so let us get you into a lab and Frankenstein up some heroes, villains, and good old cannon fodder. Maybe you will be the type to make a DND sheet for them or some fun mood boards? Maybe a face claim and some roleplay to help you understand them better? Preptober is definitely the time to experiment with bringing your characters to life.
First I want to remind everyone: Originality is dead! Everything is similar to something else, it seems as though everything has already been done so now you just have to make it your own.
Take a moment and think about the most well known aged mentor with mystic powers.
Now did Gandalf, Dumbledore or Obi-Wan Kenobi come to mind? Believe it or not, all of them have the same basic components but are all distinct in their own way due to their own little quirks and differences. It would not surprise me if Dumbledore was inspired by Gandalf in fact, but J. K. Rowling still managed to make him stand out on his own.
Now if only she could stop trying to stand out herself with her crappy opinions. I went there.
Making your character based on your love of another character is something you can do as long as you make them somewhat unique. You can even take several characters and use them to inspire your own. Some examples of how you might redo and stitch together these characters can be:
- Combining the characteristics of a set of characters into fewer characters
- Taking a character and replacing traits that irritated you
- Using an underused minor character and fleshing them out into the main character
- Find a character archetype to deconstruct
- Figure out your favorite trait of a character you love and make a new one around that
- Throw the base of the character into a new world to see how it changes them
- Write the character the way you wished they had been
These are still just concepts right now and there are many ways to flesh them out. Some will choose to learn the character as they write them and others will fill out detailed character sheets with family trees and report cards during Preptober.
I do think that writing some basic points, like in a DnD sheet is a good simple way to keep things straight like appearance, important backstory points, and abilities without getting too bogged down into details. This allows you to improvise and adjust as you learn more while writing during NaNoWriMo. For those who are a bit more visual, Pinterest and mood boards can help with characters just like it does with the story in Part 2. In these mood boards, you can place outfit references, face claims, and images that fit the mood and nature of the character.
One way to learn more about the character if writing is the best way for you to do so is roleplay chats. I am not personally a fan of this method as it involves interacting with other people, but there are many sites that can be used for roleplay and matching roleplayers together. You can also just use Discord, but you might have to find other people to interact with yourself. I can not help you with that, but if you find someone who can introduce me to them.
Remember this is arguably the most important part of your story. If you manage to do nothing else this Preptober, get your characters organized so you do not lose time trying to figure them out when you need to be writing their story.