Stephanie Plum. Jack Reacher. Voldemort. Mr. Darcy. Anita Blake. Striking characters, one and all. But how do the authors do it?
I’m a biographer. I want to know every nuance of my characters, but most importantly (as a psych major, and method actress for over 25 years) I must get into their heads, to know what makes them tick, what drives them. I ask as I create: What frightens them? Arouses them? What makes them angry, happy, sad? What are their darkest secrets and their worst nightmares? What are they proud of? Ashamed of? How do they perceive themselves, and how are they perceived by others? Do these perceptions match?
Naturally physical details matter greatly, but character is key. Your hero is scarred – but how does he FEEL about that scarring? Your heroine is brilliant but how does her IQ meld with her total person?
Much of what the author knows about his/her characters will never make it into the story spelled out in description. Instead, this knowledge and understanding on your part invests your characters with depth, complexity and humanity. It allows you to write believable actions and reactions that compliment those characters’ established personalities.
Watch for my coming blogs on characters: Crafting Your Hero, Creating Your Heroine, Drawing Your Villain and Writing Secondary Characters.
Until then, how do YOU create and develop characters?♥
Lise Horton loves to create characters from psychic kick-ass demon hunters, to WWII heroines, to erotic school teachers. She hopes fervently that readers will soon have an opportunity to get to know her literary "crew"! Share her journey and visit her at http://lisehorton.com/