Thursday, August 30, 2012

Writing my characters

So, you have a great story in mind but struggle to come up with characters. Most writers I speak to have this problem, but fortunately for me dreaming up characters come very easily to me.
When I started writing the New Bloods, I kept adding to my list of characters as I wrote. I didn’t come up with every character in one go. As the story progressed, almost intuitively I would write and get a feel for the kind of character I would need to play a certain part. It was never a difficult job. I would ‘see’ what they would look like and know their traits and history as if I knew them all my life. And, maybe I had known these ‘characters’ all my life. One thing I would recommend writers do is to people watch, no seriously here. Look at people in passing and imagine what kind of people they are/what kind of job would they do/ do they even have a sordid past? Keep a notebook on you when you are out as inspiration can come from anywhere.
Developing your characters is another factor. Don’t give up on them. Personality will develop the more you write. My character Stride, a Scottish Vampire watcher came into my story half way through writing the book, so you can imagine how many drafts I had to do just to add him. But, the key thing is, to keep writing, they may be flat and uninteresting at first, but like when I was writing Stride, the more past I gave him, such as his father dying and leaving him the prophecy, the more interesting he became. I made him into a cocky, loveable rouge that enjoyed a drink or two, or maybe three…but for me he became the glue that held the rest of my characters together. Almost like a father-type figure. So you can see I am glad I kept writing about him and kept him in the story.
Of course, sometimes you cannot help but inject some of your own personality into your charcters, it’s only natural. Don’t be afraid to do that, or even reflect on people you have known in your life. Life experience is an excellent resource for writers.
 I hope you enjoyed and I hope this may help you in some way.

Happy Writing

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