Tuesday, February 15, 2011

For the love of my characters....

Going to bed last night I was bombarded with images of my various characters. Which, of course, got me thinking about the whole character building aspect of writing.

I've heard of writers basing their stories around characters, while others base them on the plot. Others will base their stories on a specific 'what-if', while others will base them on a very specific scene. I tend to combine it all.

I usually know approximately what I want to happen, whether in the middle, beginning or end. Then, I close my eyes and picture the scene, and whoever plays it out becomes my characters. Sometimes, they 'tell' me their names, while other times I have to conjure up a name, even if temporarily, to fit the need at the time.

In Repeated Life I couldn't come up with suitable names, so I just inserted generic names for the time being. By the end of the story, though, I knew exactly what their names would be. Well, great, but what about the characters themselves...not just their names? Good question.

When I'm writing a book, just like with the scenery, I close my eyes and see who pops in there. With Repeated Life, the heroine is a petite, but not short, dark haired woman, with brown eyes and lots of flaws. She's insecure, neurotic (in a good way), indecisive, emotional, and can't seem to make up her mind. The male, well, let's just say Kevin Durand. When I picture the hero in Repeated Life I picture a tall, muscular, masculine, grey eyed man. Kevin Duran continuously pops in my head when reading the scenes. In my newest book, yet to be named, a tiny, thin woman with long curly hair and blue eyes popped in my head. She's flawed, yet gifted beyond belief. Hey, how many people can feel and see people's energies and auras?! The hero, Jason, is a six foot tall Choctaw Indian man who has a secret...he's a Skinwalker.

So, there's my little blurb on my characters. How do you build yours? Do you have a pattern or a formula? Or do you, like myself, let them tell you about themselves?