Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How do you create your characters?

Do you start with an idea for a book and then create the characters after you have the plot down? Or do you start with a character(s) and a situation they might be in, then create the story?

I think I have worked both ways, but to be sure, I'm going to take a minute and reflect on my W(s)IP.....Wow, I surprised myself. Most of my book ideas started with a situation. But, immediately after I figure out the situation, I start thinking about the main character.

Sometimes creating characters can be challenging for me and other times they just come to me. As if saying "Hey I have a story to tell and your gonna listen to it."

There are so many different aspects that go into creating a character. Beside the usual hair, eye and skin color, there is their personality types.

What type of heroin/hero is leading your story?

Does she try to please everyone? Is she a homebody? Is she adventurous? Is family important to her?

Does the hero like being outdoors? Does he want to be the boss someday? Is he a romantic?

All of these things matter and a good match with the hero/heroin has to be made as well to keep the plot moving in the right direction.

Opposites attract and make for a very interesting story. Conflict, conflict, conflict. There isn't a story without conflict and lots of it! The more the better.

Things cannot be going smoothly for our characters all of the time. That would get boring to the reader. Readers want to be shaken up, scared, excited, saddened and whatever else you can throw at them. That's what makes them keep turning the pages at 3 a.m. when they have to get the kids up for school and ready for work at 6 a.m. I LOVE those stories!

So, how do you create your characters? Do they scream at you to tell their story or does your story scream at you first?

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