Next up on the Summer Blog Hop is Linda’s Book Bag — this is a great site with an eclectic selection of reads. It was a pleasure to guest post on creating characters and there was also a confession thrown in!
Here’s a link:
And here’s the guest post:
A Guest Post by Faith Hogan
I have a confession to make…
I have murdered more characters than I’ve published. The truth is that although you hear writers talking about their characters as though they are members of their close family, characters are there to serve a purpose. They are there to move your novel forward, to entertain your reader and ultimately draw us in so tightly that we can’t not go on their journey.
Agents and editors are entirely heartless when it comes to characters. We’ve all been there. I’ve been one of those people who wrote half a draft from the perspective of a character with no purpose in the story. Bang Bang, as they say – one shot!!
It is not all bad news, however! Unlike in real life, characters cut, can be raised from the dead. Who knows? There may be room in your next story for that character you became so fond of.
I have to admit, that as I’m creating characters I’m often surprised. If they are good enough, they will lead the way of the story. In My Husband’s Wives, Annalise was probably my favourite character to write – not because she is any nicer than the other women, but rather because she spoke the most clearly. Her voice, doubtless picked up over the years from overheard conversations and people I only half-knew, had a distinct tone and accent. She saw exactly where she was going from the start of the novel to the finish and that makes writing her so much easier.
I know there are writers who work up entire c.v.’s for their characters, and before I begin a story, I’ll have a good idea of where people are coming from. Stories are a lot like life, though. We are shaped as much by the people surrounding us, as we are by the hand of cards we receive at birth. So too, it is with characters. Most stories and characters develop as you write them. Who they are, how they react and what they want is very often formed by how they hit off other characters. This flexibility is crucial to having robust and original people in your story.
Most of my planning is done sitting on a comfortable armchair. Generally, I try to remain distraction free so, it’s au revoir WiFi! Unfortunately, I have somewhat of a bent towards charts and graphs and list making. I know only too well now that if I engage in any of these in the initial thinking stage it’s just another form of procrastination. The truth is, I could spend the whole day happily making up graphs and charts – unfortunately, that does not get the actual word count moving upwards.
The best advice for creating characters – listen to your gut!
Is there anything else?
Oh, yes get a very comfortable chair, turn off your broadband and start writing – the beauty of it is you never know where you might end up!