Where do all those characters come from for my story? They are all the people that are chatting away in my head…the joys of having a vivid imagination. My first task is to determine the personality of the person within the story. How will they behave, what is their goal, are they the protagonist or antagonist? Sara, who I love in my Sara Series, is the main character and also the protagonist. There is an antagonist in each book too. In my Sara Series, this is the person (per story) that is fighting against Sara…shame on them. There are dynamic characters, (another description of Sara) or the opposite, static. Another character could be a round character, or the opposite, which is flat. All that said, I don’t worry as much about what my characters are as much as who they are…the story will develop them as it goes along.
Each character has a role, whether it is for a moment within a chapter, or hours within the time frame of the story. What matters is that each character is important to me, and how they build up the story in my mind.
Next part of developing my characters is what do they look like in my mind. It depends on who they are to me. Sara is a combination of my two granddaughters, Savannah, and Jo, along with the personality of my daughter, Kristin. How is that, you ask? Let me explain. The dark hair, blue eyes, and serious side are Savannah, where the curls and tenderness come from Jo. The spicy portion of her personality comes from my daughter. How can I not love Sara, right? Some men might resemble someone good, such as Brandon, who is a spin-off of Jason, Kristin’s equal half. Then there is the antagonist who is likely someone I have bad memories or experiences with…I’ll just leave it at that.
When I see my characters, I see what they have chosen to wear for the day. Sometimes that description is added, other times it’s not as important to me. It depends on if it has to do with an event in the story. Sara’s daughter Liz is a typical child gaining her independence with her style. Maybe I should put more descriptions in, but it’s a personal choice for the writer.
Everyone’s writing style is different. Visibly picked out as you read a book. For instance, if I choose a Nicholas Sparks book to read, I know I’ll need Kleenex when the story is ending…and I’m okay with that. I mean, who doesn’t love a love story. The Notebook will always be my favorite.
But let’s not forget their names. I try to keep names as separate as possible. I’m not a fan of having too many names sound alike…such as Stan, Stewart, Susan, Sally…you get the point. The names don’t have a deep set meaning as the character themselves, but if I like a name, I’ll usually find a place for it. However, in my mind, they somehow match the person. I just can’t say how it happens, because it’s all in my head.
And that, my friends, is the long and the short of how I create my characters.
So, until the next blog….happy writing.