Monday, June 16, 2008

The People in my Head

Creating characters can be a tricky business. I usually start with a character chart that lists physical and emotional traits. I’ve used long ones and short ones and I’ve found that the answer lies somewhere in between. You can put down too much information for your characters in my opinion.

I usually start with looks, it’s the easiest to figure out. Hair color usually comes first for me. I have a mental picture in my mind of the character I’m working on and I fill in the information as I see it. Once in a while my mental picture is wrong, and the character lets me know about it, but I’m usually pretty close where looks come in.

After I get the looks down, then the trickiest part comes into play…personality. I try my best to figure out as much as I can at first, but I have been known to leave some of it blank and work on the story. After I’ve written a bit, their personalities really come to life and I learn a little more about them as I go. Then once I’ve come to a better understanding of their personality, I go back and fill in the rest.

I think it’s important to know your characters traits because this helps prevent you from having flat characters. The more you know about them, the more three dimensional they are in the story. That’s what really makes a story come to life for me. Interesting characters.

This is how I create my characters. I’d love to hear what everyone else does. Leave a comment and let me know what your tricks are.

3 deadly screams:

Molly Daniels said...

Hahaha...I once wrote an entire story and discovered I had never described the hero except for hair color, and he didn't even get a last name until way later! Hopefully I'm getting better at it:)

Gracen Miller said...

For me, I usually start with the personality and then work into the looks. Like you, I learn things about my characters as I write their storyline.

By the way...what the heck is a character chart? LOL! That's got to be like an outline or something, right? One of them things that I ward off by making the cross with my fingers. ;-)

Great blog, I enjoyed reading it and comparing our similarities and dissimilarities.

Sierra Wolfe said...

Thanks for the comments.

Yes, Gracen, it's a chart where I list the characteristics about each character. That way I can easily look it up later when I need to. I'd hate to have my hero with green eyes in Chapter 1 and blue eyes in Chapter 10. This helps me keep track of what I've written. Because I am soooo forgetful, LOL.