Writing ideas come from the strangest places. I have heard writers tell me they had a dream or even a person just popped into their head out of nowhere, and they were inspired to write their story. One thing I know for certain, writers are a strange bunch. We can weave the most extravagant tales from nothing. And yes we hear voices. LOL Ok most would say that’s a mental disorder but it’s not for a writer. That’s how we get in touch with our characters and take them from an idea to the characters you know and love dearly. So let’s take a ride through the mind of a writer, Watch out this might be a little scary. HeeHee.
Let’s start with character. The characters in a book are the backbone, they are what holds the story together. Finding your characters is the first thing you must do before you start writing. Where do you find them? Characters can come from anywhere. Mine usually start in my head. I think about what I plan to write, not the whole story just a general idea. That helps me to think about my characters, what they will face and what kind of characters I need. Do they need to be strong, helpless, sweet, evil? Ok now you know the type of personality you need. Once I do this it helps me picture them in my mind. If you are writing about the girl next door, I can almost bet she won’t be a tall red head with a voluptuous figure. She will look like the average person. So for me personality plays a big part in who my characters are and what they look like.
My alpha male in A Vamp To Remember is tall, dark and handsome. Sounds typical right? Well this is where you make them just a little different. Zan is over six feet tall, has long black hair with metallic silver streaks and his eyes are dark almost black with silver encircling them. This is what I mean when I say make them just a little different. You don’t have to take drastic measures just give them something that makes them stand out in a crowd. His eyes alone would do that for me as a reader. I write paranormal and the characters in this genre can get pretty bizarre at times, so remember to give them something that connects them to the reader. They have to be believable. It can be as simple as the big bad monster that falls in love and shows a tender side to the woman that has tamed the savage beast.
Now you have a general idea. Let’s take it a little further. I like to look for pictures of my characters and hang them in front of me while I write. It really makes my characters come to life. It’s amazing you look at pictures and think nope not him. Then all of a sudden you find the one you have been looking for. That’s when you realize you knew what he looked like all along. This really helps me connect with my characters on a deeper level. I know you are thinking a picture come on, but you would be shocked how inspiring a picture can be. I find myself staring at them and wonder what next? Sometimes they answer and sometimes they just stare back. LOL
We talked a little about their personality. Let’s talk about really getting to know your characters. How do you do that? The best place to start is a character chart. It will ask your characters questions you never thought to ask. What are their likes and dislikes? Goals and hopes? Fears? Motivation? These are just a few, there are too many to list. I will give you a link to a good character chart at the end of the blog. You won’t need to use all the questions asked on a character chart but they are handy to have around. They are helpful when you need a personality trait or description. It’s also helpful if you are in the middle of a chapter and you forget his eye color. LOL Yes it happens to the best of us.
Most writers form a bond with their characters. I know it sounds weird but this is the case with me. I grow very close to my characters. I have had writers even tell me they felt a loss when a story came to an end. They become real in a writers mind. But I think you have to form this bond in order for the characters to come across as real to the reader. If you force characters you don’t believe in they will come across as forced. Then the story just falls flat. You need to feel the characters are close friends in order for them to intrigue the reader and tug at their emotions. If the reader loves your characters the odds are they will love the story as well.
Characters can be found everywhere. All you have to do is open your eyes and look around. They are the people you see in the grocery store, the mall, at work or passing you on the street. Inspiration comes when we open our eyes to the real world and watch others at a distance. Watch the way people act, move and talk. It really is amazing what we miss as we go about our daily lives. Open your eyes to inspiration it’s all around you.
I would love to hear where you find inspiration for your characters.
Happy Reading and Writing
In my head I hear voices screaming to be heard. So I write their stories. My characters speak to me and lead me through their joys and sorrows.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Labels: author, author blog, authors thoughts, believe in your dreams, blog, contemporary romance, erotic romance, heroes, heroines, love, Paranormal Romance, Paranromal, romance, Tabitha Blake, writing, writing from the heart, writing paranormal, writing romance, writing rules