The moment comes when a character does or says something you hadn't thought about. At that moment he's alive and you leave it to him - Graham Greene
So a while back when I was struggling with Characters and making them real I googled what to do- of course I found a plethora of information out there in the world wide web and I am pretty sure I blogged my findings. What did I do- In short I:
- Interviewed each character so much so that I even knew what meal they would order in a restaurant
- Found a celebrity to play each character – who knows The Bittersweet may one day be filmed- but that wasn’t my main reason it was so that I could help visualise my characters- Of course I did this late in the day so I already had to find people that looked like my creations
- Gave my characters tags – Penelope fiddles with her hair, Sunil has a silver ring on his right hand he cant leave alone
- I made sure I didn’t overkill the description of characters features and what they were wearing just one or two features were enough – and described in the subtlsit ways- of course get your readers to do some of the work- if they create the character they will remember he or she.
I also realised that characters have to have –what I now call 50 shades- no not erotica – but no one person is 100% good or bad and this fact was brought home even further when I read K M Weiland’s ‘creating unforgettable characters’ go on to her blog and subscribe to her emails and you get a free copy of her book about creating unforgettable characters - which is excellent –http://wordplay-kmweiland.blogspot.co.uk/ – She of course covers the above in greater detail but also provided my new word for the day Dichotomies- she says and correctly so that we love characters that are not only fighting with their own circumstance but with their own natures as well.
Its at times like this that I wish I did some more reading on writing technique before I started writing- GT for instance- but really if I had and I hadn’t already written a book would I know what this was all about?! I keep telling myself I wouldn’t.
Weiland goes on to talk about your characters attitude, characters people care about (why would you want to read about someone you don’t care about), professions for your characters – be daring don’t make them all doctors and receptionists- give them random jobs- search the yellow pages she suggests! I like it- the same with names –the names have to reflect the character- and yes this is stereotyping but its true – names reflect background and can really change the dynamic of a character. Think of your own pen-name – why did you choose it- or if you stick to your own name why? What was it about your name that made you keep it- I can bet its because it says something about you- Take de Luna for instance- totally an author name and its my name- I think it sounds dynamic- maybe you don’t… but apply it to your characters.
Also the characters have to come alive in your mind- hear voices in your head? You’re not going mad you’re an author! I saw the movie Miss Potter before I started writing and if you’ve ever seen it has Jemima Puddle duck and Peter rabbit as drawn characters running around in Miss Potters room – in her mind, everywhere- First I thought (and remember I wasn’t writing at this stage) – this woman was mad and that is what the director is trying to show. Then when I started writing I got it! Slow I know but…
Anyway the moral of the story is write, write, write and read KM Weilands free e-book and blog for more tips… and of course this blog. Also just to let you know Goa Traffic has sold a record breaking (for me at least) 112 copies in the month of July… Big thank you if you bought a copy…Closer to my target now… maybe I’ll hit it by the end of the year!!!