Thursday, July 9, 2009

Creating my characters

I'm so excited as I start my new WIP. Now I know that there will come a time when I will be knee deep in revisions and worn out from said revisions. Not now. Now my characters are creating themselves. I started out with a picture in my head of how I see a certain character. The next thing I knew, the characters were changing my idea of how they should act and react. It's so much fun to have these new people entering my head.

The set of qualities that I had originally given to my MC, Michael have blossomed. Yesterday I said to Michael, "I didn't know that about you." Yes my family thinks I'm WACKO for talking to my characters, but I'm surprised at certain things about Michael. His thoughts and feelings aren't what I envisioned them to be. I started out with a bad guy type MC and now I have this scholarly good guy, who for reasons that become clear as the book goes on, becomes a bit bad due to circumstances in his life.

In my last story, the characters were who I thought they were the entire time I wrote the book. This is quite different for me. But very exciting as I open up yet another new street on this highway called writing that we're all on together.

Have your characters changed significantly as you were beginning a new book? I know they grow and change throughout, but I've never had this happen at the beginning. I'm glad Michael changed. I like him better now. :)


  1. My characters are dynamic, that is, ever changing. In Margarita Nights, I had the MC all figured out. I knew where he was at in his life when I began the project, and where I wanted him to go. The only problem - he totally did the opposite what I planned for him to do. Geesh, a little cooperation on his part would have been helpful. Still, he did end up in a good place, and the place I probably (subconsciously) wanted him to be.

    I've often had secondary characters take on a life of their own (this happened in Margarita Nights) and suddenly get promoted to main character status.

    I think our characters are like the people we choose to be friends with - there's something we like about them when we first meet (or create in the case of our characters) them, but then we find the exciting stuff out later on as we get to know them better. It's an evolution thingy!


  2. Isn't it fun working w/ a new WIP? It's like the exciting phase of a new relationship. Remember the giddy feeling, hoping he'd call? Ah...good times...

  3. Sounds wonderful! Keep us posted. (no pun intended)

  4. My favorite part of writing is figuring out the characters! Mine usually change here and there along the way. I'm flexible. :D Sounds like you're off to a great start!

  5. I'm more of a plot girl than a character girl, so my characters are constantly evolving. I've very very very rarely had a character who stayed the same from start to finish.

  6. Actually, my characters reveal themselves as I go along rather than actually changing. I rarely have a full idea of who they are when I start out, but I get to know them better as I work through the story. Weird maybe, but that's the only way it works for me.

  7. I'm the same as Eric. My characters are usually quite flat to start but as i delve further into the world i create, they grow and change shape, sometimes in ways i never expect. Gotta love that about writing! :)

  8. I look at the shifts in my characters like what I feel like when I meet a new person. Sometimes the first impression isn't really what they are like. As you learn more about them you see that sometimes that nice guy is really a jerk and the jerk was just showing bravado and is actually a nice person. But, since you know your characters so much more deeply than you know "real" people there is so much more room to delve more into and find out more about.

    But that's how mine are :)

  9. I've had it happen throughout, especially with this new rewrite I'm doing. HUGE changes! It's fascinating. :)

  10. I've had characters really develop depth during writing. I just recently did an interview of three main characters, asking each to tell me about their childhood. Boy, was that an eye-opener. It really made them more three-dimensional and gave me more to work with. It's not that you have to put all that into the story, but knowing it, changes how they speak and act.

  11. I love writing characters and the cool thing is that they can always surprise me. I've had these two characters that have been present since book one in this series. Now it's book three and they are finally main characters and I am getting to learn so much about them. It's great!

  12. Scott- I've got a character wanting a promotion to MC status too. I'm thinking about giving it to him. He's wonderful! :)

    Tess- I'm having that giddIness now! It feels so great. :)

    Amy- You know I will! Can I keep my mouth shut? Naw! :)

    BJ- Yeah, Michael and I are plotting as we go. I know about how it's going to go, but then I change some things throughout. I tried plotting this one and it just didn't work for me. :)

    Beth-Yeah but he changed as I started.:)

    Eric-That's the way it's supposed to work, I thought. But this guy wasn't who I had in mind at all. :)

    Lou-I do love that about writing. I also love the fact that I have voices unning around in my head. :)

    Lauren-I know. And you do know these people more than real people, plus, you can sometimes push them to be someone they're not. Not like real life. :)

    Glam- isn't it so COOL? I love it. :)

    Tricia-I want to do that with these characters of mine. Sounds great.;) I'll let you know how it goes.

    Cindy-Isn't writing the most fantastic job on the planet? Now if I could just get paid for it...Hmm! :)

  13. My characters are starting to solidify in my head. They do seem to evolve, and many times take a 100 pages or so to do this.
    Good luck with all!

  14. PJ- I agree it can take a while most of the time. This happened fast. I'm glad, because it's better this way. :)

  15. Oh, there are absolutely constant changes within my characters. My WiP--I got 12.5k in and decided to rewrite, and I'm thankful that I did. I realized that one of my MCs, Anna, needed to be told in first person POV so that her voice was clearest. Within that one change, I've discovered much about her.

    It's a wonderful, wonderful process, one that so often draws me to write.

  16. Very interesting post. Looking forward to reading some of your previous work.


  17. Weronika-Sounds like you made the right decision. And just in time. Twelve thousand plus words! I'm glad you realized what you needed to do, before you were any further into it. Thanks for the visit.:)

    Val-thanks glad to have you. :)


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