Anyone else out there spending the holidays thinking about their characters in a novel instead of real people? A hazard of being a writer, I’m afraid.
Introducing new characters, especially if you are writing a series can be a challenge.
Do you ask yourself:
- What did the character do before the start of the novel?
- How did they enter the protagonists life?
- What motivates them?
I find even if I ask these questions it’s not enough for build a well-rounded character.
I use Scrivener to write, and I add a section for scenes that happen before the novel starts. When introducing a new character I ask myself, what was the character doing one month before the novel started, 6 months before and sometimes well back into their youth. Then I write a scene from this time frame. Something dramatic that happened in their lives that changed them usually works. This helps to fill out the character and know them before the story has even started.
You don’t have to do this before you begin writing, sometimes I do this after the first draft. Once I discovered a character fit the criteria of a sociopath. After writing the first draft, then writing scenes that happened prior to the opening, the sociopath opened up some interesting story lines. These, of course, found their way into the second draft.
For me, it’s not enough to ask questions about my characters, I need to write about them to understand them.
What about you?
Thanks for reading . . .