|Characters. Oh, how we love 'em.|
Now I've finished blogging out my name, I shall lay off the challenges for a while and continue with our regularly scheduled program. Not that I've done tons of challenges in my short blogging career, mind, though I do find it difficult to dedicate a blog post everyday. At least for now. And so, Tuesdays and Thursdays it is from here on out, unless of course the fancy strikes me on an off-day. Kind of like veering off the beaten path or choosing Raisinets instead of Junior Mints...
All right. Maybe not that extreme.
Yesterday, while browsing through several of my favorite blogs, I stumbled upon award winning author Elizabeth Mueller's latest post: a character interview with her hero, Alex Stormhold. I must say, it really struck me. I mean, what a great way to get to know your own character! Not to mention introduce him or her to the public. Elizabeth's reasons for the interview were many, the main being that her current WIP is in first person/heroine's PoV. So, the reader doesn't ever experience Alex's PoV, save for facial expressions, actions, and dialogue tone--all of which happens through Winter's eyes.
|Photo courtesy of deviantart|
Now, if you're a plotter, you probably already do something like this. Outlines, charts, maps, and knowing your character down to the day of their birth and every little hair on their head is simply part of your repertoire.
However, if you're a pantser, I'd highly recommend it--before you start your manuscript. What! Sacrilege! Go ahead and say it: "Yeah, right, Alyssia. If I write by the seat of my pants, I actually get to know my characters as I go along. How the heck am I supposed to do an accurate character chart?" Here's the thing: The chart may not be accurate. Not now. But by the end of the novel, it will be. Because you can change it throughout the writing process. That's right! I said it! You can change your own outlines and character charts and potential-plot pages, etc. etc.! Who'd'a thunk it??
|photo courtesy of bristol-street-art.co.uk|
One of the best character charts I've come across was recommended to me by romance author Shelia Goss, and can be found here. It's fully downloadable, completely free, and you can fill in as much as you want. Don't feel obligated to complete the entire thing, although I can attest from experience: If you make yourself do it--and I'm gonna warn ya, it may take hours--you'll be surprised by the renewed bout of confidence whenever you show up at the page. It makes you stay in character... 'nuff said.
Obviously these are the recommendations of a pantser converting to plotter. However, I cannot lie--I'll likely never be a true member of the latter species. Why? I enjoy the thrill too much. The excitement of not fully knowing what's next. I do, however, want to make certain I know my characters. That I know what they will and will not do, the lengths to which they will and shall go, the very manner in which they handle any given situation. It's all there, in my head, on my character chart. Trust me, your reader will thank you.
Now, for the preview portion of this post (and it's a short one): Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be interviewing my characters, giving you, gentle reader, a front row seat into their thoughts, actions, and emotions, as well as their respective backgrounds. We'll likely begin with a secondary... or, heck! We may even do two at a time, like some of the movie/actor/actress interviews in EW. Shove heroine Hallelujah Farrington in an interview room with Adris or Henry or whomever and just go with it, see what happens. That would be pretty cool, right? Discover how they react to each other's answers and so forth? I think so.
Have a wonderful rest-of-the-week and weekend, everyone! Until next Tuesday!
Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,