10 October 2011

Creating Characters

Creating the characters for my next story (the stage I'm currently at) is one of my favourite parts of the whole writing process.

I've realised that main reason I had such trouble with books 2 & 3 was that I was so eager to get writing, I didn't have a good grip on who my hero and heroine really were. I had no idea what motivated them or why they behaved the way they did and consequently fell into the schoolgirl error of trying to shoehorn them into the plot. With such dire intial results that both books had to be rethought and rewritten.

Now I hope I know a bit better. Which is why I spend days nailing down every tiny detail of their personalities, lives and backgrounds before launching in with the help of the character questionnaire in Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance and this: The Enneagram Made Easy. Both make me add facets to my characters that I'd never think of and help keep their behaviour consistent.

Following the personality types set out by the enneagram, my new heroine is an 8 (Asserter - direct, independent, upholder of just causes) and my hero a 5 (Observer - analytical, self-contained, calm in a crisis). As I can already see the sparks flying I can't wait to get started on their story!

How do you build your characters?


Joanne Dannon said...

I've also found if I spend lots of time at the beginning developing my characters, I can write more easily.

I found "The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes and Heroines" works well for me.

Lacey Devlin said...

I find that the WIPs I have detail character sheets for flow better than the others. I also love using enneagrams for characterization. I haven't come across The Enneagram Made Easy though. I'm off to look it up!

Lucy King said...

And I'm off to check out The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes & Heroines!

Rachael Johns said...

Always easier when prepared - I'm wondering if I'll EVER learn though :(

Tomorrow on my blog Fiona Lowe is talking about one of her favourite character books!

Lucy King said...

Brilliant. Will make sure to pop over and see what she has to say!

Suzanne Ross Jones said...

I'm also off to check The Enneagram Made Easy - and The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes and Heroines.