Friday, December 3, 2010
Your characters, I mean.
Before you even think about beginning to write, you need to know the hero and heroine of your WIP. You need to know them inside and out, past and present. For me, I need to know everything about them from their names to their favorite color. The more you know about your characters; the easier it'll be to write their story.
How do I get to know my characters?
Every writer is different. I have a few different charts and a list of questions I ask my characters to answer. I usually have to do the in-depth stuff after I start writing, however. In the middle, when the plot starts to bog down, getting out the old list of questions works wonders for me. It's amazing what you find out when you allow your characters to speak for themselves. Knowing your characters this intimately adds another layer to your plot.
Another good reason to write stuff down is to keep track of your character's description and background. You wouldn't want the heroine to have green eyes in the beginning of the book and gray at the end, or have the hero be thirty at the beginning and forty at the end, unless ten years have gone by. You wouldn't want a secondary character to be blind than suddenly wear glasses. Keeping track of people is especially important when writing a series of books with continuing characters.
You may not remember Rose was a blonde in book one but turned into a red-head in book three. But you can bet some reader will catch it.
You need to know your characters as well as you know yourself.