C is for Characters

developing-characters

Now this is one of my all time favorite parts of writing. Creating the characters. Every writer has a different method of creating characters. Some look at pictures and build from there, others start with character traits and then work outwards to their characters appearance. For me, it’s different with every character I create.

When I first met Aletta Sheridan, she was pouting. This intrigued me. For me, I want my characters to be real enough that I could meet them on the street. So when I sat down to write, all I had was the title name “In Search of Justice” and a general plot. When I sat down to start writing, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, then centered myself and looked for the main character of my novel. Instantly, I saw an agent sitting at a desk pouting with a slowly dying houseplant on the corner of the desk, benched because she refuses to accept a partner. Names mean a lot to me, I like to tuck hidden meanings into them, so imagine my surprise when she stubbornly insisted that her name was Aletta. I was able to convince her to use the last name Sheridan, which means seeker, but she was Aletta and that was that.

Every time a character appears to me, they are already fully formed physically and each one is distinct. Aletta is about 5’7”, has light colored skin, extremely curly blue-black hair that reaches mid-back, and amber colored eyes. She is typically dressed in practical clothes because she never knows what she’ll find during her time on-duty, but has a love for brightly dyed clothing. She hates high heels, but has a pair of high heeled boots that she absolutely adores.

They also have unique personalities and I never know what will appear as I get to know them better. I knew right away that Aletta was training to be an opera singer, but I didn’t know why she had left (more of that in book two of the series, coming soon). I know that she’s open hearted, which she gets from her mother, but that she has a temper as well. However, she finds fulfillment in her job as an agent for HSI, something that she hadn’t anticipated. She also has a chocolate addiction but loathes white chocolate. She loves her independence but can be a team player as well. She is at times a walking contradiction.

Lirim on the other hand, was a little more planned out. The supernatural to Aletta’s human, his name means freedom, while his last name Bosk means a small copse of trees. It is meant to allude to his connection to nature. He is fae but refused to be something as overused as an Elf, instead he is a Wild One, also known as a Sprite. When he and Aletta first met, I saw him as quite and reserved, never knowing that he has quite the mischievous streak and warmth to him.

Physically, Lirim is 6’2” and slender, but that slenderness is deceptive because he is very strong. He had deep green eyes, shoulder length straight black hair, tanned skin, and slightly pointed ears.

He is quiet but surprisingly frank about his past and the scars that he bears. He was trained to be a guard for the Glade (more about that to come in book 3) and he fought in the Outlander War. The Outlander War was a brutal conflict and it left him with scars, emotional, mental, and physical. He is the one that recognizes Aletta’s gift for what it is and he has a protective streak a mile wide. He is a terrible fry snob and his humor can occur at the oddest moments, but he has a gentle side as well.

The more time I spend writing these characters, the more facets of their personality I discover, much like the more time you spend with people, the more you find out about them. So how do you create your characters? Or what draws you to a character when you read? Let me know your thoughts on the matter 😊

6 thoughts on “C is for Characters

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  1. That’s great, I like how detailed they are. For me, we meet in the story and as the story develops, as we spend more time together like you said, the more I get to know about them.

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  2. Good advice. I always struggle with the physical descriptions of characters, it just reads as dull whenever I try to describe what someone looks like, so I tend to stick to emotions and thoughts when describing them and then drip in little physical things through the story if they are important. Do we need physical descriptions, or should we let the reader imagine what they look like?
    https://iainkellywriting.com/2018/04/03/c-is-for-cork-republic-of-ireland/

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    1. Most readers already have a mental image of what the characters look like, so I usually don’t fully describe them. However, I also like to have a clear picture of what they look like for myself, so I usually have a sticky note for each character with the main points jotted down.

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  3. Many of my characters are animals and for some reason they are easier to create. Human characters can get a bit pushy and want their own way.
    Drawing my character also has aided me in getting to know who they are. Again animals always seem easier to get to know.
    I had never really thought about it but I appreciate your prompting as it will help in our next project.
    Thanks for your visit – gr8 to meet you!!

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    1. Animals tend to have simpler emotions, as humans tend to overcomplicate things, lol. It’s really neat that you can draw, I have no artistic talent whatsoever 🙂 Great to meet you as well 🙂

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