How do characters come to you?
Sometimes it’s a name and a flourish of information comes with it. Like how they look, their distinct character, angry, brash, shy, quiet or even the connection to the story.
Sometimes, it’s a face, why they are sad, happy, confused or terrified.
Other times, I have to dig for a character. I can see the out line, for example if they are female or male but not much else, I just have a sense that they have to be included in the story and it’s not until I have written a good chunk of it does the character become clearer.
Or if you are like me, pinterest is an invaluable resource for art work and character ideas. There are some incredible pictures that stir up my imagination or help to hone my vision of a particular character.
However, I have found that thinking up characters can be quite addictive. I have half a notebook full of ideas of different people who exist only in my mind. How many of them will have a story of their own is hard to say at the moment. They each vie for my attention and some have already have an outline of a story that is attached to them, but that does not mean they are necessarily higher up in the pecking order.
What I would really like to find out is how other writers come up with their characters, how they form in your mind and then come to life on the page. Do you have an instinct about them or are they fully crafted by you. Can you see their faces in your mind or are they just outlines waiting to be filled. Are they a reflection, of you and parts of your life, or are they separate from your life.
Writing is an interesting process, where for me, I cannot say categorically that my characters do not in some way reflect some aspect of my life or experience. But I am mindful that I try to write a spectrum of people, with varying degrees of otherness from own life. To step into someone else shoes and walk a mile or two.
What do you think is the most important thing when creating characters??
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to the pictures used. All came from pinterest!