I’m writing a presentation right now for a library tour I’m doing next summer to help promote my books and the topic is Crafting Compelling Characters.
The reason I picked that topic is because I feel it’s foundational to any good writing. I don’t care how good your story is, if I don’t care about the characters you’ve lost me.
So, I decided to try sections of my presentation out on all of you. (Nasty, aren’t I?) So please give your feedback and any additional ideas you may have.
Topic one: The Birth of a Character
Part one: The Physical
I’m a visual person, for me I have to have a picture of my characters close at hand to refer to regularly. For Joel, one of my MCs for NEWSTEAD, I went to the internet and typed in attractive male models. I was a little worried about what would show up, but surprisingly there wasn’t even enough to make me blush. After I had one that fit the bill, I saved it under my favorites.
Now Rachel, the other MC, she came about a little differently. I already had a picture in mind when I created her. I was sitting in a local café and there was a huge poster on the wall of a beautiful girl who was being haggled by some obnoxious guys. I wrote down the name of the photograph and looked it up when I got home. It was An American Girl in Italy by Ruth Orkin, 1951. I studied that picture, what that girl must have felt like, her body language. Before I knew it, Rachel was born.
Thursday I’ll discuss more on the birth of a character, but I’ll get a little deeper than appearances.