Sorry for not posting last week. I was on vacation and didn’t get anything figured out to post ahead of time.
Here is another question from one of my readers.
Do you decide what each of your main characters are like ahead of time before you start writing your stories, or do you make that up as you’re writing?
|The men in these photos are actually relatives of mine who fought in WW1.|
That’s a good question. Most of the time I like to watch my characters shape themselves as I write. Their unique personalities come to focus as they walk, talk, laugh, complain or whatever it is they are doing as the pages of the story unfold under my fingers. I know many writers talk about “interviewing their characters” or “writing detailed descriptions about each one” or “getting to know them” before you start writing, but for me, that doesn’t work well. I enjoy learning about each character as they show up in the book. Sometimes I may wonder why a character does something, but when I keep writing, I usually find out.
In my first book, Home Fires of the Great Way, I created a family list with everyone’s name and age, just so I could keep track of them all, but I didn’t describe them. They grew under my pen.
Like I said, most of the time I don’t create my characters before I write about them, but I sort of did once. The three main characters for Triple Creek Ranch, Norman, Jenelle and Orlena, were half-way created before I started writing. I wrote two quick paragraphs about three people using names I’d never used before. And low and behold, they’ve stuck around for several books. 🙂 Their characters did change and become more dimensional as I wrote about them though.
If you have any questions you’d like to have answered on a future post, let me know.