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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Creating New Characters in a Character Driven World by Sayde Grace

Hello everyone! First let me give a huge thank you to FFnP for allowing me the honor and pleasure to be here guest blogging today. When I first decided to write a book I knew two things: one I wanted it to be about werewolves and two I had no clue where to start.

Thankfully a friend suggested I try FFnP where I immediately joined and hit the crit group up for help. A few years later I had written two paranormal books and secured a lifelong friendship and critiqueship with the amazing Rebecca Zanetti.

As I’ve grown as a writer and a reader I’ve learned something else, it’s damn hard to create characters in a world where we see and read about so many unique and fascinating characters. It’s challenging to create new worlds, spins, and points of views on ideas.

 For me the creation of my characters take more time than creating my world or species within my paranormal books. Usually this is because I start with what I want my characters to be like, what drives them and once I know that I figure out why this drives them. Most of the time the why is what determines what they are.

One thing I have found useful in creating new memorable characters that will stand out in a sea of fantastic characters is to give them real world humor, events, and problems along with the apocalyptic disaster surrounding their species or world.

For example, I live in southern Alabama in a very rural area. Once in awhile I will drive into Mobile, Al to go shopping. About a week ago I needed to go get some new shoes and headed to town. I drive a gas hogging Tahoe so I had to stop to get gas in down town. Well, as I stuck the nozzle into the gas tank a man walked around the corner of my truck and asked me for my phone number.  I resisted the urge to give him the death stare and instead explained I wasn’t interested and thanked him anyway before he tried to sell me a Lakers shirt for $10 that would make me look super smokin hot according to him.  As he peddled off on his womans bicycle still holding onto the Lakers shirt, I wondered about what kind of character he’d make in a book.

I instantly saw him as the lust driven but never laid side kick to my newest hero. You know, super annoying because everything he does is about sex that he never has, yet in the end he’s funny and useful. Or maybe he’ll be an undercover cop or PI following my heroine for an evil wolf looking for a new mate. You just never know, but can you see how the real life situation opened up so many character traits and even plots? While it’s always great to create something new and special and completely different from everyday life you still want to have a character us poor humans can relate too.  Those are the types of characters I remember.

So go forth, watch the people around you, ease drop on conversations while waiting at the doctor’s office or in the line somewhere, you never know when a real life situation or person will strike a memorable character for you.

Thanks everyone,
Sayde Grace

1 comment:

Alexis Morgan said...

Great topic--I think most writers are people watchers. One image that stays in my head when I'm writing a warrior hero came to me when I was sitting in an airport between flights. Two soldiers walked by--one about 6'4", the other closer to 5'9". As different as they were physically, they both moved with such amazing attitude--the kind that said no matter what the situation, they could handle it. A little bit of those two guys goes into every hero I write. :-D