Today is a big day. Not only am I guest posting on the Operation Awesome Blog, I’m also sharing my answer to this round of the blog chain! So, check out my OA post, then pop back here for all the posting goodness! (Or, of course, you could read this post first, then head over to OA…you know, whatever your preference is. *winks*)
Abby starts the blog chain this round with this fantastic question:
Where do your characters come from? And once they’ve been introduced to you, how do you get to know them?
I think it’s quite common for writers to refer to their characters as taking up space in their heads, as if a writer’s mind is glommed up with different people from different walks of life. This may be the case (no, we’re not all suffering from dissociative identity disorder AKA multiple personality disorder), but for me, I consider my characters to be quite separate from myself.
When I’m developing an idea, I mold the character(s) that fit the world-in-progress. In those days, weeks, and months, my characters are more like those blank mannequins waiting in the storeroom until they get their heyday in the spotlight. I add body shape, eye color, hair color, fashion style (or lack thereof), and personality until I find the right “outfit” that works. Sure, sometimes I have to do costume changes and such, but once my characters debut on the plot runway, they are their own person(s).
I’m along for the ride, a silent, but directing, friend.
When their story is done, we part ways. I go on with my life and they go on with theirs. I think fondly of them from time to time. I wonder how they are and what they’re up to now.
The nice thing is that we get to reconnect during the revision process. What’s even more interesting is we get to catch up with each other. What fun that is!
The most surprising thing is how much we (meaning my characters and me) have grown.