Blog Chain–Characters, Characters Everywhere and Not A Place to Think

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.

It’s true.

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.

Check out Sarah’s post from yesterday in case you missed it. Michelle M. posts tomorrow!


16 comments on “Blog Chain–Characters, Characters Everywhere and Not A Place to Think

  1. Love the way you come up with characters. Also read your story over at Operation Awesome. Well done!

  2. Christine Fonseca says:

    Dude, I totaly get that process. It isn’t that different from my own. great post

  3. Cole Gibsen says:

    What a lovely way of phrasing!

  4. Lydia Kang says:

    I checked out your guest post! It was awesome!
    and great post for today too, you are on a roll.

  5. I like the way you explain it. Sometimes it’s a wild ride, though. My characters aren’t inclined to accept much direction. 😉

  6. Karen Akins says:

    Great post (came over here from OA…another great post)!

  7. Karen Akins says:

    Y’know the funny thing is, I’ve seen your query on the QT forums, and it stuck out to me (in a good way). As I was scrolling your post and came to your logline, I said, “Oh! She’s Justin Talent’s mom.” lol So I guess you can see how I look at my characters. It sometimes makes it hard to be mean to them. I usually can’t do it on the first draft. Then, in revisions, I push them out of the nest and make them fly on their own.

  8. Lynn Rush says:

    Great post. It’s interesting how connected I get to my characters. After I type the end and let it sit for a while, I find myself missing them and can’t wait to get to the revision process to see how much they’ve grown. Weird, I know. But then again, I’m a writer, so weird is a given, right?

  9. I’m new at novel writing. Still working on revising my first. I’m not sure how I came up with characters. Each one has a personality and a kind of mindset. They interact with one another and with themselves. I’m not sure how they got into my story, but perhaps I am none of them or all of them. Not sure. Oh ooh… I believe I am sane. Ha! They all think so, too. Blessings to you…

  10. Nice description of the way you come up with your characters!

  11. Lindsay says:

    I love coming up with new characters (and learning about them). I always think it’s like making a new friend, I have to spend the time getting to know them and earning their trust before they open up to me. 🙂

    Great post on Operation Awesome. I know we are all thrilled to have you over there.

  12. Ciara Knight says:

    I LOVE my characters and miss them, but sometimes during the editing process they get on my nerves. Just like normal relationships, you spend to much time together you get snippy.

  13. lbdiamond says:

    Thanks, gang! I miss my characters too when I don’t return to their story for a long while. Reuniting with them makes revisions easier, that’s for sure. 😉

  14. Michelle H. says:

    I reminisce about my characters from time to time, on what to do when I reconnect with them, like meeting up with them in a diner to have a reunion and a chat. Your description on character creation, mannequins becoming models to walk the runway, was awesome. I love your answer to this question!

  15. The most surprising thing is how much we (meaning my characters and me) have grown.

    What a great line. This sums up how we should all feel at the end of revisions. Nice post.

  16. Love the imagery of the blank mannequin, and having them debut on the plot runway! Really great post!

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