Monday, February 13, 2017
Author Q&A: Getting Into Character
Today I'm taking the time to answer a few questions I've received over social media so that the information is available to everyone. Recently, I've mostly been asked about my characters so I'll devote this post just to them. Here goes!
You deal with a lot of different characters in your books. Do you have an organizational system to keep up with them?
Instant guilt trip. I wish I were more organized! haha
What I have are several notebooks filled with character details. They are not curated in any sane or functional manner. I just know where each one is in which book if I ever need to refer back. I really do need to make an actual character compendium at some point to make my life easier but for now my process is flipping back and forth through various spiral notebooks.
I'm an aspiring writer but I feel like I need to improve at making my characters relatable. Your characters feel very real when I'm reading about them. Any advice for a beginner?
Thank you! Knowing people feel that they can relate to my characters means a lot to me. As far as advice goes, I recommend fleshing out your characters as deeply as possible. It's much more than just their appearance or what will happen to them in the story. You have to know their hopes, fears, passions, distastes, and quirks. Above all, give them each a central motivation that they never stray from in all of their actions. I plan on writing a blog post about character creation in the near future, so I'll get more detailed with this then. Another helpful practice is to "run scenes" with yourself. You will sound crazy but do it anyway. Speak the dialogue out loud; act it out. It's a great way to decide how you'll describe their expressions and tone. If you want your characters to feel real, you have to convince yourself that they are real.
Dacey was my favorite character in ROAM and I enjoyed getting a story all about him [in The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett]. Are there any other ROAM characters that you plan on giving their own books to?
It's something I've considered but that I don't have any definite plans for. There are two spin-off stories in the works that I've mentioned before but neither will feature a ROAM character as the lead. Although, they will have cameos or play supporting roles to the new characters.
Feel free to send questions my way any time! I enjoy hearing your feedback.
Thanks for reading!