Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rediscovering Character Personalities by DL Larson

Last week I dusted off my WIP and began writing. I was excited to be back with my sci-fi family. Then I discovered I had forgotten some of their personal ticks and characteristic quirks. Remembering names and eye color, etc. was the easy part, but I soon realized I needed a refresher course in how they moved, what their favorite sayings were, and how they reacted to tense situations. I have a big cast in this book and it had all been so easy a year ago when I had just finished one book and had eagerly started this one. I dug out my character list and yep, there was the character descriptions: eye and hair color, full name, a smidge of background and family history I had developed. But no personal quirks. And I know my characters have them. I was disappointed I hadn't left myself better notes.

So now I am rereading Book Two, Mary Angel The Wolf Princess. The cast of characters have grown from Book One, and I am in the process of creating a better character analysis of each person in my book. I generally use three columns on one sheet of paper so I can quickly discern if one character has more quirks than another or if two have too similar traits that might be confusing to a reader.
I've only just started this extensive character list, but I'm glad I am taking the time to do this right. This process has clarified each character in my mind and writing the book will be easier because I have done my homework, even if it was examining my own previous work.

Writing a series has been very enjoyable and challenging. My historicals are series as well, and I remember doing a similar character list to keep things straight. But creating a new world in my sci-fi brings out a different set of challenges and once establishing the surroundings of an imaginary world, as the writer, I must maintain the rules I created. No matter what world I might make, each character must ring true throughout it.

So I'm on homework assignment this week, fine-tuning my characters as best as I can. How about you? Do you have any techniques when working on a series? Share with us!

Til next time ~

DL Larson

Sharing with you on our small town loss:
Two months ago I wrote about a teenager, Sami, who was in a serious car accident. Sami was the Senior Class President of her High School, Valdictorian, a state scholar, and had many other wonderful achievements in her short life. Sami passed away May 24. Our town is still in shock. Her benefit was set for June 12. Graduation is tomorrow, May 28. Her funeral will be at the High School on June 1. Please pray for her family and all of these young people who are facing such a difficult task of graduating without their friend and saying good-bye.
Peace be with you and yours ~

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