That's right Muse fans, you get a double whammy of posts today. I couldn't skip Ten Word Tuesday, and it's my turn on the blog chain. Today's question is brought to us by the ever-skilled Abby, who asks:
Where do your characters come from? And once they've been introduced to you, how do you get to know them?
This is an awesome question and a topic I like to discuss alot - characters. I really enjoy noteworthy characters, and learning to create memorable characters is something I think about all the time. But how do I come up with my characters in the first place?
I've tried following patterns of other writers, like those who watch the people around them and seeing potential characters from random strangers. It just doesn't work for me. I do wonder sometimes about people I see, like what they are doing and where they are going. But when it comes to crafting a story around somebody like that, the muse clams up and refuses to budge. I've also tried creating character sketches, or writing a description of my character; I get nothing compelling from that exercise.
No, in the end, I just create the characters as I go. Sometimes I only have a hint of the person, a whisper of who they will become. And as I write, they speak to me, drawing my fingers across the keyboard and across their lives. Their various peculiarities unveil as we both walk through their respective stories, sometimes resulting in events that surprise us both.
As far as getting to know them better, I don't have any real techniques here either. I've tried interviewing my characters, and sometimes I have some good success. But on the whole, I've found my creative process works best when spontaneous bouts of characterization occur. It is there that I feel closest to my characters, and it is there that I get to know them best.
If you haven't had a chance to read my predecessor the insightful Sandra's response, head on over. Tomorrow, we can all expect to receive an equally interesting answer from the awesome Michelle Hickman.