Hey guys! So today I'm going to discuss how I make my characters. I'm a plotter and pantser (plot the story; pants the scenes) so I tend to prepare a lot beforehand. But that doesn't mean my characters are like the goddess Venus, fully formed and spat out into the world via sea foam.
First, I start with character worksheets. You can find a bunch of them online, such as this one from Adventures in Children's Publishing. I usually print one or two out, and start imagining.
So, my process is kind of like this.
Start with the physical.
But that's all the outside. Inside, she's marshmallow fluff. Nothing much. So I make some insides.
What she likes, what she doesn't like. Quirks. Habits. Things she says when she gets mad. Her character arc--how she changes from the beginning to the end of the book. Things that I may never, ever use in the book, but are necessary for getting to know her.
Then I write. And write. And revise. And this happens:
The character arc changes. Personality changes. Appearances change. And in the end, I get...
wait for it....
WAIT FOR IT!
That's right. A BLUE HEDGEHOG.
I know, dramatic illustration, but my point is (Sharp! Like a hedgehog!)... No seriously. Often,
my character can be quite different from what I originally conceived.
But that's my process. It's pretty dynamic.
How about you? How do you create your characters?
Lydia Kang is a writer, part-time doctor, and salt-addicted gal with a near-pathological need to doodle. Her YA sci-fi book, CONTROL, is coming December 2013 (Dial Books for Young Readers).
Find her on Twitter, her blog The Word Is My Oyster, Goodreads, Facebook, and Pinterest.