Thursday, July 23, 2009

Developing Character(s)

One of the reasons why I enjoy writing novels is because it gives me an opportunity to invent interesting characters. There are several approaches I take when inventing people for my stories. One is by observing others around me, whether it be at the mall, the theater, a restaurant, or a ball game. It’s even better to engage people in conversations, thus getting a better feel of what they’re all about. Another is to draw upon people I know personally. In some instances, I combine several people’s qualities into one character.

Recently, I saw Jackie Collins give an interview on a late night talk show. She discussed how the talk show host was actually a character in her new book. Humorous, yet inventive, if you ask me. She explained how she travels around the globe, meeting interesting specimens to convert into words on a page. And she is not alone. Many authors do exactly the same thing.

This idea isn’t new, nor is it a surprise. Just the other day, my librarian learned that I was writing another novel, and excitedly volunteered to be a character in my book. “I grew up on a plantation!” she informed, and proceeded to describe herself in detail. Someday, she might be pleasantly surprised … I just might take her up on her offer!

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