I’m enjoying picking a theme for the month’s quotes, and hope you are, too. By the way, if you come across a quote you love about writing, art, or creativity that you’d like to share, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org — merci!
“Surely the test of a novel’s characters is that you feel a strong interest in them and their affairs—the good to be successful, the bad to suffer failure.”
— Mark Twain
(Photo: My latest box of characters, officially out June 8 but already available in some outlets!)
What a great time I had last weekend at the Flathead River Writers’ Conference in Kalispell! In my Sunday afternoon craft class on character, I detoured a bit to talk about how I develop my characters and use that detail to flesh out my idea. I referred to the character sheets I create for each book, but alas, did not have a copy to share. Here are the topics I explore for each character:
– Physical characteristics
– Family & friends
– Personality traits & their source
– Images: is there a particular image associated with this character?
– Goals & motivation – generally & in this novel
– Conflict, both internal and external
– Growth: General story line
(A few of these items, and other aspects of my method — such as it is — are drawn from Jess Lowery’s Pyramid Method, which I discovered in The Writer, February 2011; the article is reprinted by the Mystery Writers of America — Jess teaches it in a class at the traveling MWA University.)