Saturday Writing Quote — on characters

imgp4301I’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 leslie@lesliebudewitz.com — 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!)

Flathead River Writers’ Conference — character sheet

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

– Work

– Quirks

– 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.)