Friday, January 05, 2007


In response to Christa's comment question, I imagine the character as a real person, and create in my mind their life story so to speak. I do character charts that are so detailed, I know what my heroine carries around inside her purse. Not all of what I know about my characters will make it into the book, but it helps me write their story.

Some authors do personify themselves into the character, so to speak. But I don't do that, it just doesn't work for me. I imagine them a seperate entity from myself. I do, however, try to get inside their heads and hearts and thoughts and motives and hopes and dreams.

So to answer your questions, I, being the compulsive organizer that I am, form lists.

Physical traits
Mental traits
Character Archtype
Spiritual state
Emotional makeup

There are a gazillion blanks I fill out. Some people can't create characters this using character charts I mean.

I try to put them in scenarios and figure out how they'd respond, react, etc.

I often fashion them after actors or actresses so I can picture them, and better help my readers picture them.

The only way I know how to describe it, is I see them in color, in moving picture in my mind. I know their thoughts, the intent of their hearts, etc, etc.

If anyone wants examples of great character charts, there are TONS on the web. One I use very often is one Margaret Daley has on her website or blog.

Navigate around there until you find her character worksheet.

Hope this helps,



christa said...


Hope Chastain said...

Good ideas! I also like to do an exercise I found in some creative writing book or other, where I get inside the characters' heads and let them write a short bio of themselves. I did that for many of my earlier books, and I need to start doing that again, in fact. (Sometimes I tend to forget the basics in the urge to get writing, and then the story can get bogged down!)