|Public domain illustration of Cinderella|
How do you come up with your characters? Most often, mine start with a name. Sometimes I see a name on a TV show, or a billboard, or most anywhere, and something sparks within me. Voila, a character! In contrast, if I'm trying to write one and he's not coming alive, it's often because I have his name wrong. When I find the right name, he pops.
What aids do you use? Some writers map out the whole person before they begin writing. There are exercises, like putting onto paper what is in the character's refrigerator, what is her greatest fear, his most prized possession? These are good aids, but I don't do any of them formally. That is, I don't make lists before I start writing. The details come with the character for me, and continue to unfold as the writing progresses.
I did find a great list new list of questions that I'll keep in mind for the future, though, on Pat Bertram's blog. She's an indefatigable blogger and posts lots and lots of character interview, author interviews, and helps writers get exposure. Her list is here. I'll bet, if you're having trouble with a character, you could go through this list and get help.
When I saw this, I couldn't resist giving her an interview on my bad boy, Anton, who appears in one of the stories in our recent anthology.
|Jackie Cooper in Peck's Bad Boy|