Last week turned out to be virtually technology free for me. My family and I stayed in Devon for a few days in a lovely cottage in the Dartmoor National Park. I knew it didn’t have a dishwasher and a tumble dryer and I was prepared. It did have a fabulous walled garden, lovely and safe for my dogs, so I was prepared to make the sacrifice.
However, what I didn’t bargain for was the almost total absence of internet. Not good when I had posts to share on my blog. So last week’s author blog challenge on ‘6 Book Marketing Tips’, never happened.
This week’s author blog challenge is Character Inspiration.
Visual stimulation is important for me as a writer. I plan out my story initially in my head, rather like watching a film or TV programme and as I write, I visualise what I’m writing. This makes my story very real to me and its one of the reasons having other pairs of eyes to read your work is so important. What makes perfect sense to me, may not be clear at all, to my readers, so having other people read it is essential.
My characters spring mostly from my imagination. I usually think about what they look like first and then add in their personality traits. This is usually only an outline, very similar to the plot outline I have and then I start writing. The characters’ outlines develop, as they are faced with conflicts, meeting new people and situations. Once I have written the first few chapters, I read my work back in detail to make sure the characters are behaving as I thought they would and that they are consistent.
There are of course other things that inspire my characters. For their physical appearance I use Pinterest. I create a new board for each book and pin likely heroes, heroines and antagonists, as well as setting and other key factors as they occur to me.
I’ve met lots of people in the course of my life and the memorable ones stay in my head. Some of these I use as characters or part of characters. Observation is a core skill in character inspiration and who doesn’t love people watching?