Between Authors and Their Characters


I’ve had this problem, although I think in my case it’s more the other way around and I don’t want to talk with my imaginary friends at the moment. I published my first novel in 2012 and have #’s 2, 3 and 4 pretty well written. But on revisiting #2 in preparation for publication, I discovered that it really required a total revamp. There were some characters who had been carried over from the first novel and, when reconsidering the storyline, I decided it was time to get rid of them (no, not by killing them off, but by just writing them out of the story) and replace them with some fresh blood – some truly imagined characters who I thought were a better fit. So I began writing these new character into the storyline and invented new material, scenes, for them so that they could then take over the recently vacated secondary-character roles. I’ve enjoyed thinking through all this new business and seeing my characters spring to life – at least in my own mind. But I’ve been stuck as far as the actual writing goes and I just can’t seem to click on that file to open it again (in spite of pleas from my editor and beta readers to just get on with it, because they want to know what happens!), and even though I understand in my heart of hearts that what I’m doing in creating this fresh look for a long-ago written novel is the right direction to be heading.

Anyway, while I continue to mull this all over in my mind, I thought it would be interesting to hear from some other, more successful, authors (and an agent) on how they deal with their characters – with developing and getting those characters to stand on their own two feet on the page in a 3-D, large-as-life way that is believable to readers.

And perhaps, by reading these articles myself, those characters currently in my head will eventually be coaxed out for a while so I can play with them on my computer screen, instead.

First from my friends, Tim Baker and Armand Rosamilia, here are a couple of blog posts they’ve written on the subject of Character: Confession Time: Ike Was an Accident and Falling in Love … With Your Main Character

From Chuck Wendig at 25 Things A Great Character Needs and The Zero-Fuckery Quick-Create Guide To Kick-Ass Characters (And All The Crazy Plot Stuff That Surrounds ‘Em)

From Writers Write: Seven Essential Things to Remember About Very Important Characters

From MorgEn Bailey’s Writing Blog: Guest blog: ‘Character names’ by Morgen Bailey

From Rachelle Gardner at Books & Such: Action Reveals Character

20 responses

  1. Thanks for the links and good luck with the book!

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    2. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Thanks for the links–and for not killing off your characters when you got tired of them. That usually irritates me, unless they needed to be killed…

    1. Thanks for your comment, Pagadan! Good to know that’s something that irritates a reader. Will keep it in mind.

  3. Reblogged this on MorgEn Bailey's Writing Blog and commented:
    I talked last week about characters and will be again on Tuesday, so staying on that theme…

  4. Michelle Rene Goodhew

    Reblogged this on WRITE HERE – WRITE NOW.

  5. i am writing but i am scared wether i can finish the way i want

    1. You just have to keep writing Harsha and worry about editing the manuscript to what you want after you get that first draft done. Good luck!

      1. thanks for the suggestion.

      2. Harsha, coincidentally this article was just posted to the Books & Such blog, written by Mary Keeley. Endurance for the Writing Journey:

        Silence your inner critic and keep writing. It’s a test of endurance throughout the entire writing/publishing process. Hope this helps!

  6. Despite my urging to “just get on with it,” I hope you enjoy this time of creative processing. I know you’ll be proud of your characters.

  7. Reblogged this on blindoggbooks and commented:
    My friend Susan shares some thoughts about characters…

  8. Reblogged this on Armand Rosamilia and commented:
    Interesting article with several points of view!

  9. Thank you for the mention…

    1. Thanks for writing such a thoughtful and helpful article!

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