Where do you get your characters? They can come from many sources. Characters can be based on someone you know or a composite of people you know. You write from your experience. You might base a character on a name you’ve picked out or someone you’ve read about in the newspaper. Or you decide on a theme or a situation you want to write about and then decide what kind of characters would fit into that idea.
How do you introduce your characters?
Here’s a great four-sentence exercise:
1. Introduce a character (age, sex).
2. Bring character home to dwelling place
3. Greet someone in the home, tell something about the mood of the character.
4. Move character out of room (off camera).
You’ll be surprised how much you will learn about your character from such a short exercise! Start out each character like this to find out about him/her. Fill in the information and find the emotional connection.
Some writers like to create an entire character profile even before they start writing. I don’t necessarily recommend that, although some people need a skeleton to flesh out before they can start writing. It’s probably a good idea to at least fill one out as you write (especially if you’re writing a book) just to keep the facts straight. You don’t want your hero to have blue eyes in chapter one and turn up with brown eyes in chapter 20. And you want him to act and re-act consistent with his personality as you write. Or fill in a character sketch if you have a character that seems flat and needs fleshing out.How do you come up with your characters?
A native Montanan, Heidi M. Thomas now lives in North-central Arizona where she blogs, teaches
Cowgirl Dreams, is based on her grandmother, and the sequel, Follow the Dream, won the national WILLA Award. The next book in the series, Dare to Dream, has just been released, and her non-fiction book Cowgirl Up: History of Women's Rodeo will be out in September. Heidi has a degree in journalism and a certificate in fiction writing.