Thursday, September 14, 2006

I'd like to introduce you...

... to my heroine and hero.

I've been working with Karen Wiesner’s First Draft In 30 Days on creating characters. I like her method because I don't have to do it all at once, I can add to it whenever I discover something new and relevant or when I need something new and relevant. I'm really enjoying the process and thought I would introduce you to the two people I've been spending a lot of time with.

Meet Maggie Stokes:


At the start of my story, she is 18 years old. She is a high energy person with too much ambition for her own good. She wants all there is out of life, but life has a way of trying to hold her back.

Arthur Case.


Arthur was orphaned at the age of 8 and now seeks the attention and family life he never had. Unfortunately, he is in love with a woman for whom marriage and family are the last thing on her mind.

Stay tuned for more. I'd say preorder your copy now, but at the rate I write, you might be waiting a few years!

Do you use pictures to help develop your characters? What other means do you use? Do you alter them as you go or stay with a strict character sketch from the beginning?

26 comments:

Sayre said...

I haven't used pictures, but I think I might give it a try.

Love the young Shirley McLaine-looking girl and young Sean Connery. Both are people who could have turned out very differently from real life if certain opportunities hadn't occurred.

I love "what if"!

Tess said...

I started using pics with my last couple of mss and find it really helps. I have portraits of my current h/h in a double pic frame on my desk :-)

I loved meeting Maggie and Arthur.

And thanks for leaving that comment on my blog today - made me feel way better even before getting to the vet.

Sandy J said...

Meeting your characters was great! I am such a visual person. I have a notebook with pics of my characters in. I end up adding more traits as I go along.

Pearl said...

I've used picture prompts as a firestarter.

EJCrow said...

Hey, isn't that guy Sean Connery? And I've seen that young lady too! Can you add me to your blog roll? That's EJCrow at Ejcrow.blogspot.com - asante! EJC

Melissa Marsh said...

I like to use pics, but don't adhere to them too strictly. I have a picture in my mind of what they look like.

P.S. - Sean Connery is one of the SEXIEST men alive!!!

chiefbiscuit said...

What a great idea - thanks for the tip.

anne frasier said...

wasn't shirley mcClain the cutest?
and georgian bay -- ahhh. never been there, but my son has several times.

Rene said...

No, I don't use pictures. My characters are completely in my head although that does not stop me from staring at photos of Johnny Depp and Hugh Jackman for hours at a time.

Shadowrite said...

Hi,

Just found your blog and it's great to discover another aspiring novelist. It's interesting to read how another writer develops their writing process.

I use pictures to help develop my characters too, but their images are not always in my head as I'm writing. Often, the characters stray from the character sketch I made at the beginning, but I try not to let them stray too far from the core character I've developed. The core of who they are helps drive the story forward and if they stray too much away from that, they become unrealistic; unbelievable.

Great post!

IM Cupnjava said...

I will intentionally avoid pictures and the like until I have what they look like solid in my mind. I'm afraid if I use a model I won't allow myself to deviate from it. Once I have the character set, I get all sorts of excited when I see a picture or a drawing that looks similar.

Tess Harrison said...

I've read FDin30Ds. It's a great book. Her method for jump starting a staled manuscript is great for using on a completed manuscript as a final edit.

Siobhan said...

I have the characters first in my head then I search for pictures that look like them and pin them up on the notice board above my desk. It's good to have a visual reminder when I'm stuck. That book looks interesting. I'll order it as I need all the advice I can get.

redchurch said...

The 30 days thing, any similarity to NaNoWriMo?

Nienke, are you going to do it this year?

Nicole Reising said...

I'm a picture person for everything - usually I can picture people, things or events but can't recall the name's or specifics for anything. So its really kind of odd that I truly don't like to use pictures to depict what my characters look like. Maybe its because I'd rather stick to the look in my head then fitting them to something or someone already out there. Who knows! :)

Have fun!
Cole

Melly said...

30 days?
How's it working?

No. I don't use pictures. I'm not a very visual person. I can see stuff in my head, but it would be hard for me to describe a picture. I don't think that even makes sense.

So glad to have met Arthur and Maggie. Man, they seem awfully familiar ;)
Are you going to tell us more about them as the story evolves?

Jean said...

I'm not a picture person. So far, I'm hit and miss about the physical development of my characters. I'll sketch in some traits, but generally, I leave a lot to my reader's imagination. Not sure if that will work or not. Description is not a strong point of mine. It's probably a bad thing that I wouldn't recongize my characters on sight if I passed them on the street. Once they talk or begin interacting, then I'd know them.

pepektheassassin said...

Yes! I started using pictures years ago. I thought it was a cool idea then!

You've moved?

Caroline said...

I didn't use a picture as such, but the story was based on a street of 32 houses. I drew out the houses, named all inhabitants, gave them cars and coloured front doors and gave them histories. I also drew out routes that the little girl would walk down. A bit anal, but at least I know that the story is consistent.

pepektheassassin said...

Interesting comments. BTW, I did NaNoWriMo last year and made it to 40,000 words. It was fun, but I don't know if I'm up to it this year....

Therese Walsh said...

I love using pictures! My first hero-yum-boy was Jamie Durie (google him!).

lainey bancroft said...

No pictures for me. I have the characters very clearly in MY head, but I like to leave the rest up to the readers interpretation. I know it throws my concentration when an author uses lazy describing techniques 'violet eyes of Elizabeth Taylor' 'Brad Pitt's enticing pout'. What if the reader is not a Brad or Liz fan?

I also thought Sean was one of the sexiest men alive, until I heard an interview where he confessed to thinking it was okay to give a woman a smack to keep her in line. Huh!

Grew up along the shores of Georgian Bay. Thanks for the reminder pics. It is beautiful

Shesawriter said...

Sean Connery as the hero. Heck, I'm there, baybeee! :-)

Meg Allison said...

Oh, I love Sean Connery! A sexy accent makes up for a multitude of other sins. ;)

I do use pictures sometimes -- or I at least have a very clear view of my hero and heroine before I begin, at least physically. Sometimes little quirks and pieces of backstory sneak in when I least expect them. But that's where revisions come in handy. :)

At the moment, my paranormal hero bares a striking resemblance to Gerard Butler. But then again, all my heroes of late seem to look and sound like him. Go figure. (GGG)

Anonymous said...

I don't use pictures, though I'm familiar with the method. I do sometimes try to picture various actors and actresses who might portray my characters should a novel of mine get a movie option. Hey! One can dream.

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