Thursday, January 17, 2008

How do you create believable characters in a book?

Every writer struggles with the problem of trying to create characters that will be believable, appeal to the reader, and most important of all, be the kinds of characters we will always remember. A lot of writers have accomplished this difficult task. Who could forget Scarlett O'Hara, or James Bond or Harry Potter? When starting any story, the author will quickly find himself in possession of reams of notes, charts, and those all-important biographical sketches of the main characters. I want to know what he or she looks like before I start. What do they do in their spare time when they are not wrestling with my plot? Do they have hobbies? Have they been in love, and if so, was it a pleasant relationship or did the many details of the story sweep them away from the one they loved. When I am in these initial stages, I sometimes find myself flipping through magazines looking at faces, examining the way someone stands, the way they look into my eyes. I am looking for the little things . . . . the things that make me or you have a distinct personality. Most of my character crafting was done in my head, and then I discovered this wonderful 3-D drawing program that allows me to pose a character in any fashion, just as you would pose a real person. In the picture above you will find Daniella Siedman, one of the main characters in Abraham's Bones. She has something in mind -- something mischievous, and judging by the way she is looking, she is going to get her way. Writing, to me, is very exciting. I hope I have captured the essence of Daniella in this picture . . . enough that it will make you want to discover her for yourself in the pages of Abraham's Bones.

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