Thursday, August 15, 2013

Christina Smith – Characters With a Mind of Their Own

Characters With a Mind of Their Own: How I Develop a Character

By: Christina Smith

Without interesting characters to bring the story to life, it’s just a story. And when a character is developed properly, they can remind the reader people they know, maybe even themselves.

When I start on a new book, I plan out the main and secondary characters. Their appearance and personality goes into their creation. But sometimes it doesn’t go as smoothly as that. Some characters are louder than others, and aren’t satisfied with my normal strategy. Sometimes, they have a life of their own.

The characters I create are not real, I know that, but at times I don’t think they do. Below, are some of the most alive characters I have ever created. It was almost like they had developed on their own, and all I had to do was listen.

After finishing my first book, Fated Dreams, I started Finding Abigail. This book had a serious topic, and was often really hard to write. But as I was writing it, Logan, the brother of the male protagonist from my previous book, kept popping up in my mind. I had no intention of writing a sequel to Fated Dreams, but as I tried to ignore him, thoughts of the bad boy brother would emerge while I was writing, doing the dishes, or driving. I couldn’t let him go. So finally, after trying to focus on Finding Abigail to no avail, I wrote the prologue to Delusions. I still wasn’t sure if I would do a sequel, but I did it mainly to get him out of my head.

When a reader asked me to do a sequel to Fated Dreams, I couldn’t say no—Logan wouldn’t let me.

Since he had been so loud in my head, as the plot evolved, Logan tuned out to be very charismatic, and full of secrets. And as the book progressed, he became so much deeper than I had intended him to be, with so many layers for Lisa to discover. I would say he is my favorite character of all time.

Like I said earlier, the characters characteristics are planned out ahead of time, but a few turn out to be different than I had intended as my fingers typed out the words. One of these characters was Mona, a surrogate mother of Megan, the female protagonist for Riley’s Secret. She was just a secondary person who wasn’t supposed to be that interesting, but as I wrote, she became sarcastic, frisky and lovable.

As in most of my books, there is one character that seems to scream at me to be heard. For the last few months, I have been working on the last book in the Moon’s Glow series. I am almost finished, and trying to concentrate on getting it done. But a secondary character that I don’t even know the name of yet for my next book wants to be written. She will be just the friend, but I already know more about her, than I do the main character. She speaks to me while I’m writing my current book, Riley’s Redemption, and while I’m doing trivial chores at home. She even invaded a date I had with my husband a few weeks ago. We were sitting at one of my favorite restaurants and I kept picturing the character with no name yet, bringing the female protagonist there for dinner. And as we took a walk along the waterfront, I imagined the friend showing the new girl around, feeding the ducks, and slipping onto docks.

Hopefully, when I start the book, and she is finally in black and white, she will let me be.

At this point, I’d like to reiterate, that yes, I really do know these characters are not real;honest I do. But try telling them that.

Riley's Secret

Buy Now @ Amazon @Smashwords

Genre - Young Adult/Fantasy/Romance

Rating – PG13

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