Creative Corner column
by Julie Fink

Character Creation

As I sit and think about the world of writing, and the effect it has on me personally, I am reminded of how the creation of a character embeds a piece of me in each new life. Every time I build a new role it is as if I have placed a child of mine into my book. Male or female, young or old, these people take on a real existence and have to be nurtured until fully grown. You know no more intimacy than that of creator and creation.

First you have to conceive and start the first phase of development. It may not take nine months but you do go through a pregnancy of sorts. You invest your blood, sweat and sometimes tears into this new life. You build on your thoughts and grow a history, persona, career, place of residence and last but not least people in your characters life. You ask questions just like a new parent. “Will my child of love be an educated man/woman?” “Does my character have children? Is he/she a child themself?” These are the types of questions that have to be asked if a complete background, world, lifestyle and everything else are to be correctly created.

It doesn’t stop there. Once the “character sheet” has been developed and your child is taking shape then comes the delivery day; the day that the new person is revealed to you in print. You start with your main character, you start to build the story that you have already conceived in your imagination. Using your background and personal details of life for them, you start to spin your tale.

Each venture into the writing process is a refinement of your child’s growth and coming out process. You test the water with a few paragraphs and see what your vast and knowledgeable brain can do with this character. You build on your framework and as you do so a new life begins to unfold. Have you ever heard an author state that they talk to and with their players to see what they want to do? I do that. I build a rapport with my children and the friendship that develops cannot be rivaled.

Once the story is in full swing and all the actors have their parts down you begin to weave the story from your imagination and research. The story you woke up with in the middle of the night. That spark that gave birth to your children must never go out! You must be careful not to over think, but just enough. We as creative people can easily build so much into a character that it is clouded and muddled. The definition of your child is blurred.

Always use academia and your power of logic to temper your creative streak. Some people are plotters and others just “go with the flow” however you do it keep these few rules and your children will never forsake you.

First, never compromise on your true feelings about a character. Once you have developed a person don’t change them. Let them grow and mature gradually and they will breath real breath!

Second, if a character is not fitting with your story cut them. However, never delete them. Your characters are your greatest resource in the author world. Artists have their ‘morgue’ we have our ‘personnel files’.

Third, try very hard to take constructive criticism to heart. If there are flaws in your character logic you must do surgery to make your child the best they can be.

Now here is the challenge: Sit down at least once a week and build a new life. Each one you build is a potential bestselling character!

Have a great week my lovelies! Be a GOD! Create your world of people to play with!

Julie F. Fink
CEO and Owner of
Dragon, Butterfly and Fairy Wings inc.

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