Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Day 2 with Suzanne Fuller

Today Suz has kindly offered, under no duress at all...*innocent look* to come back and chat about characters.....

Hello, all! Glad to see you're back. I'm glad to be back, despite being chained to the desk and my eyelids held open with huge matchsticks. She's one cruel captor, that Cherie! I might have to tell Simon Bellamy on her… ;)

Today I'm here to talk about characters. Their creation, development and eventual take-over. Everyone, like all things writing involved, has their own way of creating those oh-so-important people to carry your story. This is just my way of doing it and my suggestions. So far it seems to work pretty well, in fact, almost too well. Especially when said characters start speaking to you, or demanding things of you. It can certainly make you look and feel crazy!
Actually, I was just explaining to a good friend two days ago how characters do this. She isn't an avid reader, nor is she a writer in any way shape or form and she called me "crazy"! But I laughed, because I understood all too well. It's part of the job. As the late-and-great Ray Bradbury said, " You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you."

 Okay, so…where was I? Oh yes, characters. :)

I like to figure out their personality first. Some people see them before they feel them, I'm the opposite. A voice will start speaking to me, and as they do I start to jot things down. For example: good sense of humour, kind, neurotic, couch-potato, etc. I find character sheets a brilliant way to understand your characters (Here's a good link: http://www.eclectics.com/articles/character.html). To be able to write them to their full capacity you need to understand them fully. Not just their physical appearance but what their flaws are, favourite music, favourite tv shows & movies, what clothes they prefer to wear, make-up if any, perfume, cologne, etc. JK Rowling is the perfect example of an author who knows her characters. I once read an interview in which she said she has full back-story of every character inside the Harry Potter world. No matter how major or minor (This of course left me hoping for an encyclopedia…guess I'll just have to keep waiting!).

Next I pull the pieces of their physical appearance together. I find that pictures help. Pinterest is a fantastic (although addictive) place to find character inspiration. I've found many wonderful images using that site, and have also turned a few people to its evil…err, I mean, genius. ;) Another great site would be deviantArt.com. Another bit of useful information regarding deviantArt…they have a section of images that are royalty free (under Resource/Stock Images). Usually the artists only ask that you give them a mention and let them see how you used their work.

If you have all of this done, and those pesky characters still aren't talking to you…do not fret! I've found that interviewing those characters can help. Ask them easy questions first, to get them to appear, then delve into the more important stuff (maybe about the story). If that fails? Don't force it! Forcing yourself to write when it isn't coming to you is almost definitely a waste of time. You'll end up with a bunch of meaningless jibberish that you'll no doubt delete later on anyway.


*glares at Suz* SIMON IS MINE ALL MINE!

See writers are a law unto themselves. I think when the voices start that is when the magic happens....with me it starts with a little whisper and the story starts to unfold.

Although I am not as visual as Suzanne, I rarely use images to write and I have been told off a time or two for forgetting at actually describe my characters.

What about you? Do you see and hear your characters??

Come back tomorrow when Suz has kindly offered to give you a little excerpt from North: The Lycons her first release!

Remember: No matter how hard you try to hide it your parents will take one look at your face and know you have done something wrong....it's just a fact of life.


  1. Curse you Suzanne, now you've got me addicted. *wants to pin the black and white pic for future inspiration*

  2. Yeesss, *glares at Suz*

    Pin interest should come up with a warning ;-)

  3. Yes, it probably should. Especially for authors :)

  4. LOL.
    I too feel my characters before I see them. Although sometimes, I see them before I feel them.

    Great post. And yes, I too have noticed your Pinterest boards.