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Character 101: An Introduction

I'm feeling so pumped about my writing goals for this year! One of my more important goals is to dive back into draft 4 of my book manuscript. In preparation for that, I've been doing a lot of thinking about writing and how to jump-start my creative energy. Keeping in mind that I need to come up with a new editorial calendar, I quickly decided that the best way to guide all of you through the process of writing is to not only share how I do it, but also to start with the basics.


I've decided to start a new series mapping out the different parts to writing (Characters, Setting, World-building, Plotline, Narrative, and Grammar) and dedicate each month to one of these topics. There's so much information that falls under each of these categories, and I want to take some time to make sure that we're thoroughly covering them all. I'm excited to announce that January will be devoted to characters! I'm starting here because a) it's one of the best parts, b) it's where I start naturally when I first create a story, and c) because you can't have a book without them.


I won't lie to you. When I first start thinking about writing a story, it's usually from something random. Whether I found inspiration from another book I was reading, something I heard on the radio, or because of a conversation I witnessed while I was people-watching, I can't tell you exactly what happens because it happens differently each time. I can only tell you that an idea pops into my head and then once it's there, I decide whether or not to write it. Often this comes down to one thing: a character.


This is what happened with my current project, Star-Crossed. It started off with a character named Delicia. I know a LOT about her now, but when I first started, I only had a few details to go off of. When I pictured her in my mind, I saw a young woman with curly dark brown hair and eyes. I could feel that she was stubborn, and that she longed for freedom. That was it. Not a whole lot, but enough that I felt connected to her and curious to find out more about her. And that's all it took for me to decide to write her story.

My process relies heavily on my characters in the sense that they are what I come up with first, largely because they are what I'm most interested in. For me writing is a study of the human condition. My goal for my work is to create characters that are vivid, believable, and complex. Everything else that I create in a story is because it is something that is authentic and true to who they are. They decide the setting, plot, and world where the story takes place.


Now, not every writer writes the way that I do. Writing is an intimate relationship between a writer, their pen (or keyboard), and their muse. This means that no two writers write exactly the same way, and their creative processes differ in the details. I'm only here to discuss what mine looks like. If yours doesn't match or look anything like mine, that's okay! If your way works for you, then keep doing what you're doing. I've met writers who start by mapping out their plotline, designing their setting, or by jumping right into the manuscript and developing as they go. All of these methods are okay! You can simply refer to this month's topic when you're ready.

There's nothing more fun than building your character! In this series we'll cover how to develop character traits, how to establish their values and desires, how to make them unique, types of characters and character arcs, how to build relationships and backgrounds, and finally, giving them a purpose.


Been thinking about writing a book? Stay tuned this month to learn all about how to create the perfect characters for your story! We're going to have a lot of fun discovering all the ins and outs of character building. Don't miss this informative creative series- subscribe today!

#writer #writingitwells #characters #character101

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