Friday, 9 April 2010

Character Analysis

Yesterday I took out my notebook and started jotting down ideas for a story that's been vying for attention in my head. Mainly I was analyzing my new protagonist, trying to give her a real personality that jumps off the page. I haven't really done this before with the other stories I've written—on paper anyway. I usually have a vision of how my main character is and then (with the plot of the book already figured out, of course) just start writing them, making them come alive as I write.

The reason I started this new method is because of everything I've been reading lately about stories having a "voice." It's something I think I'm getting better at, but I thought that with a character analysis I might be able to take it up a notch. If I know all the ins and outs of my characters, know how they'll react to the situations I throw at them, I might be able to write them more authentically. Really give them a uniqueness that might be lacking in my previous stories. But we'll see.

What about you? Do you have a method to fleshing out your characters, or do you just write them off the cuff?


Sean said...

I've never been one to know a character going into a book. As an audience, you don't know characters when you start reading--you learn about them through the course of the book. As a writer, I do the same thing. Let the characters develop naturally, they might surprise you and lead you to places you wouldn't have gone otherwise.

Dawn Embers said...

It varies for me. In general, I don't do much pre-work on characters. I'll write the first draft and then worry about it because I've been developing them in my head for months or more. But occasionally, I'll do a character sheet to get to know some of the details and to have it written down so I don't forget what they look like when I'm writing. And I've discovered playing the characters in chats is even better way of learning about them.

Annie McElfresh said...

Sometimes I'll just be watching TV or something and decide I want a snarky loner for my MC. It really just depends on what kind of infuence I've been exposed to the day I start my story. :)