A Writing Life: Characters Deserve Attention

Monday, January 9, 2017

Characters Deserve Attention

In taking some time off in December, I was able to take a step back and look at this writing life of mine. I have multiple books to write in 2017 and I'm excited about that. But I fear in this business, the writing train moves fast. I had to ask myself if I am giving my work the time and attention it deserves. Mainly, my characters.

For me, characters drive the story. If I read a book and don't care about the people in the story, I'll bail. I'm all about people. I was watching the Star Wars movies the other night (in honor of Carrie Fisher's passing - so sad. What an incredible actress and author.) and was saying to my husband that the prequels were a brilliant move on George Lucas' part. But I honestly believe any writer worth his or her salt comes up with backstory for their characters - the more detailed, the better. Obviously, Lucas did so with all of the Star Wars characters. And from that, he built an empire of story.

These are the covers from my Silver Bay Series. My cover artist did an amazing job of getting the image of my characters just right. Return To Silver Bay and Loving Kate are available now. Saving Drew releases January 24, 2017 Check out the series at http://laramvanhulzen.com 

The very first thing I do before I start writing a new book is character sketches. Pinterest is a writer's dream for this. I find imagines that match as close as possible to the ones in my head of what my hero and heroine look like, along with the car they drive, the house they live in, etc. Then I "interview" them. I have a form I fill out with questions that they have to answer. In doing so, their story starts to unfold in my mind based on who they are.

I truly believe characters deserve the most attention when writing stories. Some writers are more plot driven and for some stories that works. For me, people are what it's all about. What makes them tick? Why they make the decisions they do and how they react to the results of those decisions is important. How does their wiring work with, or doesn't work with, other characters in the book?

What about you? Are you a character driven or plot driven reader/writer?

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