Thursday, March 8, 2012

Developing a Character Guest Blog and Giveaway with Selena Blake

Some characters jump into my head fully formed, dressed, and ready to tell me their story. I love those kinds of characters. At that point I just hang on for the ride.

Other characters need gentle prodding. I'll begin writing about them, telling their story but I'll be learning about them as I go. Some characters are just more private than others.

Characters, in my opinion, are not entitled to privacy.

I need to know all their secrets, hear about the skeletons in their closet. Their worries, fears, hopes, dreams and heck, even their dirty laundry is not off limits. It's only when I know them that I can understand them. When I understand them and where they're coming from I can tell their story.

I ask them lots of questions along the way. Sometimes, in the case of a particularly frustrating (read: tight-lipped) character I'll interview them. Just call me Barbara Walters. :)

Other times I'll ask them what they were doing a week before the story begins. Believe it or not, that backstory tells me a lot about a person. If the heroine was baby sitting her niece and nephew I imagine her in a different light than a woman who spent her free time at the office, catching up on work. Or hanging out with friends during happy hour. Or taking her dog for a run.

Those little details matter. All of those nuances make us who we are. Our values. Our morals. Our history. Our desires in this life...all ingredients that mix together to make a singular dish.

Anyway, that's how I develop characters. I either wait for them to talk to me or I interrogate them until they cry uncle. Writers, how do you develop your characters? Do you use character worksheets? Collages? Note cards? A program? I've even heard of writers using spreadsheets to organize character details!

Readers, who are some of your all time favorite characters and why?

Selena can be found:!/SelenaBlake

Would you like to win a PDF copy of the Collector's Edition of the Stormy Weather series?

Leave a comment on this post answering Selena's question 
Readers, who are some of your all time favorite characters and why?"

Be sure to include your email


jfort357 said...

Oh yes, I'd luv to win a copy of this intriguing book!!! One of my fav characters is Zsadist in JR Ward's BDB series!! He was a bad boy that hated nearly everyone!!! Once he met Bella, she broke that outer shell. He was still a bad boy, but had this loving side that began to show!!! It's the total package of Z that I luv so much!!! He's a bad boy with a personality make over, he's muscular with tats/piercings!!! Total HOTNESS!!! ;-)


Pam Labud/ said...

Hi Selena! Great post!

My favorite character of all time will always be Jamie Frasier from Outlander, but there is this other guy I totally love...

A certain incredible Cajun werewolf named Sebastian Devereaux...Yummy.

Laurie said...

One of my fav characters is Acheron. He had such a traumatic life but overcame his past. I also love Z, same thing. Guess I have a soft spot for bad boys who had a rough start. Plus they are hot! I'm looking forward to reading these! Thank you for the giveway!

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite characters has to be Bones!! Just love how he talks and treats Cat from the very beginning!!! And how can you not love Z. :0

bn100 said...

Sebastian from The Devil in Winter because he's handsome, caring, and funny.

donnas said...

Roarke, Barrons, Bones. They are all so unique and with multiple layers that make them such great characters.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Julianne said...

One of my all time favorite characters is Jacob of the Vampire Queen series by Joey W. Hill. Jacob is all alpha male, but he wants to be a human servant so he has to suck it up and submit to his Vampire's wishes. He'll do anything for her, he loves her, protects her, cares for her, and satisfies all her desires. He's just awesome. I love Jacob.
luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

stacey said...

I Love Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon to he is a deep Character and sexy.

Debby said...

I love JD Robb's Roarke and Eve. Then I also like Brodick and Gillian from Ransom by Julie Garwood. I think because I like the relationship between the characters.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I'd love to win a copy! Thanks.

I love Terrible from the Downside Ghosts series. He's so different from your typical hero but he completely pulled me in! Curran from the Kate Daniels series is also another favourite.


KMichelleC87 said...

my favorite character would have to be mercy thompson from patricia briggs series. she tough and funny and i just love these books!


Tina B said...

It is hard to choose just one favorite character. It would have to be Kaia the Harpy from Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld. She is fierce, persistent and loyal. I hope she writes more stories with appearances from her. Thank you for the opportunity to read your books.


Tina B said...

Wrong email. Sorry.