What I’m Listening to “Everything” by Michael Bublé
A recent post in the SciFi Roundtable Facebook page asked authors what their characters looked like. Many drew their characters. I can hardly draw a straight line, so I’ve never attempted that. Instead, I found pictures online. The picture above particularly captivated me. It’s not exactly Ava, but it’s so close as to make no difference–particularly her attitude.
It’s often handy to find pictures of characters, houses, cities, and scenes that match with your book. This helps you root your imagination in something concrete.
What I did is a handy exercise, and you might enjoy using it to:
It is also handy for marketing: you can send your audience to these boards so they can see the cover, the way you imagined things (include a snippet from the book with each picture), and ideas you had during the making of the book. Post the links to your social media and in blogs (ahem). This is one of those things you can do to build your “platform.”
Another thing I do when the writing is coming slowly: create a “personnel file” for your character. I believe it was Stephen King who said the author should know what color socks their character would select to wear (although not necessarily include that info unless it was needed). Knowing everything about your character helps you understand their motivations and viewpoints as they interact with the plot and other characters.
Again, you don’t necessarily put all that info into the book. YOU need all that material. The reader doesn’t.
When I got stuck at one point writing THE MIDSUMMER WIFE, I compiled detailed files about the three major characters: Ava Cerdwen, Harper Drunemeton, and Ron Steadbye. These helped me understand how smart they were, motivations and blocks I wasn’t thinking about. Hobbies they loved…. And most of it didn’t get into the book. But it helped me understand them better, and that provided a way to move forward.
Authors: Try it and see if it works for you!
Readers: Do you like this?