Friday 25 June 2010


This one, even I wasn't expecting:
I have been crafting a character, or two. I'm working on two projects: a YA and an MG. Both are in the planning stages.
I'd like to introduce you to one of the main characters in the YA idea. (A big cheer to the Fanpop site for the photo.) I searched for a sad teen with red hair - look who I found impersonating Will.

On the Creating Your Character web-page , I found their template. It really helped me organise my thinking.

The idea he belongs in is... slip-stream paranormal. (Having trouble working out which genre you are writing? Invent your own! That's not quite what I mean: this is a paranormal romance but the characters aren’t fanged nor feathered,  scaled or clawed.)


NAME: Tricky, there is power in a name: I think we’ll call him Will
BIOGRAPHY: Born after his father’s death, he saved his mother’s life, and she has been using him ever since. He is lonely. He would walk through the world without causing a ripple or leaving a shadow to mark his passing. He is disorientated and angry, catching up on schooling. After years of being forbidden to stray beyond the boundary of his property his mother has demanded he must do what she is incapable of doing.
AGE: Although a little hazy on the specifics Will reckons he has seen about seventeen summers.
HEIGHT: Tall enough but he’ll never play basketball.
WEIGHT: Thin. Food is not plentiful, Will’s skills in the plot beside his walled garden are reflected in his fragile frame.
BODY TYPE: Is he wiry and agile. Hardy – he is a weed, in danger of outgrowing his strength.
FACE TYPE: His bone structure is so close to the surface his cheekbones are made more noticeable by his eyes which have sunken in.
COMPLEXION: He is a blue-grey-tinged kind of pale
EYES: Tiger blue like the summer sky, but flat and disinterested; framed by black lashes and brows
HAIR: Auburn - fine, wisped, feathered in style
CLOTHING STYLE: Loose, misshapen, plain tee-shirts, narrow jeans and black leather boots.
SPEAKING STYLE: He doesn’t speak much, when he does he sounds musical, lyrical: deep and lilting
GENERAL DEMEANOUR: guarded and quiet
CAREER: Scholar; he doesn't know what he could be in the future
PREJUDICES: People who don’t look after what they’ve got.
BEST QUALITIES: Resilient, balanced, protector
WORST QUALITIES: impatient, proud, inflexible
WEAKNESSES: He craves being wanted or needed or loved
HOBBIES: Walks, reads, takes photographs
TALENTS: Photography and seeing the potential in things and capturing it



  1. That's a good checklist. You're at my favorite point in writing a novel--meeting the cast. In my own WIP, I'm at that dreaded 2/3 mark where I'm not quite sure it's all going to come together to that nice little ending I had planned. Characters have their own agenda now. They can be so annoying.

    Re: paranormal. I think paranormal that's NOT about shape shifters or angels is the way to go these days. I keep reading the market is saturated with those fangs, feathers and claws. (not so sure about merpersons.) But your idea sounds fresh. Go for it!

  2. Fun tools! Love the new ideas.

    I'm attempting an adult novel with my newest project. It's very different from my other stories so I'm sure it will be quite the learning experience.

  3. ooh! excellent link, elaine. i'll have much fun with that in about 2 hours...

  4. Hi Anne
    Don't you hate it when characters suddenly start acting in character, rather than in type?! Good luck with the last third of the novel.

    Hi Karen
    I thought about adult, too. Very similar but the characters' life experiences keep muddying the waters. Have fun with your new project. I keep remembering you have to write what you live and see; either that or write fantasy ;)

    lexcade - I'm glad you found the link useful. Enjoy making your characters come to life.

  5. Will sounds like a great character. It's fantastic when characters erupt like that. Seems you have him down perfectly.

    As for my work -- it's slow at best. I'm gearing up for a big revival after the 4th of July. (Going home for vacation and can't concentrate worth a dime.)

  6. Hi Anne
    I do love him already. Now I just have to make sure Lacey is worth the amount of trouble she is going to cause him.

  7. I usually find I don't need tools like this for my main characters.
    Usually they become pretty fully formed in my mind's eye.
    This sort of thing is really useful for secondary or minor characters. I'm not nearly so 'intimate' with them so a reminder is handy.

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  9. Hi Al
    Don't you hate surprises?
    I must admit that this is the cover sheet for five densely packed cards in a card file. I'll add more too, as I write.
    I'd make notes on me if I was included in a novel ;)

  10. Plotting out the whole story in the first draft. I'm writing a streampunk crossover, because the storyline is on two levels over six months I need to keep an eye on the two timelines.

    But I'm enjoying it.

  11. Sounds good!
    I am still prepping for submission.

    Happy Scribbling.

  12. Hi Jamara - I had that problem with my steampunk/paranormal cross over. I decided to shelve it until I have time to write the two stories separately and then build in the links. Good luck with the writing.

    Hi Glynis
    I wish you all good wishes as you prepare for submission. :)