Writing Characters by Wendy H. Jones

You may be somewhat confused at the moment as the title of my blog suggests I will be talking about characters, and here I am talking about reading. Never fear, you were right in the first place. Just as no two readers ever read the same book, no two writers ever write the same character. It would be interesting to give a group of writers the following exercise:

Female, 24 years old, quiet, mousy brown hair and glasses. Write a story about this character. 

I can assure you that no two stories would be the same and the character would come over differently in each one. 

As writers we often set off thinking we know our characters well. I, following advice in a book on writing, answered 100 questions about the characters in my series. I thought I knew them intimately and could answer any questions about them. Wrong. During the writing of a novel the characters take on a life of their own. You want them to do one thing and they want to do the complete opposite. In my books Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie started of as a lover of fine wine. She soon informed me that she preferred Whisky. All right then.

Take our character above. She may start out like that but by the age of 25 she could be a vamp with pink hair and contact lenses. That's the fun part of being a writer. You never know what's going to happen. Let your characters take you on a wild ride. let them do crazy things but remember they always have to be true to themselves. It's the idiosyncrasies and differences which make them unique. It's the familiarity which makes them believable. get the balance right and you will create characters your readers will love. 

About the Author

Wendy lives, and writes, in Dundee Scotland. Her first book, Killer's Countdown, was published in November, 2014. Her next book, Killer's Craft, will be published in July, 2015. You can find out more on her Amazon Author Page




glitter noir said…
So true. No matter how we map them out, the best characters surprise us with the directions they take.
Wendy H. Jones said…
Thanks Reb. Sometimes I can't keep up with my characters

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