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Building Character-or in other words How did you come up with him?

by on January 17, 2013

LK-Red-WordpressI was recently asked how I create my characters, and there really isn’t one answer, but I’m going to attempt to explain it. I’m going to start with my current WIP Sidney’s Triple Shot. I just finished the book, and my Beta’s are reading it now. I’m hoping to have a release date soon.

Back to business…Tyce was the first of the three brothers that entered my head. I was showering one morning and I happened to be shaving my legs, suddenly he was there. No not there physically, but there mentally. I could see this gorgeous muscular man in my head watching me in the shower. His hair was shoulder length, and his eyes were sapphire blue. I could sense laughter and fun from him, and the story started to grow in my head.

With the first hero anxious to share the story, I sat down with my character description format (fancy words for notebook) and began writing down a description of what he looked like, and then what his heroine looked like.  In general I use this format:

Hero Name:

Age:

Height:

Weight:

Hair:

Eyes:

Skin:

Face:

Body Type:

Personality Type:

Tats/piercings:

Career/Hobbies:

Family/Friends:

Photo Inspiration:

I fill in the blanks with what I know for each character I plan to have. So in this case I have one Word Doc titled “Notes: Sidney’s Triple Shot” and I have 4 pages. Heroine: Sidney Rowe, Hero 1: Tyce Dawson, Hero 2: Xavier Dawson, and Hero 3: Noah Dawson. (Yeah big shocker, I wrote another Menage. :P) I can’t always fill in the blanks when I start writing the story, but I fill them in as I go. This way I can refer back to my character notes when I need to, and make sure that my blue eyed blonde haired heroine doesn’t suddenly end up with green eyes and red hair.

I keep personality notes, because some characters have fav sayings, or quirks, or knicknames for other characters, and I need to quick reference that when I’m writing a series book.  It makes it much easier to inject a past character into a new book when I have all of the important details ready and at my finger tips.

Perhaps one of the most important things for me, is my photo inspiration. I scour the web for photo’s that resemble the character I have in mind. Most of the time the character starts screaming in my head the moment I stumble over a pic they like (hmm….so who really knows if the characters are lying to me about what they look like?) once I’ve found a photo I can clarify details or make adjustments. Adding dimples or freckles to a character’s face because the photo inspiration has them is pretty common.

That’s it. Once my format is filled out, I have strong characters that are well rounded, to build a story on. I feel like it’s very important as the writer to know the history of my characters. What makes them who they are? Did they go to college, skip class in high-school, married once, twice, divorced, widowed, hurt, betrayed? The more I know about them, the easier it is for me to get into their head and tell their story.

If you want to keep up with my visual inspiration the easiest way is to follow my Pinterest page, because I keep a story board for each WIP. http://pinterest.com/lorikingauthor/

I hope that gives you a peek into my brain-now get out! I need to get back to work! 😛

As always Live, Laugh and Love like today is your only chance! ~Lori

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4 Comments
  1. I wish I could be organised. I begin from a picture of a character and allow them to develop their own personality, quips and quirks as they go through their day. But then I AM a pantser rather than a planner. Seems to work out somehow, although I have no real idea how. 😀

    • Andrew, believe it or not I’m a panster too. I have to keep notes as I go, because I can’t always remember what I said two chapters ago. The story finds it’s own road. It means I spend a lot of time rereading and revising if I don’t keep very accurate notes.

      • I know what you mean – these stories grow so quickly, it’s hard to keep track of who said what to whom – especially after it’s been revised a few times. I’ve often wanted to add a sentence that refers to an event, then had to think; ‘wait…has that (event) actually happened yet?’
        BTW – love your Gravatar. Red Hot!

  2. Very interesting….shows how much time , care and preparation goes into your characters….and it shows in each amazing series….

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