Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Secret to Writing Solid Characters

How to write solid characters has been a regular topic on my blog. Really, providing realistic characters is the key to hooking readers. Yes, of course, you need an intriguing plot, ideal pacing, and so on, but at the root of every book is its characters.

Ernest Hemingway said, "We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master." 

Are your characters real enough to pinch?
Well, more recently I've discovered another means of creating characters my readers can pinch.

The suggestion actually came from Katie Jennings—thank you, Katie! She’s uses this method. In fact, when I started looking at things this way, I realized I had already incorporated it into my characters without even knowing it. Still, it’s provided a means to ensure that my characters always stay true to who they are and it enables me to sharpen them.

Using this method makes it possible to know how they are going to react in situations. It can tell you roughly what your characters are going to look like, sound like, talk like, think like.

Are you curious yet?

Well, here’s the “secret”….assign your characters a birthday and a star sign.

If you had told me even seven months ago that I would do this, I wouldn’t have believed you. See, based on the way I was raised, astrological signs were not something that was to be entertained. While everyone has to decide what is right for them, I do not find referencing star signs to be spiritualistic (just for those of you with a similar background to mine). If you're open to it, basing characters within a star sign allows you to do all that is mentioned above and more.

For some great references on star signs, see:
Linda Goodman's Blog or her books Sun Signs and Love Signs