Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Burning Question for Blogfest Week One

I am deep into the very fun part of a new WIP. It's a middle-grade post-apocolyptic horse girl adventure set right here in the Appalachian mountains. Though I love my new protagonist, she still has much to learn in life. However, I am so in love with two supporting characters that are not even in the story yet, they are all I can think about.

One of the characters is deaf and I can't wait to write him. I love dialogue. Dialogue is one of my strengths, yet I am giving myself a character who will not use words to communicate. This guy is a nod to my first cousin, who is deaf in real life and I feel blessed every day that I had the great fortune to grow up with him. In the next chapter I write he comes to life and I cannot wait for the challenge.

The other character is the deaf boy's father and he is a hoot. He's a collector. Of things, words, dogs, and people. He's crusty and gnarly and missing teeth, but I am totally in love with this guy.

So here's the question - WHAT MAKES YOU FALL COMPLETELY IN LOVE WITH ONE OF YOUR CHARACTERS? IS IT THEIR BEHAVIOR, THEIR HABITS, THE CHALLENGE OF WRITING THEM? DO THEY COME TO YOU IN YOUR DREAMS AND WHISPER THEMSELVES TO LIFE?

For me, this process of falling in love, is what wakes me up in the morning and gets me quickly to my computer to write them real. I can't wait to hear your answers. And Welcome! It's nice to know you!

25 comments:

  1. Great question!

    My characters start off alive in my head. They just walk across my mind, usually involved in one of the more dire scenes in their novel, and suddenly I've met this amazing person I'm dying to get to know. It becomes about discovery; not creating a character, but getting to know a person, letting them tell me their story. It must be some aspect of my muse.

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  2. Your WIP sounds interesting! I love characters that have something unique about them, and I often give my characters a hobby or interest that is not typical to others of their age group.

    The characters I end up with in my novels are usually ones that keep coming into my mind over time. I can find the roots of these characters in my writing journals from months ago.

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  3. Hey JRo!
    Great question. I fall in love with characters who embrace their own flaws in positive ways and overcome adversity in creative ways.

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  4. Ooo, great question! I fall in love with my characters when they feel fully alive in my mind. When I know they have secrets I have yet to figure out :)

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  5. I fall in love with the character who has the most flaws. Humans themselves are imperfect, so why would you write a perfect character? There are a ton of them out in the world already (not naming books because that's not nice). :P

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  6. Your characters sound awesome ^_^ What makes me fall in love is the characters who challenge me. I create them and then realize there are aspects of their personality that are just enough different from my own thought process that I have to twist my perspective upside-down to get inside their heads. I love that challenge and those are the characters I love to spend the most time with.

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  7. Flaws and challenges and voices in our heads - seems like we all have that in common :0)

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  8. Love this question and your characters! THey sound very cool and fun to write.

    I grow to love my characters in my head. I develop them all there before they make it to paper and I love them so much I can't wait to get them into the story. Now if they don't come out right then I don't love them and I have to do it over until it I get it right. It's like meeting a friend after a long time when I do.

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  9. I fall in love with the character that has the most to go through.

    My characters actually do come in my dreams some time, that's how I meet them. Then, of course, they rattle through my head all day, screaming for me to get to a computer or something to write their stories down at. If I don't make it in time, they start telling their stories, getting quieter and quieter as they go. Then I lose a story. I love those characters sometimes more than regular, just because I can't have them!

    Good luck with you story, it sounds really good!

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  10. I love all my characters. Even the bad ones - I love to hate them. Can't explain it. They become people to me, and I spend so much time with them. How can I not care?

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  11. Your story sounds amazing! I fall for mine gradually, they seem to get more interesting as the book progresses.

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  12. I have to admire my characters. They must be flawed, but also redeemable. If they're striving for greatness, they have me heart and soul.

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  13. The characters I adore most are the ones who will do things I'm not brave or crazy enough to do, & also have personality quirks of people I know and love in my own life.

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  14. Mine just kind of pop into my head. I love the sassy ones that don't follow rules :)

    Oh, and I'm a horse girl, too! I've got three at home.

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  15. Such a great question. I wish I was more in touch with my whimsy so I could say they whisper in my dreams, but really my characters are pieces of people I know. I always thought my greatest gift as a writer was knowing where the story was. By that, I mean that I think I'm good at finding the things around me that make great stories. I still write very fanciful things (MG adventure) but it's all based on the day-to-day world around me.

    Such an awesome post. Your WIP sounds great. I'm following now!

    Laura
    laurabwriter.blogspot.com

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  16. I love all these comments! Thanks guys and welcome new followers. Lindy and Laura - I confess to drawing from folks I know, too. It's fun to take the parts of folks you love and mesh them up into somebody new.

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  17. I fell in love with my picture book characters because they were spunky, humorus and changed for the better.

    My WIP is a YA Historical fiction based on my mother's life during WW2. Well, I've always loved my mother but I didn't understand her most of my life. Writing this book has actually helped me understand her. My supporting characters are growing on me as I write.

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  18. I agree with other posters who said their characters are pieces of people they know. I generally use that real-life piece as a launch for a character. It gives me a starting point. And then I fall in love when they say something really clever or show up in a spot that forces the plot to move in a way I didn't plan originally.

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  19. Great question and comments! Have to agree with others on this, my characters are pieces of myself and others all mixed in different ways. It amazes me how alive they become, and I'll catch myself thinking of them as if they were "real" ;-)

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  20. For me it's knowing their back story, knowing what motivates them, hurts them. What makes me connect to them.

    That's an awesome question.

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  21. Hey JRo, I'm a fellow BlogFester and new follower.

    Your question is excellent and I found my answer immediately. It was my MC's sense of frailty and vulnerability that made me fall in love with him and the way he accepted his own faults and powered through them.

    I don't want some perfect man who all the women fall in love with. I want someone who is flawed yet learns to adjust.

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  22. You have a fabulous blog! I’m an author and illustrator and I made some awards to give to fellow bloggers whose sites I enjoy. I want to award you with the Creative Blog Award for all the hard work you do!

    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
    ~Deirdra

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  23. I guess it's when I sit down and enjoy a bit of a 'speed-dating' moment with them. Quick-fire questions and answers lead to more questions and more in-depth answers and suddenly they're intriguing and you just have to know more!

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  24. I love this question. My main character is a compilation of so many things I wish I could be and so many things I've struggled with.

    The rest of my cast simply makes life easier and harder for my protag.

    Did I say how much I love writing?

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  25. Ooo, good question. It's kinda weird, but I almost fall more in love with my side characters than with my main character. It's almost like my main character KNOWS I'm rooting for him or her, but their sidekicks and foils are just so supportive and add so much extra life to the MC that I go gaga over them.

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