1 February 2013

Sisterhood of the Travelling Blog - Round Two!

Welcome to Round TWO of Sisterhood of the Travelling Blog!
Many apologies to followers and to Stacy for the delay in posting this entry. I landed myself in the hospital unexpectedly and had no internet. All is well now, so please join me in welcoming author Stacy Moran, and read all about her characters and how they work for her.
You can find my entry on Stacy's blog - there is a link at the bottom of this entry.

Lessons, learned…
Stacy Moran

Developing a character

When I read a book, what keeps me reading is a connection to the central characters. I want to feel something for them within the first couple chapters and be drawn into their life. This is the biggest struggle and the most fun about writing for me. As a writer, I want readers to feel compelled to follow my characters’ journey and remain loyal to them until the end of the story.

Most readers including myself want someone charismatic who is filled with intrigue and personality. We as readers and writers do not want a generic hero. We want someone who we can relate to, someone perhaps we can see ourselves as being. We want to fall into a world of fantasy and dreams but it becomes difficult to escape from the real world if we cannot relate to the main characters.

Developing a personality can be difficult at first because there are thousands of traits to consider. Will they be friendly, distant, rude, arrogant, kind, humble, boisterous, or greedy? Most characters will only have a few of these characters. I personally bond to characters that have flaws and struggles to overcome. The so called perfect characters are boring and do not hold the reader or the author’s attention.

I spend a great deal of time developing a character, making sure they are not too perfect or follow a cookie cutter storyline. No one will become invested in two dimensional heroes or want to follow a cliché story. The characters must have flaws, real flaws.

My favorite part of writing is the research, the backstory of my world

Where does the character come from? What are their struggles? In my case, are they human or some other being? Are they a villain or a victim? Do they have a family or is their family dead? These are just a few questions that you will have to ask yourself when you are working on your character’s back-story. Most of the time once you decide on a location and their race the rest of their history unfolds.
A twist of fate is always helpful when writing a story. This usually becomes a character’s drawing power. The backstory is greatly influential in their personality throughout the story.

For example discovering why a man’s family is dead could determine why they are on a journey of vengeance. Or a man searching for redemption from a past sin is another way to use backstories. I want to give my characters a reason for doing what they are doing. In Blood Myth, Zakah has a control fetish and his sex life is more of a Dom/Sub lifestyle but once you get to know him you learn why he is drawn to this kind of relationship. I am a firm believer in balance in life so in my writing I work hard to keep balance. The characters flaws and strengths need to be believable or your readers will think it is just an odd story.

Creating Demons

Creating physical obstacles for our characters to face are great and fun to read but what keeps me committing and wanting more is when they must face their own personal demons. As a reader and author I want more than the traditional adversary. I want to feel the individual’s struggle as a reader and as an author I want to hit the personal chord within the reader.

I do not mean to suggest we cure all struggle and clear up all problems with our characters but I want to make sure my audience can see a way for them to overcome their demons. We ourselves have to face our demons at certain points in our lives, and to read and take some form of escape that helps to reinforce our resolve to face these demons helps to connect the hero to the readers on an intimate level.

Finally, throughout my journey practicing my craft of writing I have become more critical of the things I read and write. This blog is a reminder to me of things I mistakes I have made in the past or things I need to remember when creating a new world, hopefully others can benefit from my mistakes.

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