Angie and I became acquainted in an author’s group on Facebook and it didn’t take long to realize we were soul sisters. We share not only our religious faith (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka LDS) but also a love for military science fiction. I finally met Angie face-to-face at the Life, the Universe & Everything (LTUE) science fiction and fantasy symposium in Provo, UT in February. Her first novel, Defenders of the Covenant, was released late last year. It begins the story of an alien invasion of Earth and a group of Earth’s defenders who happen to be LDS. Angie is another on my short list of nominees for the Very Inspirational Blogger Award, and today I’m honored to sit at the feet of her Writer’s Chair to glean new insights into developing strong, engaging characters.
Getting to Know You
I don’t know about you, but creating characters is my favorite part of writing. It’s no surprise that we writers love our characters like they are our own children or our very best friends. We know our characters as well as our own children or our very best friends. There are as many methods of character development as there are writers. Questionnaires, pictures, daydreams, personality tests, people watching… All of these things can help us get to know our characters better.
While it’s okay to find out some external things about your character, like his shoe size or favorite flavor of ice cream, for character development to be truly effective, we need to focus on getting to know the character from the inside.
How does your character view the world? Is he cynical or optimistic? Idealistic or jaded?
How does she view other people? Does she look for the best or assume the worst? Is she trusting or wary?
How does he view himself? Is he confident or self-conscious? Does he have a high or low self-esteem?
What does she expect out of others? Does she demand perfection? Is she judgmental or open-minded? Does she make friends easily or is she shy?
What does he want out of life? Does he want to change anything about his situation? Does he have any meaningful relationships?
You get the idea. Knowing your character from the inside goes a long way toward establishing a character’s voice and will deepen and enrich your stories.
Angie Lofthouse went to college with every intention of becoming a particle physicist, but through a series of misadventures found herself studying Shakespeare instead. After college she combined her love of science and her love of words into a science fiction writing career.
My website is www.angielofthouse.com and the link for the book is: http://www.amazon.com/Defenders-Covenant-Angie-Lofthouse/dp/1599928485/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364423261&sr=1-1&keywords=defenders+of+the+covenant