Monday, February 15, 2010


I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Characterization is what gives our stories life. It turns make belief into reality, or a sense of it anyway. It's what makes our characters human, relatable.

Sometimes characterization comes to us naturally. Mrs. Johnnie and Philip, characters in BEAUTY SECRETS, were super easy to write. As soon as I created them, they started talking. Unfortunately, Keira, my protagonist, hasn't come to my so easily. And it's crazy really. After writing 400 pages from her perspective, I still don't feel like I know her completely. Isn't that weird?

What's your take on characterization? Does it come to you naturally? Or have you ever had a character that takes a little while (in my case 1 1/2 books) before you start to really know them?

BEAUTY SECRETS is doing well in terms of agent requests (yes, that's plural and I'm stoked), but that's not stopping me from re-evaluating my characterization. If anything, I'm only making the story better, right? And we should never be afraid to do that.


Shannon O'Donnell said...

I see my characters clearly in my head, but my husband says I need to work at making their voices more distinct. :-)

Indigo said...

I get excited with my characters. I can visualize them from the beginning and they resonate with life almost immediately. Enough so that when I explain my main character to my husband he gets it. Funny thing is he gets it a little too well. He always says he can see pieces of me in their personality. (Hugs)Indigo

Steph Damore said...

Oh Shannon and Indigo, I'm so jealous. I have a hard time visualizing characters. I always have--even when I'm reading. Strange the way my brain works :)

Stephanie said...

Congrats on the partial requests!!! yay!!! That's so exciting!!!!!!

My Mc in A Bitch Named Karma was so easy to write....and the weird part is that she is NOTHING like me! My MC in Spellbound...a character very much like me...not as easy. But I just did a POV change from 1st to third, so maybe I will have more success with the story having removed myself from it. Maybe it will finally have the pizazz it needs!

Stephanie Thornton said...

Congrats on the agent requests! I just started querying and am keeping my fingers crossed!

Isn't it funny how characterization comes easily for some characters and harder for others?

Steph Damore said...

Stephanies (plural :)

Thanks for the congrats. I'm hoping it's a sign of good things to come!

Re: Characterization: I find the characters that are easiest to write are the ones that absolutely nothing like me. Maybe that's my problem with my protagonist--she's like me, not completely, but I see myself in her no matter how hard I try to avoid it.

kanishk said...

he can see pieces of me in their personality.

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