I recently started writing a new book.
It's been a while since I started writing something new that wasn't a "sequel" to another book, so I was really excited!!!
Everyone writes books differently. Some plot first, some start with a seed of an idea and just start writing (previously this was ME!) and some do a little of both (THIS is now me.)
So, as I write my new book, I'd thought I'd take you through a little of my process.
The first thing I need are: CHARACTERS.
Questions to answer about our characters:
Who are they?
What do they do for a living?
How old are they?
What do they look like?
Where are their parents, do they have siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles... what does their family life look like?
Why are they in this story?
What is their background?
Do they have weird quirks?
Some of this I don't know yet about my new characters. But I start by asking the question and writing down what I DO know.
Then you work on the GMC (Goal Motivation Conflict) for each main character (and maybe even minor ones too!)
Goal: What do they want in this story?
Motivation: Why do they want it?
Conflict: What is going on that prevents them from getting what they want?
A great resource for finding out more about GMC is Debra Dixon's book, Goal, Motivation, Conflict.
Personally, if I get too detailed at the beginning, I'd get overwhelmed. I start out with a general idea of what my characters what, a reason for them wanting it, and usually there is one big thing that prevents them from having it. However, this needs to get deeper as the story goes, and for me, it usually changes and develops as I write. So start off with something basic.
When building characters, I also find a picture of them. Usually this is with Google images. Sometimes it's a celebrity, other times it's someones random picture I find that fits my character PERFECTLY. It is SO SO SO nice to have a visual for when I write. No accidentally changing hair color (without a trip to the hairstylist anyway!) The one to the left is the celebrity whose "look" is inspiring the heroine of my newest book!
Discussion: How do YOU start forming new characters? What is your FAVORITE character in a book you recently read, and why? Do you use pictures of real people to help you visualize your characters?