Please welcome the lovely Jennifer Eaton talking about her Young Adult novel. Oh yes, I love all books here.
How do you create a character?
I’m here today to talk about the fine points of creating a great character. I thought about talking up the idea of creating character notebooks, family histories, and notes about what the characters ate for breakfast three weeks ago… but I figured: “Hey, let’s be real.”
The honest answer to how I create a character… is that it just sort of “happens”. I have a very basic idea in mind (usually a plot) and then I drop very generic, flavorless characters into the mix.
Sometimes I have little “quirks” that are pre-determined, but overall my characters start as average “Joes” or “Janes”
At this point, nothing is on paper, I just imagine people going through the plot, and how they might react. In my mind, I start deciding on their personalities. THAT’S when I start actually typing, and bringing the characters to life.
In THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW TOMORROW I knew before I started typing that Maya would wear glasses, and not be happy about it. This aspect of her was necessary for the plot. But from this, I decided to make her a little insecure about other things about her appearance.
Not wanting her to be completely insecure, I decided to make her a strong student… math especially, which is not my strong suit at all.
When my characters first appear on the page, they begin developing. Sometimes by the end of the story, they are completely different that when I started, and I have to go back and tweak to allow them to “grow” but still be the same person deep down.
So sorry, I cannot say there is a science to it. I just try to portray real-life people in not-so-real-life situations. I’ve done my job if you are smiling when you read “The End”.
Jennifer M. Eaton is a contemporary blender of Science Fiction, Dystopian, and Romance. Her work ranges from the sweet contemporary romances of Paper Wishes, to the dystopian society of Last Winter Red and Optimal Red, with a dusting of young adult paranormal just for fun in The First Day of the New Tomorrow.
While not off visiting other worlds, Jennifer calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her wonderfully supportive husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.
Full time team leader, full time mom, and full time novelist… what more can you ask for? Writing help did you say? Well, sure! Jennifer hosts an informational blog aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be. Stop on by and chat. She loves to hear from fans! http://www.jennifermeaton.com/
Her contemporary sweet romance, Paper Wishes is currently available in ebook format. The Dystopian novelette “Last Winter Red” is available as part of the “Make Believe” Anthology. Each title is available from Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com and Smashwords.
Paper Wishes: Jill has no idea what she wants for Christmas, but when it looks like her best friend Jack is going to get exactly what he asks for, Jill makes a Christmas wish that will change both of their lives forever.
Last Winter Red: In search of a husband, Emily leaves the safety of the city and risks her life stepping into the outside world. What she finds there will question the foundations of everything she believes in. Available as part of the Make Believe anthology.
The First Day of the New Tomorrow: Maya dreams of having everything she wants, but when she gets it, she can’t give it back fast enough. (Coming in September, 2013 from Muse It Up)