We all want to breathe life, not only into our characters, but also in the places in our stories. I want people who read my stories to see everything in their mind in living color.
One technique is to interview the characters. And to scout places as if needed a TV production.
So have you ever thought about casting your characters?
Or do you write the story and work in the characters as you go?
Do you map out the characters before hand?
Or do you plan out and plot, the characters during the outline process?
I used to etch out a general list before writing and then flesh them out as I wrote.
That works fine for a short story or flash piece, but I’m finding that for a longer novel I need to do more work before writing.
I recently listened to a writer who approaches his characters as if he were casting them for a play. He goes through the process of interviewing different people in his head until he finds someone in real life, other stories, TV shows etc that fits the general profile of his character.
Then, as he builds the character he adds pictures and descriptions to his file. This tool enables him to keep the character in his mind as he writes.
He does the same thing with places. Need a boat dock, search Google Images for a picture that matches the one in your head. Same thing for town, restaurant, airport, well you get the idea. This writer builds a scrapbook that tells his story with pictures and captions before he begins to write.
With this scrapbook he has an idea of where his Protagonist and friends live and work.
What do you think?
Have you ever build a make-believe scrapbook for your characters?
Here are some links to help with character building:
Now watch this tip on how to fleshing out a real living and breathing character.