No, all my characters do not look like cartoons! :-)
Writing I assume is different for everyone. Every person that creates a story, a fictional story, probably does it differently. I shouldn’t say everyone because there are probably many people who do it one way, then writers who do it other ways. Maybe there are only so many different ways to create fictional characters and write about them.
I only know my method. If you write, please share yours. I am very interested in how writers see their characters before they put them down in a book. I see my characters as a movie playing in my head.
At first when a story idea comes to mind, all the pieces are most always not there. But they develop over time and then all the pieces of the puzzle form together and I write an outline.
After that, if I am feeling really organized, I might write short chapter descriptions. I really like to have a plan to follow. But even if I do, once I begin to type and the characters start moving around and talking in the scene that is set for them, things change. For example, a character might come up with some line that I hadn’t even had in the outline or chapter description. Then it goes from there. I see them smile, hiss at one another, move around, scratch their head, fold their arms.
I am just the messenger who writes it down as it unfolds. After that, when I am done with them for the time being, I save what I’ve written and as I walk around doing other stuff or move on to another story to work on, those characters from back in the first story just go into frozen mode.
Sometimes if I think of them but I’m not planning to write anything new, I see them in a corner of my mind just standing or sitting about, frozen in time, waiting for their cue to move back on stage.
It is a fascinating procedure and I am so glad that this is how I write. So, how about you? How do you get inspiration for writing? Or if you are only a reader of other’s work, how do you see the book play out in your mind? Do you always, from the beginning, have a picture in your mind of what a certain character looks like?
Most writers describe their characters, but some don’t. Some do to a point and let the reader use his or her imagination. I do describe my characters, but not all the time and not in full detail. I like to leave a bit up to the reader’s imagination. And here’s another question: Do you ever see a character looking like someone you know, or having qualities of someone you know and because of that, you associate that character with the person you know or have seen on TV maybe? And while doing that, maybe the character takes on the voice or body language of the person you know.
It’s all a wonderful exercise, this writing and reading. That is what is so delightful about books. Please tell me about your favourite character(s) and whether you have ever wished you could meet them in real life.
I have a story in a very crude draft form where the author of a book (not me, my character) has just finished up writing about a very scary and ruthless character. After she finishes the book, she begins to see sightings of this character or at least someone who looks like him.This throws my author character into a mental confusion. I hope to have fun with this book someday, when I find the time to pursue it.
Keep up your Happy Writing and Reading everyone. And remember to stay positive!