Getting inside a character’s mind
I know this may sound like a weird thing to write about as the characters in my books are figments of my imagination. I mean, I created them so I should already know everything about them right? Well that’s not always the case. I still find myself being surprised by what I have made my characters do in some of my books or how I have accidentally developed them further than I wanted.
When I start a novel, especially the first in a series like Deadly to Love, one of the first things I do is plan the characters. There are a few steps I go through to not only develop and create my characters but also to help me learn who they are and get inside their minds while writing. Here’s the basic process and the order I normally follow, however there are always odd characters who like to cause me trouble so it may vary slightly at times.
1. Profiles - The first characters I create are obviously the leads, for example Kai and Rea in Deadly to Love. I have a standard character profile form which I will fill out for everyone in the book and I will normally end up with three pages on each individual. This profile will include everything from their looks, personality, age, height, birthday, likes, dislikes, their backstory, motives and anything that is important to who they are or why they would do something. I find that by doing this it is easier to try and keep the character consistent throughout the book as when stuck in certain situations I would know how they would react due to the amount of details I have on them. It’s also helpful if I forget small details like birthdays.
2. Sketches - Next I may do a few sketches of the most important characters to help solidify my image of them. However, usually I use this more with the supernatural/paranormal characters as they are the ones who will have the most differences, for example I did this for The Elementals to help with their initial creation.
3. Relationships - After that I will work on the relationships in the book. I will plan out who is going to fall in love with who, which characters are related and develop the friendship groups. This is however subject to change as I write the story but by planning out the connections between the characters I find it easier to include them and develop their reactions to certain things.
4. Names - Lastly, although this stage does appear at random times depending on the character, I will find names for each individual. Normally there is always one character that is the hardest to name though. In Deadly to Love everyone but Kai seemed to name themselves, yet nothing seemed to fit for him. I had initially named him Richie and written half the book with that name just so I could get on with the story but it just didn’t seem right. I searched through numerous baby name sites as well, but still couldn’t find anything. It was only when I was hungry and went to get something from the fridge did I find a name. I spent 2hrs by the fridge as I noticed the alphabet magnets and started to rearrange them. That was how eventually named Kai. I’m not sure why but it is always a male lead that I have trouble naming, everyone else seems to fall in place.
After this process I find it easy to put the characters into my novels as I know them inside out. However there are certain people (it happened in Deadly to Love with Alanah) that end up transforming into someone different as the story moves on. This always surprises me when it happens accidentally but it’s just how the writing unfolds naturally. To find out which characters change though, you will have to read Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1).
Thanks to Lauren for hosting me on her amazing blog and remember to check out Deadly to Love and the rest of the tour stops here: http://miahoddell.blogspot.co.uk/p/tour-schedule.html!
Thanks for stopping by, Mia!
There is a love that is so dangerous, so powerful, so intoxicating that it embraces your heart and smothers your mind until it leaves you defenceless.
Serena knew that but still, it didn't stop her. His name was Kai. He was the most beautiful, irresistible man she had ever encountered. Their attraction was too compelling to fight and she knew she would go to the end of the world beside him. That is love.
However behind the allure was hidden a deadly secret – a secret that threatened her fragile life... But secrets best left unsaid never remain hidden forever. When Kai reveals his true identity, she is exposed to a frightening world she had no idea existed. Controlled by powerful Elemental forces her life is placed in mortal danger.
Unbeknown to them, their lives have been entwined from the beginning and it leads her to discover an even greater secret about who she really is. As the pieces begin to unravel and death becomes a reality, Serena is forced to decide what is more important...her love or life.
Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and her preferred genre is Young Adult, Paranormal Romance. Before 2009, Mia wouldn't even pick up a book and was more interested in sports. However she finally found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of both reading and writing. Mia began with poems and after getting two published in separate anthologies she moved on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series The Wanderer Trilogy and from there other ideas have emerged which she hopes to turn into novels as well. Elemental Killers is her second series and book two will be out soon.