#buythisbook #First50Words 3 questions 60 Second Book Review author interview backstory book review book trailer brainstorming buy this book copy editing critique groups ebooks family drama feminism fiction indie author indie publishing literary agents literary fiction love is the answer memoir movie music mystery Nanowrimo NaPoMo path to publication perspective publishing publishing biz revision romance romantic suspense screenwriting self-promotion self-publishing sunday groove Sunday Quote Trailer Park unfairly awesome Women Writing Women YA crossover
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
"Ms. Author, Your Character's on Line One
Posted by Colleen Thompson
Have you ever noticed that some characters just show up? Fully formed, they burst out of your skull, much like Athena exploded, fully armed and everything, out of Zeus gi-normous headache (which served that womanizing s.o.b. right for swallowing her pregnant mother, if you ask me).
I love it when a character simply bursts onto the scene. Although the other type, the shy ones you only gradually discover, have their appeal, those fictional folks who simply show up make life so much easier, since they arrive packing their own voices, mannerisms, and the willingness to smack down the author who tries to hammer them into a plot where they won't fit.
Sometimes, this type of character is a hero (the hunkalicious desert recluse, Zeke Pike from my latest, Triple Exposure, and Beth Ann Decker from Head On). Other times, it's a secondary character (Patsy from Triple Exposure and Estelle Hooks from The Salt Maiden. Once in a while, it's a villain who comes to breathe down my neck, raising chill bumps and making me want to shower after each scene spent in their heads (the killer from Head On). Whichever the case may be, I feel a special affection (or a special horror) for these folks long after the book is written.
But I often wonder how they come to be. Do they live everyday lives on some alternate plane only to accidentally step inside the (hellish, since I write suspense) wardrobe of my story? Are they subconsciously-formed conglomerates of folks I've known or read about or imagined? Or did they grow from the vines of those watermelon seeds I was warned not to swallow as a kid?
What about you? Do any (or all) of your characters simply show up? Any thoughts on the mystery of how that happens, or on how we as authors can see that it happens more frequently?
We welcome payola in the form of pies, cakes, neatly folded laundry and free books!
In accordance with FTC regulations, we're required to inform readers that we receive books from publishers, authors, and PR folk for review. We'd like to receive money via an offshore bank account, but that hasn't happened yet. When my dad was in radio back in the '50s, a local baker used to sneak over in the dead of night and fill the back seat of his car with bread and pastries. We would NOT object to this. Please review our review policy here. And let us know if we should leave the car outside the garage tonight.
Peace, love, and statutory compliance ~