From Concept to Character

I started writing the dialogues for my story. It make my characters more real.

The story of Emma started as an off hand comment by a side character in my novel. It was just something random I came up with for him to say. I wanted to give some substance to the idea that he talks a lot. That was really all there was to it.

That was back in January at some time, when I was re-writing the beginning of the novel before passing it out to beta readers. Then, about a month or so ago I decided that I would use that comment as a basis for a story, but tell it from the perspective of the character mentioned. I wrote a post about that here. You’ll find the relevant passage from the novel in that post as well.

From that one passage, I started creating a story.

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It’s all a bit vague, but it’s starting to come together.

I began scratching the outline. I came up with names of characters and a vague idea about what I wanted to really happen. Somewhere along the line a theme came along – which I may or may not be able to stick to – and a story began to take shape.

With each scratch the story outline got more detailed. It grew and it changed, and I’d like to think it got better. I now have a plot that I think will work. My main character has dreams and hopes and fears.

Then, just the other day, I started writing the dialogues for the scenes and my character started to develop a personality.

I’m loving this feeling. Emma’s gone from a vague concept to a character with something to say. Her actual personality is still taking shape, but it’s definitely there, and with every line of hers I write it’s becoming clearer.

This isn’t the first time I’m experiencing this, and that’s so very encouraging. I feel it means I’m learning and that I’ve found a method that works for me. The same thing happened with Enar, but it took its time. It went quicker with Amanda, and even faster with Alene. It’s working with Emma too and it’s right on schedule.

Sure, I’m writing this after the fact, and I wouldn’t have predicted it, but it does make sense. It’ll be really interesting to see how this works out for my next story after this one.

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From Concept to Character

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