Guess what, everybody? We have a guest! Yay! A friend of mine is joining us this Thoughtful Thursday to talk about Knowing Your Characters....

Thoughtful Thursdays: Guest Post with Mariella Hunt: Knowing Your Characters

Guess what, everybody? We have a guest! Yay! A friend of mine is joining us this Thoughtful Thursday to talk about Knowing Your Characters. So without further ado, take it away Mariella!
Knowing Your Characters 
by Mariella Hunt
I've been editing and rewriting my novel Dissonance for three years now, and it's been a hard process. A lot has changed, but what I loved most about this project was seeing my characters evolve from mere words to people.
Characters should be developed enough that, if you let them out to play unsupervised, they’d take the story into their own hands – even if it didn't follow your preset outline. To give a story dimension, you should know it inside and out, from each character’s POV. And if they want to do something you didn't plan, maybe they deserve a chance.

There are some characters I intended to be wise who wound up weak and stupid. A couple were designed to be villains, and I ranted to no end about how malicious they'd be – until I started writing. When I actually put words to page, they became some of my deepest characters. What was supposed to be malice turned into torment that made them likable.

I don’t know what the secret is, except time: Every month of work helps you know the story a little better. Some information may be irrelevant to your actual project, but helps you as the author. It's worth the effort because readers notice if you're not familiar with your character.

If you discover a formula for this I would love to know it! For me it was the rewriting, and this took a lot of time. Now I understand the characters I meant to be villains, and sometimes even root for them. A good story needs these characters to be human and realistic. Nice villains or obnoxious heroes will both work if you make the effort to do it right.
Mariella Hunt is 20 years old and lives in the Treasure Valley, where she writes Fantasy novels. Other favorite pastimes include travel, coffee tasting, and reading books by dead authors.

After four years of obsessive rewriting, her novel Dissonance will be published on December 2014. To follow this journey, visit her blog or connect on Facebook and Twitter.

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Some great advice there, Mariella. Thanks so much for guest-posting!


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4 comments:

  1. I'm starting to wonder who started out as villains... But rewriting, yes. I have a horrible time with characters, and only constant recrafting will help me get them right!

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    1. I normally start out with an idea of my characters, but it definitely takes a ton of rewriting to truly understand who they are.

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  2. Cool post. ^ ^ I had a shy character turn into a psychopath once. XD Though one trick I've found that helps me develop my characters faster than just writing them is character chatting. It has helped me immeasurably.

    Stori Tori's Blog

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    1. I love character chatting! The conversations we've had... lol

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