When it comes to my books, the ones with actual characters, they are the most important part about the book. Sure, you have to have a good plot, a good location for the plot to happen, and a good storyline, but if you have characters that are boring, dull or inexpressive, well no one will want to read the books! Your characters need to truly be interesting, in one way or another. They can either be similar to you, to what you want to be, someone else you find interesting or whatever else. But, they do have to be interesting nonetheless.
When it comes to my characters, I tend to put a lot of thought into them before even writing the book. The Warfighters Series for instance, took me a long time to come up with each characters name, their position in the group, if they were funny/angry/indecisive/goofy, etc. To be honest, first I start out with their personality. Then for something like the book content I start to delve into how I want them to act in the book, any trademark motto’s they use, the certain way they talk and more. Its actually a lot of fun. Its a time sucker, but it is fun! Then for something like the book covers I actually tend to start looking at celebrities. I take apart their faces and pick out what I like or don’t like, what I want changed, fixed, colored a different way, pronounced etc. I don’t think anyone unless they are some crazy artist, can actually “paint” a picture, create a character, or draw a character unless they sort of take parts from other people to create their own character. Sometimes I feel a bit like Doktor Frankenstein.
I tend to build their personalities first and write it all down on my laptop on Google Docs. Then once I get an idea of who they are, I begin the task of looking through a million and one pictures to see if my guy can essentially be matched with who I see in my head in terms of looks. Again, super time-sucker, but this is actually my favorite part of the book – the characters! Sometimes these characters don’t even come from strangers, sometimes they are someone I know personally, or God forbid, myself lol.
When I first created one of the characters in my book for the Nine Of Hearts (Rachel Jenson) I knew exactly who I wanted her to be like in my head, but I also think that visuals help and if you can mentally figure out who you want that character to be if someone were to call them and be like Hey she wants you in her movie for her book sort of deal lol then its easier to flesh out the other details. Essentially, and I don’t know if this is okay haha, but Rachel Jenson was sort of created with Anna Torv in mind. I love you Anna Torv if you ever read this in a million zillion years haha.
I’m a visual person, so finding someone that I could relate my character to was super important. By the way ALL my main characters in the Nine Of Hearts are fleshed out using real people – not all are celebrities. Some are just regular old people. I don’t know if every writer does this, but I do. I have about 35 pages with my main group; their name, call sign, relationship status, background info in the military, any significant loss in their lives, type of personality they should have, their age, and yes, a photo of whomever I want them to be. When I write my books, I get so close with these characters and their lives and personalities, sometimes it feels like I could just call Billy Jackson up haha. But, I’m not insane just overly involved with my characters lol.
When it comes to these books, any of my books – whether they have characters or not, its not just about getting on the laptop or the computer and starting my story. Its about so much more than that. I guess that’s why authors tend to get so involved in their books and writing.