When writing a novel, the idea normally doesn’t come all at once. Sometimes a scene comes, sometimes a place. For me, personally, I often get to know my characters first. They tell me where they’re from, how they reached where they are, their biggest fears, things about them they wish they could change – everything but what they want to do for the book.
So, what do I do? First, I think about where they are in that moment. What was their last accomplishment? Were they proud of it, or has it left them wanting more? Do they want more of the same, but better? Or do they want something completely new?
Before I can think of anything else, I like to come up with their network of friends. What’s their history together? Do they trust one another, or is there tension? As developing characters is personally my favorite part, so this is a lot of fun for me. I like to think how they would interact with my protagonist. Would they be funny together and provide bits of comedy? Sexual tension and provide some steam? An older sibling feel where they can provide necessary guidance? Or do they absolutely hate each other but necessary to one another in a way that only history can explain? A story can be made or broken by the minor characters.
Then, I like to think about what my character wants most in the world. Is it a person? Respect? Power? Or do they want nothing to do with the world anymore? Now, do I want the story to be revolved around what they want or what the world throws at them? What’s the worst thing that could happen to them? What would make them want to do anything?
Or, is it easy for them? Do they know what they want and are already willing to do whatever is necessary? They already have the drive and will do it without any prompting? Well, that’s nice. But, now what? How do I make it interesting? Is there someone standing in their way? How do I make it personal? Think back to everything that makes them, them. What’s the worst thing I can do to them? As much as I love my characters, that’s always the question to ask. Whatever’s the worst thing that could happen to them, make it happen. That’s your story.
Stay tuned.. tomorrow I have some VERY exciting news to share with you all! 🙂