Saturday, July 31, 2010

Caroylyn Mackler: Creating Characters That Come to Life

Warning: DO NOT read to the end of this post if you DON'T want a couple of great questions to ask yourself about your character.

When starting a novel, one of the first things she thinks about when creating character, are the details and the quirks that make a person (a character) who they are; those things they continuously do that make them them.

We're writers. We don't film it. We write it. So the language around the character is important. Each character has their own way of speaking.

Carolyn suggests reading your book out loud for many reasons related to language. "Nothing beats reading your book out loud."

Another essential piece is research. Research was very important while writing TANGLED. She wanted all four characters to have distinct voices. She spent time speaking to a teenage wrestler for hours to help her write a teen boy (Dakota). She also spoke with a teen actress, as well as sat in on an audition for a teen role to help her write the character Skye.

Carolyn asks questions about her characters. If she has a day when she gets stuck, she does something she calls Questions. She once heard Paula Danziger say she wants to know what the inside a characters closet looks like.

1. What does you character keep hidden in his or her underwear drawer? If nothing, then where do they hide things?
2. Who would your character call/text/email/send smoke signals to when something good happens? And what would that good thing be?

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