Do You Know the Muffin Man?

MuffinMan

I am going through the process of getting things organized and ready for a rewrite. I basically have two books that need a rewrite, both within the same series, as well as an edit/rewrite of my NanoWriMo novel from November. It’s a lot to do and if you remember, I set a goal to get these things done and be ready to send off my work to editors and all that fun stuff by next year.

365 days seems like a lot of time, until you have something you are trying to get done within that time.

Part of this process is sitting down and really getting to know my characters. I have been searching for character sheets, trying to find one that I was happy with. Nothing suited my fancy. Some needed too much information while others didn’t ask enough. And there were more that asked me questions I didn’t know the answer to.

It made me realize that, while I know my characters, I never sat down to really get into them, to figure out who they really were. I am sure when I reread what I have already written I will find that these characters are flat and too much alike, too much like me. I gave them all the same personality and it was mine.

I ended up creating my own character sheet, full of things I wanted to know about my characters. Once I was happy with the questions I had, I sat down with my characters and I asked them these questions. You know what I found out? The main character of my first novel, while I knew what he looked like, he didn’t have a face in the book. Not once did I mention what color his hair was, his eyes, or even how tall he was! I was missing vital information and I was doing exactly what I had been told not to do.

I was writing a place holder. A person with no detail other than being male or female. I had given his back story, who his parents were and where he went to college, but that was it. You can imagine how excited he was that I was finally asking him about himself. I was asking what his dreams and goals were. Where he wanted to be in 10 years. I was getting to know this character I had created, who had grown all on his own.

It’s amazing how a story can go on without knowing your characters. You get so lost in the story itself that you forget to find out who the characters are. Now that I am finally meeting them, things that take place in the story make so much more sense.

2 thoughts on “Do You Know the Muffin Man?

  1. Rachel says:

    It’s great you’re finally getting to know your characters. That’s actually why I started doing character interviews on my blog. It was to help myself to get to know my characters better. Some questions are answered by the author (me) and some are answered by the character him/herself. Through answering questions in their voice, I learn so much more about them. You realize that you actually had a plan for them all along.

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