Thursday, October 22, 2009

Developing Unforgetable Characters

One of my favorite subjects is character development and creation. There's nothing more fun than coming up with new characters in my books and see what they’ll get up to.

My witches are pretty much a slamdunk even if each one has her own distinct personality and special gifts. No one can accuse them of being cookie cutter witches. There are times when they even surprise me.

My characters tend to pop fully grown into my head. I know their names, what they look like, their magickal gifts, and their personalities. From the beginning I knew Jazz would be the snarky one, Stasi the sweet one, and Blair the sassy one. They would be united in the thought that no villain would get away with hurting the innocent, but they’d each have their personal way of handling it. That’s part of the fun for me, because they need to be unique and I work hard to make sure it happens.

As for the creatures in my books, they tend to speak for themselves. Fluff and Puff were created because I always visualized Jazz wearing cute bunny slippers that sported fangs and had their own magick to protect them. Stasi has Bogie, her magickal dog that disappears when things get tense and Horace, a gargoyle whose middle name should be trouble. He was actually the result of my being a fan of the cult-animated show Duckman. Duckman couldn’t be politically correct if his life depended on it and Horace is the same way. Probably why his tail ends up singed so many times. For Blair it was Felix, her vintage Kit-Kat clock, that’s in her shop of retro items. As a kid I was always fascinated by these clocks and it seemed appropriate for Blair to have one. Felix might not be able to climb off the wall, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t hear all the gossip and only too happy to share it.

I like to have fun with my characters in hopes my readers will relate to them whether it’s a powerful witch who can’t live without her morning mocha or a shapeshifter Border collie. Someone you can imagine living next door to you or running into at the grocery store. My characters might be supernatural, but they also blend in very well with the human population. I call it making the unbelievable believable.

I want my readers to accept it all as true. Consider that bunny slippers talk and move around on their own. I’m positive mine have done that since I never find them where I leave them. And the dogs seem to give my slippers a wide berth. Hmmmm….

This time around Blair is looking for love in shapeshifter Jake’s direction, even if he’s trying to hold her off. Blair is undeterred even if Jake’s wolf shifter mother tries to sharpen her claws on Blair, his brother tries the same, and some elves, not the cute holiday type, are in town to add ambiance to the winter festival.

As if that’s not bad enough Fluff and Puff have arranged in a very unique way, even for them, to remain in Moonstone Lake. But it’s Jake’s mother and brother who cause the most trouble and up to Blair, with Stasi’s help, to make sure there’s no wolfie mischief apaw. (Sorry couldn’t resist using that instead of afoot)

And that’s why my characters are so much fun for me. You never know what will happen. I hope you’ll agree and let me know what makes characters fun for you.


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