All writers have a process for character development that they follow. I am no different. My character, Diego Garcia Malone, was conceived by me but his essence is a compilation of the thoughts of many people that I have introduced him too. This is my way of developing a character that is believable.
Diego is a tough guy but he has a sensitive side that he does not like to show or have exposed. His feelings toward his niece, Franny, is a place where readers would have seen this side of him come through. For those who have read my first book, Nights Dark Dance, that same sensitivity was displayed with his wife.
Something else that the readers, of Nights Dance Into Day, may not realize is that each chapter is being written just days before it is placed in this blog. Since NDID is not under contract to any publisher; I only write one or two chapters a week as my contracted work is a mandatory exercise.
Ok! Why am I telling you all this? I love the characters in this book. Even though it is not contracted; I want to continue to develop it. It is my way of writing for fun not profit.
Since NDID is about to take a major plot change within the next two or three chapters; I want to test market new characters now under development and get a feel for the present characters public perception. On Monday and Tuesday nights I will be doing a series of public book readings and discussion groups with local people. This will help me set my characters course and help my plot development.
I do this with all my writings. I find it not only helpful to me as a writer but I enjoy the interaction with people that actually read. It is a win-win situation for me.
Last fall I went through this same process for my two contracted books; 'The Promise' which is based on my Second Life relationship with my partner Thinkie and 'Gods People', a story about Dutch farmers who risked their lives trying to protect Hebrews during World War II. Both these stories will require trips to Canada's Maratine Provinces, Ireland and Europe this year for research and site visits. God I love this work,,lol.
I love telling stories and revealing characters that are real and jump off the page. Characters that the reader wonders about when they are done reading that book. I have actually had someone ask me what Diego is up to now. Like he is someone I talk with on a daily basis. Finding a memorable character, for any writer, is an exhilarating feeling. Like Patricia Cornwell' 'Kay Scarpetta' or Michael Connelly's 'Harry Bosch'. The reader always wants to know more about those characters. That is what I want for mine.
Now I have bored you to tears twice this week. So I will pass on another anecdote to make you smile.
Punctuation is powerful and the women are sooooooo right!!