In honour of the Fall Fires blog tour, I decided to give the authors the same guest post, and get their insight into how they picture their characters.
This time is the turn of CW Stevens, author of Love, Unexpected
As Michael and Chuck’s loving union comes to pass, two, gay members of the wedding party discover the sweet bonds of a comfortable companionship. Attraction becomes more as they recognize their true soul mate in each other, which fills the romantic void in their solitary lives. It seems only one, small obstacle stands in their way.
When you write, do you have a specific picture of the characters in your mind that you work from, or do you like to allow them freedom to grow as you write? Also, does it bother you if your readers see you characters in a different way?
The characters I create may start out as one, specific image but, more often than not, they have changed by the time the story comes to an end.
Most of the time they are conjured from a well known person, or attractive celebrity; from a movie, a book… or, it can come from everyday life. It may be someone remembered from my past – or a pleasant co-worker – they all come into play. In my mind the character may start out as a blue-eyed blond but, by the end of the story, he may have a completely different appearance.
I tend to mold my characters by the things they experience in the story, as I write it; what I put them through, how they react, what they feel, whether their personas are strong or weak. As the chapters progress, their actions in a particular scene will sometimes cause me to visualize a different face or demeanor. Clean or scruffy, short or tall, pleasant or monsterous. To me, this is allowing my character to grow, to take on the form they best portray. By the time the story is finished I have a clear image in my mind.
I hope to give the audience a perfect, clear picture of how I envision a character; for them to be able to see what I see. As a reader, I take in all the details the author provides and end up with my own version of a character. Of course it won’t mirror completely what the writer has written, but the end result will be the same. Readers have their own ideas about the cast. The descriptions I provide may remind them of someone they know, or may stir up feelings of unease, if the text brings back memories of a good or bad time in their own lives.
As far as a character’s personality, I do hope readers see what I intend. Characteristics, traits, personas, experiences. . . to me, these things are the backbone of the character; what makes them who they are; the way they behave. If readers end up hating a character, I hope it’s not because I have the inability to create them effectively.
It doesn’t bother me at all if readers envision my character’s physical attributes in a different way. By all means, create your own ideas in your mind! That’s part of the fun of reading, to imagine your own scene and what the players look like; what you derive from the information an author provides. To create your own escape. The author provides the groundwork, the written words; the reader invents his own magical landscape and visualizes the story in the way only his mind can process it.
My only hope is for readers to enjoy the stories I write. If it touches their hearts, in some small, special way, then I have achieved my goal. That’s all a writer can ask for.
About the author:
C.W. Stevens lives in the United States, in the Midwest, where the winters are cold and icy, and the summers are disgustingly hot and humid. Spring and fall are her favorite times of the year.
Reading is one of her favorite pastimes.
She enjoys writing and loves meeting new people along the way. Music and Abstract are a couple of her favorite Arts. She enjoys the challenge of trying to unlock the meaning of what the artist is trying to express. She enjoys solitude and hates crowds.
C. W. has two, grown sons, and loves spending time with her three grandchildren. Life is good!