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Monday, October 29, 2012

Guest Post

Hello my name is... The Development of a Character by Lorena Bathey

In the world of fiction one of the toughest aspects can be creating your characters. Plotting can be easy, wild, and weird. But the characters you develop have to be someone that a reader would like. One who is reading the story doesn't always have to relate to the characters life, but it does help to endear the character to the person reading the pages.

What's the first step in character development for me? What they look like.

Why? Because when I create their outward appearance it helps me to then layer in the personality. There are certain stereotypes that authors can fall back on; the handsome hero, the beautiful damsel in distress, and the evil, creepy-looking villain. However, when you create a story where the characters are the plot, then you have to bring more to them.

As an author my story usually begins with a character who will be the narrator. I let them speak in either dialog or inner speak so you get their inflection and tone which creates a picture in your head. Then I describe what they look like, but I do this broadly because I want the reader to then fill in the gaps. I want the reader to bond with the narrator and to become invested in them and the story that builds around them.

Once you have the main character then it's time to populate their world. Oftentimes different characters pop up as the story progresses. But when I begin a book I try to create a few characters a head of time that I know will be involved somehow. How much or how little can be determined as the story grows, but having established characters means you can use them to bring a story to fruition. These other characters can be wacky, weird, or anything you want. They are the frosting on the cake. In fact, usually the wackier the better when it comes to supporting individuals in your story.

Characters are the backbone of the story, and can even be the whole story. But make sure that you create a wave effect for them. In most books there is a problem that needs to be solved and that the character needs to go through. Then the apex where all may seem lost. How that character responds is integral to the story. In the ending you can make it happy, tragic, or simply realistic, whichever way you choose, the character's response must make sense to how you developed them.

Creating characters is fun. You can use your imagination. They can be everything the author isn't or everything you want to be. Make them deep, interesting, and ready to take what comes at them. It's a story. It's fiction. Think outside the box and then let your character lead you through the story.

Growing up in Northern California, Lorena Bathey attended St. Mary’s College in Moraga graduating with a degree in English.

Lorena Bathey found characters were visiting her mind and wouldn't leave. She was introduced to Marissa, Andrea, Lily, Deidre and Beatrice and her first novel, Beatrice Munson, came to life. After finishing that book she was inspired to write more novels and she knew that pursuing her passion was the best way to live her life. So a writer she became.

After meeting the love of her life, they embarked on the thrilling life to follow their dreams, bringing their families along for the ride. Today Lorena has nine novels in her writing queue.

But writing isn't the only muse that inspires Lorena. She has become a passionate photographer and likes to push the envelope taking avant guarde shots. Travel, walking, enjoying new restaurants, and Italy are other loves and things she makes sure she has time for.

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