This week on Guest Blog Wednesdays at The Australian Bookshelf we are joined by author, Linda Hawley. Welcome Linda!
Fleshing Out Characters
In my guest blog today, I wanted to talk about my process for fleshing out characters in a novel.
Because I am writing a trilogy (Dreams Unleashed is book one), it was very important that I develop robust characters that were strong enough to carry through three books. Weak characters, or one-dimensional characterizations, simply will not survive multiple books. It’s the difference between Angelina Jolie
and Miley Syrus.
The first chapter I wrote in Dreams Unleashed was the last chapter; it was based upon an experience I had. As soon as I wrote it down (in story format), Ann came alive on the page. Instead of me inventing her, it was more like Ann herself had the desire to be the protagonist in my story, and she revealed herself to me. As book reviewers have started to read and review this first novel, the feedback from every one of them has been that my characterizations are very strong, especially Ann. This warms my bones!
I had a particular challenge in my trilogy, in that one of my characters plays a significant part, but is not human. She is a computer. I had to name her, and develop her in such a way to give her personality. There is only so much dimension that you can give to a computer, but I think I found the right balance. Since I’m not going to spoil my own story, so you’ll have to discover this when you read Dreams Unleashed!
What I found challenging in this first book is introducing characters that have smaller parts in the first book, but will become significant in the other two books. It’s a little tricky to introduce a character enough to give the reader
a teaser, but not to leave them wanting. It’s a balancing act.
I have had a very full life. I am a wife and mother, and we are a traveling family. I am married to my soul mate, and with him, we have an extraordinary amount of fun together. I’ve kayaked from one island to another in the Caribbean. I’ve backpacked the Appalachian Trail in West Virginia with the Sierra Club. I’ve jumped out of a plane and had my parachute lines tangle, forcing me solve the emergency rather quickly. I’ve attended a Christmas party at the White House and have been on Air Force One. I’ve been to Europe many times. I’ve sailed the San Juan Islands, which are featured in Dreams Unleashed. From all these
experiences—and from all the people I’ve met while doing them—I am able to use bits and pieces to create my characters. I really enjoy the process of taking people that I have known/met/interacted with in my life, and pulling parts into characters. I was at an event this weekend, where one of my readers asked me, “I
want to know what you’ve got in your purse, Linda. Is there a Taser in there? What about a safe phone?” I guess he thought I based the character, Ann, upon myself. I found it very funny.
I hope that you—the reader—will appreciate how I have fleshed out the characters in Dreams Unleashed, and that you will be hooked enough to want to read the rest of the trilogy.
Thank you for reading my stories,
SYNOPSIS: It’s the future year of 2015, where technology governs life. No one on the globe is free from being tracked through government RFID. The worldwide underground organization, GOG, is the one group equipped to fight against citizens’ loss of privacy. Ann Torgeson is a technical writer working for a tidal energy company—living a seemingly normal life in the Pacific Northwest—when her vivid dreams turn real. Is her training as a paranormal CIA agent when she was nineteen years old now altering the doorway between her subconscious and reality? When Ann starts to dig into her past, her present begins to unravel, leading the reader through events that twist and turn everything upside down. Question everything you know is essential in this dystopian trilogy.
You can read a free sample of Dreams Unleashed at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0051VDGJK
The eBook version of Dreams Unleashed is available for purchase now (for all eBook readers) at Smashwords, link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/61373 and of course at Amazon, link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0051VDGJK
The print copy of Dreams Unleashed is due to be published about June 10th.
If you would like to feature on Guest Blog Wednesdays at The Australian Bookshelf- whether you are an author, reader, writer, blogger- drop me a line at jayne.fordham(AT)live(DOT)com.au and tell me a bit about yourself.