Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
For me, the creation and development of characters is easy. They just pop into my head fully developed, as I need them. I have never been successful at making a character list before I write a story. Nor do I understand why anyone would need to do a character sketch. I just make note of how to spell their names and maybe a few notes on physical appearance.
I suggest all writers explore the Myers Briggs personality types. It helps you gain a basic understanding of how and why people make the choices they do, why one person is super neat, and another tosses their dirty clothes on the floor next to the hamper. It can also help you gain a better understanding of how you see the world, why you look at it differently from other people, and whether your type is common or rare.
Some temperaments have lots of presidents, some lot of big business tycoons, and one rare temperament, INFP, has significantly more writers than any of the others. As children, INFP’s also tend to have lots of imaginary friends.
I could have populated a small city.
This is speculation, but growing up with imaginary friends may make creating characters easier. After all, what is an imaginary friend, if not a fictional character?
My characters drive the plot. I know where the story starts and where it is supposed to end. But the characters have minds of their own and take the story places I didn’t plan to go.
End of Innocence
by Romana Drew
Lenea's brother spends every clear night pointing a telescope at the same stars. When she confronts him, he lets her look through the telescope. A small sliver speck changes course, slows, and merges with a larger silvery spot.
In that brief moment, her life changes. Her brother spies on space aliens! Soon she learns the aliens have a settlement in the Kenned Valley, and that her boyfriend monitors their communications.
Then he disappears.
What do they want, and can her world survive?
Just before he has to give up and go home broke, Captain Seddry finds the perfect world. It is rich in ore, has a breathable atmosphere, and it even has a reasonable climate — an ideal place for a new Langon colony. The fuzzy natives won't be a problem. They don't have any large weapons or even airplanes, making them too primitive to ever find the mining colony hidden away in an isolated valley. Or so he thinks.
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Inside a room as large as the Festival theater, thick, black cables extended from the back of three green, metal structures, each twice as tall as Kefan. The cable went through the wall, up the side of the building, and across to the power distribution center. These machines needed a lot of power even though they didn't have any apparent purpose.
A control panel stood at one end of each machine. A square, green button filled the upper right corner, a round, black button the upper left. Below the buttons, there was a row of four black rectangles with a knob under each. They might display something when working.
Kefan twisted each knob both directions, leaving it in its original position. He pushed the black button. So far, this machine remained as inert as every other machine in the place. He pushed the green button.
A high whine, several ear-splitting thumps, and a sudden gust of wind ripped through the room. By the time the machine settled into a steady rhythmic roar, everyone inside had run outside toward the hills.
A thin plume of bluish smoke rose from the roof of the building, and a hum settled over the valley.
The lights came on.
After a rush of excited conversation, everyone tiptoed back into the factory. They crept up to the machine and walked around it. It made a frightening amount of noise, a slight breeze, and vibrated. Kefan reached out and pushed the black button. The machine sputtered to a stop. The lights went out.
I live in California with my husband, and raise baby squirrels for a wildlife care center. I could go into detail about my background and education, but that is rather boring. Let me say that I am quiet, love the outdoors, and never have enough time to do all the things I want to do.