Friday, June 24, 2022

Researching Your Characters--Why It's Important to Know as Much as You Can about Them

I've been revising my second novel, A Woman's Guide to Search & Rescue, in preparation for handing over to my editor and publication team in a month or so. This book has lived with me--its characters, as well--for many years. I'm excited to see them step on to a bigger stage with more readers. But before they do, I want to make sure they are fully realized on the page, as rich and vivid as they can be.

A few months ago, to finish my final tweaks on the cast in my novel, I took an online class on character interiority. The purpose of each week's lesson--there were four--was to help writers go from what they knew about the characters externally to what the characters could reveal about their inner lives.

I'd already spent many years on this, as I said, but the class drew even more out of me about these people I've lived with for so long.

If I were to pinpoint the most important take-away, it would be backstory.