07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Character, character and more character's

My daughter Laura and I.

Like people resting on a park bench so it is with my character’s who wait patiently for me to give them my full attention. All but one, that is. I’ve never been to Arkansas so it’s a conundrum how Gloria got into my mind, accent and all.
A writing friend suggested that I should let her have her own book. I choked on the words, “Are you kidding? I couldn’t spend more than two chapters with her.”
So really where do these life-like people come from? I think from a town out in nowhere and use my head as a gathering place to mingle around in or a sight for a movie production.
One of the common questions people ask me is; how do I think of things to write about. I’ve seen the oddest expressions when I say that I don’t have to think much at lot because my mind just comes up with these things. It is odd isn’t it? Only writer’s can offer each other the right kind of therapy, talking in character.
It’s important for me to spent time studying a character so I am familiar with his voice, mannerisms, likes and dislikes. A helpful book on how to develop a character is Writer’s Guide To Character Traits by Linda N. Edelstein, PH.D.
Character’s are what give the story a PQRST wave.
P.S. Gloria is my favorite character in Come In, but I’d never tell her that.


Judith Ashley said...

Okay, Helen - You hooked me. What is a PQRST wave? And, if your characters come to you easily, what do you use Dr. Edelstein's book for?

Sarah Raplee said...

I enjoyed your post, Helen. that's a lovely picture of you and your daughter.

My characters initially come to me easily, but then I have to figure them out. That's where books like Dr. Edelstein's come in for me, although my favorite resource is Robin Perini's Story Magic method. And I do research into specific issues, like survivor's guilt or multiple sclerosis.

I think you're right when you say that only writers can understand how other writers come up with characters, although we don't all do it the same way!

Tam Linsey said...

I'll have to check out Dr. Edelstein's book.
Sometimes I think characters come together from subconscious bits of people we meet in life, creating an entirely new character. At least, that's how it is for me.

Anonymous said...

I was checking on the sight, saw your photo Helen and stopped to read. Great photo, by the way. So, like Judy, I want to know what all those letters stand for. Glad you're posting. Actually, I think that characters come out of the void into the mystery...to grow, stretch and expand...with time, love and attention...like dreaming...Michele Lauren