Monday, June 13, 2011
The Chicken or the Egg
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? For writers, at least for me, it's which comes first, the story or the character? Nine times out of ten, at least for me, it is the character.
My first book, EZ Lovin', actually had a main character named Ezekial Zachariah McAllister. He stood against a wall, ten gallon hat in hand, looking like a young Sam Elliott. He smiled in that slow lazy smile that cowboys have and said, "Evening Ma'am."
I could not get him out of my mind. I sat down with my critique group and we played what if?
Found out he was actually working for the Feds and stationed in Boston. Talk about duck out of water! We discovered his partner and his boss, both of whom threatened to take over the story until I promised them their own book. What started out as one book ended as a trilogy.
There have been times when a character is an inanimate object. My novella, available now THE MAN IN THE MIRROR is loosely based on the musical The Music Man. Only instead of band instruments, I saw mirrors, specifically a wizard imprisoned in a mirror 200 years ago by his evil twin. This was also the very first paranormal I ever wrote. The cover is actually a painting done for me by my friend E.A. Garry.
Will the chicken and egg question ever be answered? I doubt it. For me it's the character first. What about you? Who are some of your favorite characters, and what made them your favorites?