Please welcome Amy McKinley to the blog as she discusses Character Creation!
I know of people who dream their characters. Sadly, I’m not one of them. But how cool would that be?
A well-developed character has all the facets of a real person, complete with fears, flaws, desires, and goals. Of course, the people I meet don’t typically have claws, fangs, or wield magic. Well, claws can come out on occasion…
Characters come to me in a few ways. Sometimes they appear mostly formed, but if not, developing and learning about them is fun. In order to figure out my character’s intricate details and innermost desires, I usually do a character sketch. I’ll daydream a little, delve into what really makes them tick, and write a scene or two that my readers may or may not see.
As he or she forms, their background reveals itself and their personality deepens further. Their physical features take shape and how they move and interact with others. Their challenges become apparent, the goals they seek, and the obstacles that stand in their way.
I need to know how they’ll think and react in situations. These scenes let me inside of my characters head, giving me perspective. When I begin writing I know them inside and out and am able to sink into their story.
My favorite thing is those times the story completely takes over and you’re so focused it feels like the runner’s zone, only it’s the writer’s zone. When you’re so lost in the world you’re writing, the real one ceases to exist until the story is done unfolding. That’s when the characters take the lead, and you just follow along. In those moments, it’s as if the characters are telling the story.
There are a few scenes in Hidden that I wrote like that. Some I absolutely love and others I’m a little surprised by. Maybe you’ll be able to tell which ones?
Cursed since birth, hunted by gods, and desperate for love—Jade never stood a chance.
About the Book:
Half-demon, half-goddess, Jade’s fate makes her a pawn in an epic battle among the gods. Hidden on Earth with her sisters, she successfully avoids the Oneiroi—the dream gods—bent on her destruction until the prophecy, long dormant, awakens a dark shadow within her.
Roen, a reclusive Worr demon known for his battles against the Oneiroi, is called to protect Jade. Together they must unlock their mysterious connection and find a way to beat back destiny. Can she outsmart the prophecy, change her fate, and find love—even when she learns who is connected to her destruction?
Read an Excerpt:
Jade’s temples throbbed. She headed toward the east turret where she knew her mom favored her morning meals. As she burst into the room, Jade startled Aiesa. A fork clattered right before her brother, accompanied by shrieks of joy, jumped up from his chair and ran to her.
Jade pasted a wide grin on her face as she bent to pick up her half-brother. His arms wrapped around her neck was the sweetest thing ever. She sunk into his embrace and inhaled deeply, closing her eyes. He had the best little demon smell. She clutched him to her until he squirmed. Releasing him, she realized that for the first time in a while, her shoulders were relaxed. Opening her eyes, she met her mom’s gaze over her brother’s shoulders.
Her mother’s dark hair hung down in a fall of midnight. A storm of worry shone in her eyes. Aiesa half rose, her mouth forming a circle. Damn. Tension rocketed back up again. Nahl pushed at her, forcing her gaze back to him.
“Hey, little demon, you’re looking very handsome this morning.” Jade tweaked his nose.
He favored both their mother and step-demon with hair black as night and ebony eyes. And lucky for him, he inherited Xavior’s olive-toned skin, but not their mother’s deep-red lips. On Mom, they looked stunning. On a boy, well…not so much.
“I’m fierce, not handsome.” Nahl frowned at Jade, grasping her long tresses for emphasis.
“Fierce and handsome.” She chuckled. “What mayhem have you got planned today?”
He beamed as she sat him down, then scampered back to his food. “I get to go to Kristo’s to work on magic. We’re going to turn beetles into snakes.”
“That sounds like fun.” She snuck a peek at her mother, who watched her closely.
Nahl’s laugh turned wicked as he gazed his sister with glee. “Then the snakes into spiders.”
Jade shuddered. “Wonderful.” She couldn’t stand spiders as her mischievous little brother knew very well.
“Why don’t you head over early, Nahl? Cade can escort you there. He’s in the war room with your father. Go find him.” Aiesa instructed her young son.
“Okay, Mom.” Nahl hopped off his chair. A quick hug and kiss were given to their mom and Jade before he raced from the room.
“I can’t believe how much he’s grown since the last time I saw him.”
“Hmm, why don’t you have a seat, Jade?” Aiesa’s gaze never left her daughter.
“Sure.” After sitting down, Jade glanced nervously around the bright room. The sunlight streamed in, illuminating the blue and green mosaic tiles. The room emanated the feeling of being at the seaside. All it lacked was a bit of sand.
With a little illusion, Aiesa used to take her daughters to breakfast on the beach in this very room. It had been heaven. Perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to California in the human realm.
Unable to avoid it any longer, Jade met her mother’s gaze.
Grasping her hand, Aiesa asked, “The fiery orange circle around your eyes is new. How long has the Fates’ curse been active?”
Icy fingers crawled up Jade’s spine, and her stomach churned with worry with her fears confirmed by her mother’s words.
Meet and Connect with the Author:
Amy McKinley is a freelance writer and author. She lives in Illinois with her husband, their four talented teenagers, and three mischievous cats. Her debut novel, Hidden is the first in the Five Fates Series.
Twitter: Amy McKinley @amymckinley7
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