The relationship between writers and the characters they create

Are you always thinking about your characters? Are you just a tiny bit in love with DI Andy Horton? These are a couple of questions I'm sometimes asked and the answer to both is 'yes.' The relationship between writers and their characters varies but it is never dull. You can become a little bit obsessed with your characters. Oh, alright then very obsessed and more so I think when writing a series because they are with you all the time, they are as much part of your life as real people, occupying your thoughts on and off throughout the day, but strangely I never dream of them.

I think about my characters a great deal and in terms of plot. Where are they? What will they do next?  How will they react to this or that situation?  What is happening in their private lives as well as in the job?  What is their relationship with their colleagues? But no matter how much I plan, the plot can get changed because once I  start putting dialogue into the characters' mouths and have them moving around and reacting to others they do not always do what I expected them to and what I had mapped out for them.  Plot is character and characters are plot so answering another question that readers often ask me - what comes first plot or characters is incredibly difficult because you have an idea for a plot, you have some characters but once those characters come alive they shape the plot.

Thinking about your characters is not the same as thinking about your real friends or people you know because with your characters you are creating their lives, although they do sometimes have a habit of doing something that surprises you. But before you call for the men in white coats I assure you I am quite sane, well as sane as any writer can be. Creating characters and their lives is a fascinating game as many children know, and perhaps that's what a lot of us writers are - kids at heart.


Popular posts from this blog

Harlequin USA buy mass market direct to consumer paperback rights to Pauline Rowson's crime novel, Fatal Catch

What's on in December

Searching for bodies in the water - how science is helping the police