Please Welcome Guest Kate Hill

Living with Characters

One of my favorite things about writing is character building. I like to get to know my characters for weeks, sometimes months, before writing about them. Usually there are several characters in my mind who fight it out for whose story will be told first. The pushiest ones give me a very clear picture of themselves and in a way live with me on a daily basis. To establish their personalities, I picture them doing everyday things, sometimes right along with me. I try to imagine everything about them--what they like to eat and wear, the kind of exercises they enjoy, the type of cars they like to drive, and how they react to certain situations. The things I think about while character building don't always appear in the story, but they're helpful in deciding how the characters react to situations in the story. By living with the characters throughout the day, they become real to me in a way that makes it easier to bring them to life in the book and it's also a lot of fun.

After the book is written, the characters usually take a step back to give others a chance to develop, but they always remain with me. Sometimes they even reappear for other books. That's why one of the most difficult questions to answer is "who is your favorite character?" It's impossible to decide because even though I don't always agree with their words and actions, all the characters have been part of my life.

As a reader, when I find characters I love, they also become real in a way. I think about them long after the story ends and if they appear in another story it's almost like seeing an old friend. I also like to reread their stories. If I'm down, reading old favorites can often make me feel better.

Writers, what are your favorite ways to build characters? Readers, how do you react to your favorite characters?

Author Bio:
Kate Hill is a thirty-something vegetarian New Englander who likes heroes with a touch of something wicked and wild. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in publications both on and off the Internet. When she's not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out, and researching vampires and Viking history. Visit her online at http://www.blogger.com/