Today, I'm excited to have Lyla Oweds here to talk about how she developed her characters in her new release SHADOWS OF NIGHTSHADE. This guest post was made possible by Xpresso Book Tours. Check out the guest post and my review, and be sure to enter the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway.
How do you develop your characters? Any secrets or tips that would be helpful?
I have two methods that I use to develop my characters!
First, as my series is based on the academic side of Traditional Chinese Elements (I used to be a massage and shiatsu therapist who performed acupressure), my five main characters, each based on one element, have personality traits that correspond with their element. For example, Bianca corresponds with the TCM element, Wood. She is very headstrong, a natural-born leader (even though at the beginning of the series, she is shy and hasn’t stepped into her natural state yet), imaginative, persistent, and can hold a grudge. Because she is ‘out of balance’ early in the series, she displays traits that a Wood personality type would show when not at their best self.
Outside of my writing, I work in IT. I’ve ranged from development to research and design, and one aspect I’ve always brought into my work (and that is needed for accessibility and testing), was the creation of personas. I’ve adopted persona creation into my process, and each of my characters, including secondary characters, has elaborate profiles.
Also, I find that writing exercises where you throw certain characters together in various situations to see how they would interact really help with developing their personality and the overall story.