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What is your favorite part about writing characters?

My favorite part of writing characters is basically figuring out who they are, how they’re different and unique and what makes them who they are.   I’ll usually start off with a basic character in mind, flesh them out a little in a preliminary story, go to a character development worksheet and then write more stories based on what comes out of that. Since I tend to write series, I’m able to get more and more in depth with the characters as I move along, so the character grows more and more realistic as I move along.

What is the hardest thing you have to do when you create a character and what’s the easiest?

The hardest thing I have to do is figure out little things that don’t seem to matter in the grand scheme of things – like birthdays and last names.   The little details might not mean much plotwise in a book (does it really matter that Andrien likes sweets?) but sometimes they affect the course of a story (he has to drink medicinal tea without honey added). The easiest thing seems to be developing the broader personality of the characters.   I can usually tell early on what sort of person my characters are.

Who is your favorite character that you’ve written?

Senyn is my favorite character, followed by Emery. Both of them are faced with adversity and get through it – not because they pull themselves up by their bootstraps but because they learn to rely on others.

Who is one character you wish you had written?

I really liked the growth that Father Duncan showed in Katherie Kurtz’s Deryni series. He’s such a strong, intelligent, spiritual person. He doesn’t let other people’s issues with what he is define him. He is himself and true to himself through all sorts of adversity.

Is there a character type that intimidates you?

I think I have a lot of trouble writing cool aloof characters mostly because I’m such an emotional person that it’s harder for me to judge how a person who isn’t emotional would react given certain stimulus. (I’d cry, but that’s because I’m sensitive. This character won’t cry. What would they do?)

Is there a character type that you’re really good at?

Sensitive people, being similar to me, are easier for me to write, any character who shares something in common with my personality comes easier because I know how they will react.

Best tip/trick you’ve learned while writing characters?

I find role-playing (not formally with dice-rolls and such but informally and off the cuff) helps me figure out the motivations and reactions of my characters. I also try to keep the character’s established back-story in mind while I write.   I don’t want to contradict myself but even more importantly, I want the character to have verisimilitude.

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