First I want to thank the ravishing Raven for letting me stop by and chat for a bit. Pretty nice place she has here, I hope I don't do anything to embarrass myself so that she lets me come back sometime.
(She knows she is always welcome~R)
I thought I'd share a little about my character formation and how it relates to my latest release, Taking Pleasure Where You Can. And to keep it fun and interesting, how about a little top ten list?
Top Ten Things I Must Know About My Characters Before I Write Them
1. Physical description. This is a no brainer. Height, weight, hair and eye color. All of that has to be known to make the character real.
2. Where they are from. What country, what part of the country. Small town or big city, all of that really matters to their character development.
3. Their romantic past. Have they dated a lot or barely at all? Been married? Been cheated on or mistreated? Are they a virgin? Experienced? Hey I write romance, I need to know these things.
4. Their profession. Are they rich and privileged trust fund kids? Are they hard working middle class? Are they something glamorous like a movie star or musician? This is very telling about their attitudes toward life.
5. Are they a supernatural being? Ok, this is a strange one, but hey I write a lot of paranormal romance and this is something I always think about when coming up with a character. Some characters are just meant to me vampires, shifters, etc. They tell me, I don’t choose it!
6. Their biggest regret. Everyone has something that they regret and this is very telling about their past as well as their present.
7. Their biggest achievement or accomplishment. Again, what someone is proud of will give a lot of insight into exactly who they are.
8. What they are scared of most in their world. Some people fear dying. Others fear being alone. Or told what to do. Being held back from their dreams. Our fears are also some of our biggest motivators and that holds true for my characters. For example, in my latest release Taking Pleasure Where You Can, John is scared of remembering the horrors at Pearl Harbor and essentially stops living in order to repress his feelings and thoughts on the horrific time in his life.
9. Why there are where they are. Is the setting their hometown? Do they love it there or long to be somewhere else? Did business or pleasure bring them there? These offer powerful clues to their mindset during the story. Like in Taking Pleasure, John is station in Manila but Imee is a native, they are naturally going to view their setting very differently.
10. Are they open and looking for love? Again, I write romance and I need to know if they are looking for happily ever after or happy for right now. This will help guide me as I write the story. Not every couple needs to be headed for wedded bliss after all!
Well there you have it, the things I must know about my characters before I start writing anything. Of course some of these are fluid and can change through the characters learning and growing in the story. But I find these to be good starting places.
Blurbs from Taking Pleasure Where You Can:
John never thought that he would be the same after Pearl Harbor, then he set eyes on Imee and everything changed.
Ever since Pearl Harbor John had become a shell of a man, not able to move on from the trauma. One night out with the guys and one woman were about to change everything.
Joe seemed to know everyone, and everyone seemed keen to be near him. It made it much easier for the quiet by nature and still healing John to slowly make some friends. Once the drinks started flowing, he even began to loosen up a bit. He missed hanging out with guys, telling stories, joking around, and laughing. His Captain had been right; this was what he needed and what his friends who had passed on would want. He was beginning to feel alive again, and it felt good. Then he caught sight of her.
Kelly Ryan, aka Sheri Velarde, lives in New Mexico and grew up with a fascination for all things that "go bump in the night", so it is no wonder that she turned to writing paranormal romance among other genres of romance. She is an avid exerciser and gets some of her best ideas while on runs. She also has a bit of a wild side, which only leads to inspiration for her writing.
Being an avid reader since an early age, she has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She has been writing all her life, but only recently started to actually try to pursue her dream of writing for a living.
She is constantly putting out new material, so it is best to keep up with her on her website.
Kelly/Sheri is a multi-published author; you can keep up to date with all things Kelly Ryan/Sheri Velarde at: www.sherivelarde.weebly.com.