Today I’m excited to welcome Karin Berry as she talks about writing characters.
Karin Beery – Writer. Editor. Novelist. Karin writes contemporary and speculative fiction with a healthy dose of romance. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s editing or writing business copy through her business Write Now Editing & Copywriting Services. And when she’s not doing either of those, she teaches Substantive Editing for Fiction and Romance Editing through the PEN Institute. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or at her website, www.karinbeery.com.
LOOK NO FURTHER THAN FAMILY — MY CHARACTER INSPIRATIONS
I am blessed to be related to so many colorful people. From my stay-at-home mom to my mentally handicapped aunt to my truck-driving husband, I have four decades of life experience to draw from when creating characters for my novels.
Usually I take one or two traits from the people in my life and plug those traits into my characters. For my current work-in-progress, however, I’m doing something completely different. My female lead doesn’t simply take traits from my sister, she’s pretty much my sister.
This is a stretch for me. I’m not sure how it will turn out. I’m fictionalizing a real person. My character’s goals are my sister’s goals. Her motivations are my sister’s motivations. My sister hasn’t lived through all of the situations in my novel so the conflicts won’t be the same, but I’m writing every scene by asking myself: what would my sister do? (I suppose that should make this story easier to write – I can just call my sister and ask her what she would do!)
I decided to write this story for a couple of reasons. First, this character appears in another novel, and I liked the way she changed from a minor place holder to a major subplot. I want to expand on that and tell her story.
Second, I want to tell my sister’s story! She’s done (and is doing) some amazing things in the lives of her students in Las Vegas. I’ve never met anyone doing anything similar, and I can’t wait to tell people about it.
As this novel is a work-in-progress, it will be a while before anyone gets to read the story, but I can give you a teaser. This is my sister, and here’s a look at what she does: