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getting to know your character in 500 words

I’m always looking for new things to figure out my characters–and I have a pretty long form I use already, though for each different character, I don’t always fill in each section’s info or answers. Anyway, this looks like a very useful worksheet! I might have mentioned previously how much I love Susan Wiggs, but I really do love Susan Wiggs!

Wow, people. I’m thrilled–and also humbled–by your response to Starlight on Willow Lake. The most frequently-asked question about this book is “How did you come up with a character like Faith?” (She’s the protagonist.)

Pleased to meet you!

It’s a good time for me to answer this question, because I’m meeting with a bunch of writers at a Seattle7Writers event on Bainbridge Island. Here is how to make a fictional character seem very real to the reader. Get her talking. Make sure she’s talking in her own voice, not your voice. If you want to write a lot of different characters, you don’t want them all to sound like you.

The key for me is to have her speak in first person–on paper. I’m quirky, as you know, so I write this out in longhand as a free-flowing conversation with my newly-invented character. If you’re a writer, give it a…

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