Casting your hero can be tricky. Is he right for the plot you have been mulling over for weeks? Will he like the heroine? Will she like him?
Over the next few months a number of writers have agreed to sit on my Casting Couch to discuss the different methods they use in their search for the characters who populate their books. Whether they use magazine advertisements, astrology, or something else entirely, their techniques give a fascinating insight into the writing process and the writers themselves
Today author Sydell Voeller joins us on the Casting Couch to share the tricks of her trade.
Thank you for agreeing to sit on the Casting Couch Sydell. It's always a treat to talk to a multi-published author and discover how she casts her characters. Assuming that you are sitting comfortably, let's begin.
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Which characters are the hardest for you to develop? Is it the hero, the heroine, the villain, or the secondary characters?
When an idea strikes, do you work through the plot first and then cast the characters, or is it characters first? Or does it vary? Perhaps you develop the plot and the characters together.
Can you give an example from a published story?
When deciding how your characters should look, do pictures inspire you or do you think of someone you know? Or perhaps you just rely on an active imagination or another method entirely.
Do you have a system for developing their character traits? I know some people use Tarot or Astrology. Others produce detailed life histories. There are also writers who allow their characters to develop as they write. What's your method?
I have tried using Astrology at one time, but I didn’t stick with that. I guess I felt I had to squeeze my character into too tight a mold, or perhaps that method just didn’t resonate with me for other reasons. But to answer your question more specifically, (and as I said earlier), I know my character’s basic traits by first determining his or her core conflicts. I’m always delighted, though, when my character’s behavior takes new twists and turns. Real people are contradictions and so should our characters portray contradictions as well.