Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How Do You Go About Developing Your Characters? by Connie Vines

How do you go about developing your characters for a story?

How much time do you spend or does it just happen in the writing process ? What inspires you?

Thank you Rhobin, once again, for a great writing topic.

I believe development of my characters has a great deal to do with the type of novel/story that I am writing at the time. Obviously, my novellas, for lack of work count, are not superficial by any means, but my information is given via dialogue or internal thoughts with visual clues. My romantic suspense will have a lesser degree of character development, unless it relates to the 'suspense element' that say, my traditional romance novels.

However, I do write character sketches for all of my 'people'. I may sprinkle the info in the story, or simply keep in in the back of my mind for character motivation.


  • I often use astrological signs to help develop my characters and create conflict. Rodeo Romance, Book 1, (LYNX). Lynx Maddox is a Leo and Rachel Scott is an Aquarius. Opposites attract but they also create great romantic conflict.
  • Birth Order is another way to develop your character(s) actions and outlook on life. Pairing a 1st born woman with the 'baby' of the family or vise-a-versa, will create writing inspiration.
  • Ethnic background is also to be considered. If one character is from a large immigrate family is dating a person who is an only child (4th generation) with have all types of expected things popping into picture.
  • If I am writing a historical novel, I often make a composite of historical people/clues in diaries and letters (WHISPER UPON THE WATER)
  • At other times, with all of my careful planning, the writing process flips my character into a secondary character or he/she evolves and I go back and edit/change several scenes.
  • Also physical attributes/challenges. We all have them. Did those dimples work in her favor?
What inspires me? Life. People's hopes and dream. Honor. Justice. And sometimes, just the need for a good laugh.

Happy Reading!

Connie Vines

I am so sorry about the late post and lack of photos and links.  My PC crashed during our recent So.Cal outage (last night) and I'm working on my very ancient VISTA Dell PC.