I’m so pleased to welcome Melissa Pearl to my blog! Her highly anticipated “True Colors” will release on Feb. 16 and she’s written up a description of how she goes about creating her memorable characters as well as provided us with her favorite five characters from all of her books. Read on!
I am a very thorough planner. Before I start writing my 1st draft I plan out the details of the story and I spend a lot of time working on character profiling. I like to create characters that are so indepth and whole that they become like real people. By the end I know everything from their weight and height down to their favorite ice cream flavor.
One thing I have started doing in the last year is using visual aids. I used to just picture it all in my head, but now I actually go online and hunt for clothes that look like the kind my characters will wear. I figure out their style, which helps build their personality even more. I also work out what I think they look like and I use actors and models to help me with this. I always start with a vague impression of who I think they are, but as I surf through IMDB or type character features into Google, I start to find the person that looks most like my character. This helps me figure out how they walk, if it’s an actor known to me I can hear the way they talk in my head, the lilt of their voice. All these little pieces squished together give me a whole character, one that is very real to me.
It takes me a while to nail down who is just right for the people in my book, but it’s so worth the time and effort. These images grace my wall while I write and it amazes me how I often I look up at them. They’re right here with me as I create their stories and I love it.
So for True Colors – this is who I pictured as my “cast”.
TOP 5 – Favorite Characters
I always love reading people’s Top 5. You know, the things they like best. Today I thought I’d chat about my Top 5 characters… the ones I have created. It’s been pretty tough to choose, but here are my Top 5 in no particular order.
1. Dale Finnigan (Betwixt) – although he’s scarred and lives with a tainted past, he is SUCH a good guy. I fell in love with him as I was writing and he is the perfect partner for the hot-headed Nicole.
2. Gabe Hunter (The Time Spirit Trilogy) – yet another great guy who is level-headed and remains calm in all situations. He was Gemma’s towering strength in this trilogy.
3. Caitlyn Davis (True Colors) – she’s just such a sweetheart. Although she can be indecisive and doesn’t like to bother people, she really does care…a lot. I loved watching her grow throughout the True Colors story and I look forward to seeing where she’ll end up in future novels.
4. Mica Latham (Forbidden Territory) – I know she can come across as an airhead and slightly immature, but I really like her. She makes me laugh with her silly antics. I love the way she doesn’t really care what other people think… and I love the way she turns to total mush around Eli.
5. Lucy Tate (I Know Lucy) – none of you have met Lucy yet…she’s coming in April and I can’t wait for you guys to read her story. Out of all my characters, she’s probably endured the most trauma. She’s had a very tough road to walk and done things she’s not proud of. But through it all, she’s remained quietly strong. She’s not loud or brash. She’s not critical or gossipy. She’s just a lost girl trying to survive. Out of all the female characters I’ve written, I think she might just be my favorite.