By Leisha Maw
I thought I knew my characters. I mean, I created them didn't I? I gave them a name, a purpose, a life. I gave them dialog and made them cry. I even gave them those good moments so they could feel warm fuzzies along with the reader.
But did I see them? Yes, although I admit they were a little fuzzy--until, under Jonene's excellent tutelage, I started drawing them. I know this is a writing blog, not an art blog, but stay with me here. Drawing my characters really made an impact on my writing. It crystallized how I saw my characters, and it made them so much more real to me. I mean, Vic, my main squeeze in one of my WIPs, went from this:
And he's still not done. I have to dress him and finish his hair and shade his neck and do all the little detail stuff like give him a bit of scruff, but the point is, when I think of him while I write, I know his features. It's the difference between being told coral is rough and stroking it with your fingertips. It's knowing. It's experiencing it. Vic is somehow embedded in my being now, and I never have to grope for a picture in the dark recesses of my mind. He's alive in there, and he's even cuter than I thought.
So, do you see your characters? What do you do to envision them?