Building Characters – Because We All Love a Character

I recently had an insight into the process of building fictional characters.

I bought a wedge cushion so I could sit more comfortably in my car. To my delight, it came with a multi-page instruction manual.  The instructions came in several different languages. Apparently, many countries are filled with citizens who do not have an organic understanding of seat cushions. Nor do they understand a cushion’s purpose or function. The only thing missing was a video version, for folks who couldn’t decipher the instruction booklet.

I am smiling as I write, but I am also intrigued. It takes a certain kind of person to write a manual which instructs an end user how to sit on a cushion. But even more, it takes a certain kind of person to decide that such a manual is necessary.

I often drink my morning tea from a mug my son gave me. The warning on the front says “Be careful or you’ll end up in my novel.” That makes me smile too, but the warning partially true.

For me, building characters is all about the way the characters interact with the world.

My characters rarely resemble a specific person I know, but that they often remind me of types of behaviors I have seen and of types of thought processes I have heard people express.

And I love, love, love, what these behaviors and ways of thinking can do to help me build depth in my characters, especially my side characters.

So I am grateful for that manual. I suspect I won’t forget how to use a seat cushion anytime soon. But the manual reminds me of the many different characters and character quirks there are in our sea of humanity. A writer of contemporary romance need never run out of ideas so long as instruction manuals for seat cushions are available.

Rose Grey is hard at work on her sixth contemporary romance novel. Visit the rest of the blog at The Closer You Get, All Of Me, Waiting For You, are a contemporary romance trilogy. Hot Pursuit is romantic suspense. Not As Advertised is a standalone contemporary romance. All are available as ebooks and as paperbacks online.