Knowing the Main Character

Tonight while listening to feedback on the chapter I brought to this week’s writers group I realized something… I know my main character. I know who she is, and why she does things and says things. Maybe that sounds silly. Obviously as the writer you should know your characters, but I don’t think it necessarily happens immediately.

When I wrote that first sentence of my book, I had her voice. She is telling the story, so that just happened naturally. That’s all I really had, though. Then I gave her a background; family, friends, a middle name, a last name, a home town. It took me roughly 50,000 words before I truly knew who she really was inside. She lives on the page and also in my mind, but I also live in hers.

I can picture her perfectly, and I know exactly what her voice would sound like. I know why she loves the man she loves, and I know how thinking about her brother’s protection and loyalty of her gives her so much emotion she can’t speak. I know which bedspread she would choose at Target.

It’s just so much fun to get to that point with a character… not because you sat down and really thought about all of it… but just because you know your character innately. If someone asked me a random question about her.. her favorite anything, I would have an answer without having to think about it much.

Now I just have to hope that when I’m finished, a reader (hopefully more than just one) will also be able to understand her, feel for her, and care about her story. That is, after all, the whole point of writing a story and sharing it with the world. 🙂

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