character study

Character studies, like the pencil sketch artists do preparatory to an oil painting, can be useful and many popular fiction writers and fiction writing books suggest doing them. But I’ve never been a fan of character studies or the character bio, ‘though I’ve given them a try. What I’ve found is the bio remains dry and full of useless detail and the character I’m thinking of only pops to life once I start writing about him or her and how he or she is rarely connects with the bio I may have done. Essentially, character bios do nothing for me or my characters.

How it works is I get to know my characters in the writing. Once I’ve written about them and they’re talking and walking in the story, hey no problem with the bio if I want to write it for fun. Just like I can’t write a synopsis before I’ve written the story ’cause I don’t know the story until I’ve written it, I can’t determine a character until I’ve written that character into the story–then I can tell you all about him or her. As they say, to each her own.

Friday Report #3

  • Major accomplishment: finishing the January short story, Breath of the Grave, 5,594 words.
  • Researched markets for Breath of the Grave, found 7 possibilities.
  • No work done at all on Sweet Taboo this week.
  • Brainstorming the February short story

Yabba dabba doo! Happy Friday!


2 thoughts on “character study

  1. I’m trying a different approach…

    I have an idea of my characters, and worse… How they end up in the story… So I thought I’d get people to ask questions about them…

    Anything goes, favorite pizza.. Most embrassing moment, favorite sexual position… There’s lots of really minute things I haven’t decided about my characters (which would evolve as necessary – I agree with your above approach to be honest) but it might be interesting to see what happens :).

    Nice post, I’ll look into your work 🙂

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