Writing Wednesday: Character Stories

Those who follow me will know I am writing a series of science fiction novels called Flight of the Kestrel. I have come to realise that the next part  of my education as a writer needs to be about characters. My characters, although well loved by me, are not real enough to appeal to readers. I have been struggling with how to make them more rounded and believable.

I also attempted, during NaNoWriMo (see other posts), to turn my local history book (Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth) into a historical novel. I wrote 25,000 words and learned that I couldn’t do it! Thinking about it since, I realised that I’m excited about the history, which is the plot, but haven’t given nearly enough thought to the characters. That far back (14th century) it is impossible to find out what people were like, except for some of their actions being rash or foolish. I need to build complete characters, just as if it were fiction, and have challenges and changes happen to them apart from the major events.

At our Writers Circle dinner, Wendy Holborow gave me a great idea. She is preparing to write a novel set in ancient Greece, but in order to get to know her characters better, she is writing short stories about them first. The bits I’ve read so far are very good, and I am going to try the same, and I thought it was an idea well worth passing on.  There are previous posts here about my major Kestrel characters, but not nearly enough detail, and there are no details about my Alina characters at all. It also gives me much more manageable tasks. Trying to resolve details about all my characters was daunting. Now I can just concentrate on one at a time.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.


About Ann Marie Thomas

Married since 1974, Christian since 1986, 4 children, 4 grand children, disabled with fibromyalgia but was working almost full time until a stroke in May 2010 changed my life completely. Writing poetry and making up stories since I was a child, I only started to write seriously when my children were grown. My main ambition is to write science fiction, but along the way I got distracted by local history and poetry about my stroke. Taking early retirement gave me the chance to concentrate on my writing. My book, Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth, was published in print and ebook at Easter 2012. The success of Alina led to the publication of Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John in September 2013, and The Magna Carta Story at Easter 2015. I am still writing science fiction - a series of novels called Flight of the Kestrel. For all my author news, see me author blog at www.annmariethomas.me.uk
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