This is something I struggled to show in my last work in progress, possibly them all so far to be honest. You see, I never really took the time to get into my hero and heroine's heads before I started a story, never questioned 'why' to their every reaction. I realise now that the reason for this was because I've been trying to fit my characters and their reactions to the external plot – a no, no for me if I want to write an emotionally intense category romance with believable characters.
This time around, I've done character sheets. Explored every detail I can think of and even interviewed them. It really helped, or so I thought. Then I sent off a short synopsis to my cp for her opinion and realised that although I knew my characters, I wasn't showing the conflicts and motivations exactly as I envisioned them. Thank you Michelle, I must owe you a good few gallons of wine by now ;o)
So now I'm back to the drawing board, or the Word Document, and trying again.
The editor who requested the synopsis based on a pitch I sent her way asked me to focus on the conflicts, turning points and motivations – no easy feat fitting all that onto one page! But I'm going to work at it some more and get it away later tonight.
Anyway, the point of this post is to share a few things that finally sunk in.
First, dig deep into your character's past. It will tell you more about the kind of person they are today and why they are more likely to do the things they do.
Second, try not to stick to an external plot. Let the character's conflicts lead the story, that way their actions and reactions will be more believable. (That's the theory anyway, I'll let you know how that goes when I start writing!)
Third, I now understand why people say interviewing your characters help. Not only did it give me a better idea of their 'voice', but also helped me learn some things I didn't know.
Lastly, an honest set of eyes on your story to help you spot your blunders is worth their weight in gold!
How does everyone create their characters?