There is no easy road map or quick solution to presenting memorable characters – ones with dimension, personality and credibility. For me, a visual aid provided a helpful solution – almost like a prop.
I started my formulation with some basic tenets about the character – outward description, personality traits, disposition, temperament, style, achievements, hobbies and interests. Then I assembled the data into a resume, to use as a reference guide, as I progressed with the manuscript. Once I had the resume, I set out to find a picture in a magazine that captured the essence of my female or male character.
Now I had both the visual aid and a written characterization. I have completed references for each of my main characters. Glancing at a picture that captured– his devilish grin, her sophisticated style, or his penetrating eyes – helped me zero into the dialogue element.
I hope you will enjoy learning more about my characters – a little backstory. It seems only fitting to start my series of articles with my lead character and protagonist – Christiana Lynn Barrington.
The character of Christiana started long before my thoughts about writing a novel. I had a vague notion of a wealthy young lady jet-setting around the world – living a luxurious and pampered lifestyle. I enveloped her in the most exquisite settings and locations partying with the world’s most celebrated people. However, I would get stuck each time – with her in another stunning locale with a current love – and I just couldn’t write through it. My analysis was Christiana was missing a sense of purpose and responsibility.
Then I set out to recast Christiana Lynn Barrington.
The basic description remained – she’s tall, slim and always impeccably attired in haute couture – stunningly gorgeous from head to toe. Her gray-green eyes provide a perfect counterpoint to her thick long brown hair. She’s polished in speech, manners and decorum.
Educated in the finest of European middle schools, she returned stateside to receive both bachelor and master’s degrees from Ivy League Universities. Accomplished in the arts, music and fluent in a number of languages, she has the élan and pedigree of European aristocracy and American blue-blood nobility. Her gentility and soft spoken personality are qualities inherited by her mother but prove to be somewhat a detriment in her business dealings.
As I reshaped her character – I placed her as a high level executive with a pivotal role in the family owned and operated worldwide conglomerate Barrington Holdings International.