In case you didn't get the memo, since tomorrow is the 4th of July and therefore we Americans will be busy eating weenies and exploding things, Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group will be held today through Thursday.
This month I'd like to talk about character profiles. I don't do them. So whenever I read some great tip on creating a character profile or about the in-depth "off screen" backgrounds many writers dream up for their characters before they even begin writing their novel, I get a little insecure. Like, maybe my characters are shallow because I haven't ever thought about what their favorite color is or decided under which astrological sign they've been born.
But the thing is...I know my characters aren't shallow. One of the most consistent compliments I get on my writing is how real feeling and multidimensional my characters are, even the ones on the sidelines. So I think the deal is that I just have a different process for getting to know the players in my stories. This is how it seems to work: instead of writing out a detailed profile, I create a mental sketch of each character, and as I write the first draft, I get to know them better so that by the end of it, we're all quite intimate. During the second draft, I frequently smack my forehead and mutter, "No way would she/he ever say/do that!" and then I rewrite that dialogue/scene/whatever it takes so that the character is true. Further refining occurs in the third draft.
While I don't do a lot of pre-thinking about my characters' intricacies, I do have some fun with the post thinking, as evidenced by these quizzes I created for the Daves, in my novel Three Daves (currently on sale, details below). I promise they're short, so please choose one and take it...cuz I'd like to get to know my blogging friends a little better too. ;)