For a writer who's a plotter, this may be a foreign concept. Once they've written their book, aside from a read-over, they are done. Not me! This is where the real fun begins. Where the scenes come to life, where the characters really take on individual personalities, where I actually feel the ups and downs and extremes of every emotion. (Anyone got a hanky?)
- Hair and eye color
- Physical description
- Quirks such as, walks with a limp or very antisocial, or grinds teeth together when doesn't get his way
- Favorite expressions or sayings: Fiddle sticks, Oh Bosh!
- Personality: Are they a free spirit, independent, insecure, fearful, courageous, humorous, depressing, spooky, devoted
- Struggles and problems: Abandonment issues, bitter, angry, don't trust easily..
- Family and other connections
On the left side of my desk beside my coffee cup are my in-depth character sheets which go into much greater detail and give background for each character and secondary character.
Then on my computer I have other documents I bring up while I'm writing
- A Chapter by Chapter summary of the story (I usually have about a paragraph for each chapter) These I already put together when I wrote the first draft. They also include the date of each scene so I can keep track of where I am in time.
- A To-Remember document which lists things I need to keep track of. Like how long someone was married. What year did their brother die? What battle they fought in. When did his father abandon him? (I mean who can keep track of all of this for over 20 characters???)
- An Add-in Document which lists all the ideas I came up with when I was doing dishes, taking a walk, running errands and taking a bath that I want to add into the main story.
Polishing up sentences
Filling in historic details I didn't know at the time
Getting rid of things that don't work or don't sound right. It's hard work but I finally see the story and characters coming to life!