Friday, August 26, 2011

Things I didn't know about my hero

So, when I sent Run Rabbit Run to Choc Lit one of the first things they asked for was the hero's point of view. If you've read the Sophie Green books you'll know they're all first-person from Sophie's POV, so this obviously wasn't a small task. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised it was just what the book needed to flesh it out.

I was a bit scared to write in Luke's first-person POV, however, because...well, his psyche is actually a pretty scary place to be. Not to mention that it would be pretty confusing skipping from one to another all the time, for me as the writer and quite probably for you as the reader. So I wrote him in third person, and the more I did the more I liked it.

But as I mentioned yesterday, I got to learn so much more about him through simply writing him. I write in quite a deep third-person POV, so it's quite intimate. Even for a character I thought I knew really well, one I've been writing for years and who I've been allowed to fall in love with through the eyes of my heroine, I was surprised at the things that popped up about him.

Things I didn't know about Luke Sharpe:

He likes Saturday morning cartoons

He carries ludicrously expensive items like an 18ct gold lighter, even though he's given up smoking. It was given to him by his family and is symbolic of their attitude to him: the gift is expensive, does it matter if it's personal?

He loves that Sophie can't keep her mouth shut for five consecutive minutes. It also drives him utterly mental

He likes Beethoven

His grandmother owns a racing stables

He believes there ought to be a law against anyone else kissing Sophie

He owns P!nk's album Missundazstood

His favourite photo of Sophie is not of her naked or glammed up, but of her asleep

He's getting a little bit touchy about his age

Does anyone else find you discover more about a character the more you write? Or are you all better planners than I am?


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  2. Okay, let's try this again.

    I used to think I was a great planner, but then my characters would take control. Suddenly I'm learning things about them I never would have if we'd stuck solely to the 'script'.

    Now, my writing is a mix between planning and flying by the seat of my pants.

    It seems to be working. :)

  3. When I create a new character I usually write a CV for him or her with all the vital information and an interview part, where I ask the character all sorts of questions. I usually get a lot out of that but then when I start writing things get added or taken away or simply changed. I think it's just a part of the creative process and I wouldn’t want to stay too fixed on what I have done before. It makes characters more alive if they can make their own decisions, in my opinion.

  4. That's funny, Pandora: I actually wrote a CV for Luke, because I wanted to have a scene where his achievements were listed and for it to feel as if he's giving an account of himself. That's the first time I've done it, though.

    If I did one for Sophie it would read: Finished school. Didn't finish university. Loads of crap jobs. Spy.

    It's a bit short...

  5. Anonymous3:36 pm

    I love this. I wonder what readers think of us writers who describe our characters as real people. ;) As my bf says, "You're crazy, you know that?" Best wishes!

  6. I haven't attempted third person pov yet, but I completely understand how the characters grow and evolve, even surprising us! I can't wait to read what's going on in Luke's head. I love reading the male perspective because they're usually so much different from the way a woman thinks. That's another reason why I hesitate to do it ;)

  7. I actually love writing male POV, its kind of liberating! But then I've always liked hanging out with my male friends and getting more of a guy's perspective on things.

    I've written a few short stories exclusively from male POV--including the prequel to the Sophie books, The Twelve Lies of Christmas--and my current WIP is written heavily from the hero's POV at the start. To begin with it was from the heroine's POV, but it wasn't working and I finally figured out we needed to hear from him!

  8. And, incidentally, a large part of what goes though Luke's head is along the lines of, "Sophie's a complete mentalist!"