You know... I hear a lot about different writer's approaches to their craft. And I'm often keen to experiment with different ideas, but one thing that has never worked for me is The Character Sheet.
I've heard of many writers who fill these in before they start, so they know their characters in depth and I'm so in awe of this. It sounds utterly organised and professional, but it just doesn't work for me. Oh, I've filled in the charts, but for me it's like forcing toothpaste from an empty tube. Until I start writing, those lists of characteristics in the charts just never feel REAL. Once I start writing, the REAL details of my characters come to me. It's as if they exist in another dimension and the process of writing uncovers or awakens them.
For example, right now I'm half way through a book and I don't know who my hero's father is. I know he plays an important role in my hero's story. Fatherhood is a significant theme... again, you might well be saying:)
OK, I could sit down and force this father into life, or I can keep writing until he arrives on the page. And I know he will, when I really need him. Sounds like magic? It is, but it's why I love writing the way I do.
Oh and here's a bit of name dropping..
Today, my good friend Lindy Nelson Carr, Queensland Minister for the Environment, got me to pose in a photo with her to launch the Premier's Literary Awards.
Tee, hee. The Literary Board would have conniptions if they knew a M&B author was helping to launch their lofty award for proper literatishoore.