Hi, my name is Lindsey Sablowski, and I am the author of the young adult fantasy book Cursed With Power and the upcoming sequel, Shadows and Embers (releasing July 26th!). Today I've been asked to talk about how I write my novels and develop the characters.
A novel is honestly like your child. It's special, it's unique, and you know it from beginning to end. You're there with it from the moment it's "born" to the day it "spreads its wings." That's the wonderful part of being an author -you get to bring something into this world that you can be proud of.
I realize every author has a different way of writing their novel. For me, it changes with each book. For Cursed With Power I didn't do any outlining for the first draft, and then it wasn't until revisions that I really started to outline what would happen in each chapter. For my upcoming book, Shadows and Embers, I outlined a lot because I didn't want to skip over anything important. Whether you want to outline or not, I do think it helps a lot to have some kind of organization of ideas for your book. It's so easy to start writing a chapter, think up an idea, and then forget it in the next five minutes. You're a writer, have some fun with your ideas, get creative and have a organized and working system to keep them all together.
As for development with characters, I think a lot of this relies on focusing on people in your everyday life. I write fictional stories, but the characters in my books are created because of people I have met in my life. Some are more strongly based on individuals than others. This especially goes along with relationships as well. I know what it's like to lose people and to find someone you thought you had lost again, and those kind of experiences can really help when it comes to developing your characters into relationships with one another. People fall in love with characters because they can relate to them or because they have feelings for them. All throughout a book you have chances to show what each character means to the other, and that's how authors like John Green and Stephen King really get to people... They can either scare them or make them cry all because they took something people know and put it into words.
I think another great point to remember with characters is that every character deserves to have their own voice. You know the saying "walk in someone else's shoes?" That is exactly what you need to do for your characters. You need to walk in their shoes, walk with them, talk with them, everything possible until you know exactly who they are. Know them so well that when another character comes along you can clearly tell the difference between the two people talking.
I hope I shared some news tips with everyone that can help, and whenever in doubt remember there are hundreds of books and websites that go into greater detail about all of this. Enjoy your days, and thanks for having me!
Published YA author of Cursed with Power