If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Deepening Character

Last weekend I attended the Crimebake conference. With panelists and speakers so generously sharing their writing and marketing experiences, I find it difficult to address only one idea. I decided to focus on the one I plan to use first.

I’ve seen and filled out lists that include a character’s hobbies, what’s in the fridge, first sexual experience, etc. Gerry Boyle, writer of the Jack McMorrow mysteries and the presenter of one of the master classes, suggested the character sketch method. He writes and revises, over months sometimes, sketches for his characters, writing in their voices.

Sometimes it is difficult to explain a villain’s motives. Sure, the villain has been wronged but so have many people and they don’t exact a terrible revenge. Is it years of daily insults and injuries that turn a person into a killer? What specific combination of nature and nurture makes a character take action so far outside the accepted norm? Becoming that character in voice and feeling might make the motivation clearer.

In my WIP, my villain holds his family close to his heart and takes revenge if any member of his family is hurt. However, at the same time, he makes dozens of victims who are strangers suffer even to the point of death. What are his rationalizations for violating so badly the rights of strangers who have not harmed him or his? I’m going to play my villain until I’m thinking (scary thought!) like my villain and can portray him in my WIP in a sentence or two. Gerry Boyle pointed out that he does not put his sketches (and the one he shared with us was fascinating) in his final draft.20Dr. Christian Szell, Marathon Man

Similarly, I want to know what motivates a young person with so many choices ahead of him to choose to kill. Who does he blame for his pain and why can’t he let go of that blame? Projection, I believe, is a favorite way of dumping characteristics and feelings we don’t want on others. Although I plan to recreate the young killer’s voice, I’d like to avoid becoming an expert projectionist.

Do you have a special way of deepening character?

3 comments:

Warren Bull said...

I agree that knowing your character intimately, including all kinds of things about her or him that you do not use in your writing gives the end product a sense of reality and depth. I don't have a particular method but I know authors who interview their characters and have lists of questions. Others just allow the characters to talk to them.

E. B. Davis said...

My favorite motive is revenge, and I've tried to create believable characters. Getting inside some characters is harder than others. Some jump out of the page, speak up and tell you about themselves. Others, not so much.

college admission essay writers said...

That conference should be a useful one I believe because it has many things to offer and I like it how people shared their experiences with you people in order to motivate you. Good job