Friday, April 10, 2015

Storyteller's Journey

Pencil sketch by Victoria Lindstrom
 Connecting to Our Characters

Several weeks ago I posted a book review for a Christmas gift I'd received: The Writer's Brush, by Donald Friedman. In that post I mentioned that the beautiful book had inspired me to begin sketching from time to time; on the left is a pencil sketch of Oliver, a secondary character from my soon to be released middle grade fantasy novel,
The Tale of Willaby Creek.

The reason I'm sharing this photo with you is it reminded me of some wonderful advice I received from a dear writing friend years ago...about ways to connect with our characters. My creative writing teacher instructed us to tap into the personality of our protagonist in creative ways. Here's the artsy list from my mentor - plus a few of my own:

*Make a collage of your story, featuring your protagonist in it.
*Make a "Wanted" poster for your protagonist (or antagonist).
*Draw or paint your characters.
*Interview your main character.
*Write a poem about your protagonist.
*Visit a person (or creature) that's similar to your protagonist.
*Obviously, do research on your main character (if possible). At the very least, familiarize yourself with any hobbies or habits that the character actually has, or you want him/her/it to have.

At the time of the assignment I felt rather discombobulated. However, since that time (which was years ago) I've grown to appreciate my mentor's wise advice. Surrounding myself with images - in whatever form - of the characters in my work in progress inspires me so much. It's as though the collective cast of characters is cheering me on as I create their story. Maybe my muse(s) are my characters.

By the way, click here if you'd be interested in participating in the cover reveal for my soon to be released novel The Tale of Willaby Creek. CBB Book Promotions has scheduled the event for Monday4/27/15.

Be sure and stop by Writ of Whimsy next week when I'll be interviewing the author, Elizabeth Varadan! We'll be discussing her soon to be released novel Imogene and The Case of the Missing Pearls.


  1. love your Oliver sketch, Victoria...and I'm certainly signing up for the cover reveal. Congratulations!

    1. Thanks, Celeste. You're well aware of my love of owls! Also, thanks for signing up for the cover reveal. ^_^

  2. I like your Olive sketch, too. Wonderful advice. I do paint and draw a little as a secondary hobby, but oddly have never used that hobby to enhance understanding my characters. You've inspired me to try that.

    Thanks for mentioning the coming interview. I'm looking forward to reading it!