We’ll go back to our public speaking questions in a couple of weeks. Today, I want to introduce you to YA author Cheryl Martin and her ability to craft strong characters.
As I said before, flat characters leap from the page when they are infused with bits and pieces of the writer’s past experiences. But how does a writer do that? Whether you’re writing for adults or children, you’re characters will take on a deeper dimension if you apply Cheryl’s tips.
Thanks for stopping by, Cheryl. Tell us how you developed a whole cast of memorable characters in your new release PINEAPPLES IN PERIL.
Do you recall what it was like to be 10-16 years old? What kinds of things made you excited, angry, challenged or confused? How did you relate to siblings and parents?
These are the questions I consider when developing characters for The Hawaiian Island Detective Club. It’s sometimes hard to think back to those days (oh so long ago!) but there are always memories that stand out. I use them to deepen my characters’ personalities.
When I can’t come up with just the right attribute, I take a look at my own kids—they never fail to give me ideas. Although grown, they’re still siblings with all the normal frivolity, angst and annoying behaviors. Recollections from their younger years? Oh my!
As a kid, what kind of trouble did you get into, and how did you worm your way out? What were your thoughts and reactions, and did you blame someone else for your misdeeds? Ahh, yes, the memories flood your mind.
Now it’s time to give voice to the characters. Choosing words can be challenging, as they’re not adults, yet not little kids either. Does my ten-year-old sound six-years-old, or the young teen too mature?
Combine the personalities with intriguing scenarios and interesting settings, and—VOILA!—a unique and entertaining Middle Reader book.
Check out the adorable characters in Cheryl’s newly released book PINEAPPLES IN PERIL or visit her website cherlylinnmartin.com