Thursday, June 14, 2012

Guest Blogger Amylea Lyn: The Drama of Character Development

Today my guest is Amylea Lyn, author of one of my favorite MM sci-fi series, Outside the City. 

Amylea has a new series coming, The Brotherhood, more on that later, but first she's sharing her process for creating her dynamic characters.

Amylea Lyn: The Drama of Character Development

Developing a character is probably the hardest, and yet, most rewarding part of writing a story. Having a well rounded, believable character is what can make, or break, a book. Taking the time and effort to imagine a character that the readers can picture in their own minds is an important part of the writing process and allows readers to connect to a character on a deeper level than they might with just a basic description.

It’s not easy, and can sometimes feel like its taking up valuable writing time. But in the end, it helps the story along and sometimes adds to the drama of the book simply due to a character and their reactions to a specific events… whether it’s a physical reaction or an emotional one, due to their back story that the author created.  

Everyone has a different process for developing a character; some develop their characters as the story progresses, while others plot every facet out beforehand.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a plotter. LOL!

I always start from the very bottom (ie. Is my character a male or female?) and work my way up from there. Depending on the ethnicity or region a character may be from always plays into how they will be described in my books. Once I have their looks down, I move onto the smaller details. What do they smell like? What is their body type? Tall, fat, skinny, short, or is the character absolutely average? I spend so much time on the small details, that often times when it comes to the cover art I get incredibly picky. If asked, I could probably tell you every detail of a character’s description, down to the smallest mole.

Once the physical attributes are done, I move on to the emotional aspects of a character’s development. What is their back-story? Did they suffer a tragedy in the past? Is it still affecting them today? Are they prone to anger and depression? Or are they happy, plucky characters with a bright smile that makes everyone around them feel good? And of course, most importantly: how will they react to their love interest? Instant lust, or denial and trepidation?

All of these questions are important ones to ask yourself when developing a character for a book. I used these questions myself while writing my coming release, Solid as Stone. This being book 1 of my new series, titled The Brotherhood, I knew it was important to fully develop each character I wrote, down to whether they preferred boxers or briefs.

Take for example Wesley, one on my main characters in Solid as Stone:

Dr. Wesley Folcomb

Age: 26 years old

Height: Five-six

Hair: Reddish-brown. Long enough to curl over his ears.

Eyes: Golden-green (almost Hazel, but with more gold color)
Body type: Slim, but not thin. Think "swimmers build". Slight muscle


Skin tone: Fair, Peaches and cream skin tone. Blushes easily.

His father died at a young age, and his single mother, who suffered from Multiple Sclerosis, raised him. A genius, he graduated high school by the age of 13, and within 3 years had a doctorate in Botanical Genetic Engineering, along with Masters degrees in chemistry, herbology and genetics. Socially awkward, he has a hard time dealing with people, and instead prefers to teach classes and work on his research projects during the summer.

And he’s a briefs guy… all the way.

I’d tell you more about him, but I can’t without revealing too much about the book. Let’s just say our smart little nerd’s intelligence gets him in trouble… thank goodness he has a sexy, brave super soldier/assassin to help him through all the danger.

But basically, what I’m trying to say is character development is an important part of each story and without it, the books we read and write are nothing more than one-dimensional tales without emotion and intrigue. Well-developed characters move the story along, and bring characters to life in the eyes of the reader.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed a little glimpse into my writing process. And keep an eye out for Solid as Stone (The Brotherhood, book 1) coming soon from Silver Publishing!


And find out more about my books and my musing, on my website: or on my blog:

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