I recently read a post by Richelle Mead on her blog chronicling her journey in developing a new series. For the past few years Mead has been working on four different series, all of which she’s already established the world and characters for. It’s rare to get a peek into someone’s creative process and I found these posts interesting and thought you might too.
Her first post The Age of X Process #1 is mostly about the brainstorming stage and making sense of all the information Mead is gathering and how that relates to her idea. Here’s an excerpt: The work I’m doing right now is a little weird. It’s not the kind of stuff you can just sit and type. It’s the part of writing a lot of people don’t understand: thinking. And that can’t always be done at a desk. Yesterday, I sat in front of my whiteboard and scrawled (with no real order) what I know so far about my characters and what the big beats of the first book/overall series are. It was a messy whiteboard. Read the first post in the series The Age of X Process #1 here.
In Mead’s current post The Age of X Process #2 she describes the beginnings of character development. Here’s an excerpt: My bios were about a thousand words each and were roughly divided into three sections. The first part explains who the character is–particularly in regard to what he/she does for a living. Remember, I write this as though I’m introducing the characters to someone who knows nothing about the world, so these roles I’ve created need explaining. The second part–the largest part–is the character’s history, leading up to the start of the book. This is part of the “ice berg” mentioned in my last post. Readers don’t need to know all this background at the start of the book. I like to dole it out slowly throughout a book or series (think of Georgina’s flashbacks in the succubus series) and wrap it into the present plot, if possible. This helps develop the book’s structure since usually, someone’s past influences their present. The last section of my bio consists of the character’s basic traits: looks, likes, personality, etc. Read the first post in the series The Age of X Process #2 here.