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All Because of Chickens

Friday, May 24, 2013

Introducing Erin Albert


Hello!  Thanks for joining me on the MuseItYoung and MustItYA blog!  My name is Erin Albert, and my epic high fantasy novel, The Prophecy, debuts in November of this year!  I am thrilled! 


Since I don’t have an awesome cover to show you (will be in the works soon) or a book jacket and excerpt to offer (keeping those cards close to the chest for a teensy bit longer), I’d like to talk about creating characters.  As a writer (and really for my regular life too), I like to fly by the seat of my pants.  I have a beginning and end in mind for my stories, but sometimes the middle takes me for a ride even I didn’t anticipate. 

How, in that situation, do I create consistent, believable characters?  I start with their physical characteristics because that’s the easiest.  How does this person look?  After I establish their outer attributes (which can sometimes affect their inner attributes), I work on their habits, quirks, strengths, and weakness.  Let me tell you, I love quirks.  J  It’s crucial to include weaknesses in a character.  No one wants to read about a practically perfect person.   We all know those people we think are perfect…and we generally don’t like them.  J

For an example, let’s pretend I’m a character.  Here is how I would start working out a description…

Name: Erin Albert

Physical features:   Brown hair (dyes blond in the summer and dark brown with red in the winter), bright blue eyes, 5’2” tall, _____ weight (yeah right-haha), tiny chickenpox scar on left cheek, large scar on left knee from childhood injury.

Habits and Quirks:
1) OCD (literally checks the locked doors three times at night—it HAS to be three times)
2) Major hand washer (not because of germs but because she doesn’t like the feel of a “film” on her hands)
3) Never leaves the house without makeup on (thanks, Grandma for that hang up)
4) Family and friends say she’s a member of the “Grammar Police,” but she can’t spell
5) Crazy, lifelong crush on Val Kilmer
6) Loves running and kickboxing
7) Played a recurring character in a play for 4 years, took her 3 years after the last play to donate her costumes

Strengths:

1) Lively and energetic
2) Health conscious
3) Tries to do the right things
4) Tries to be kind and thoughtful

Weakness:

1) Procrastinator (you know, Procrastinators Unite…tomorrow)
2) OCD when it interferes with regular life
3) Can “check out” and live in her own little world
4) Easily distractible

You’re probably thinking, but you’re a real person!  Exactly!  You want your character to be so realistic that he/she seems like a real person.  These “people” should be someone with whom you could be friends, fall in love, hate, envy, and—most importantly—relate. 

Who is your favorite book character?  What makes him/her so likeable? 
I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Thank you so much for joining me on MuseItYoung and MuseItYA today!!  I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog post, and I really hope you’ll give The Prophecy a read in November!  J

Since you hung around and read my whole post, I’ll give you a “sneak peak” of my tagline to say thanks!

The Prophecy
“One often finds destiny on the road taken to avoid it.”

You can find me online at www.erinalbertbooks.com, Erin Albert Books (on FB), and @ErinAlbertBooks (Twitter).  Subscribe to my blog, like me on FB, and follow me on Twitter if you’d be so kind! 

Until next time,
Erin

17 comments:

  1. Erin, thanks for the interesting post. I'm eager to read your book -- and see the cover as well. I don't usually start with the hair, etc -- with me it's more of an impression of how they walk, talk, act, their values, etc. Even then, they tend to take over and surprise me.

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    1. Margaret-- Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words! I think my theater background plays a role in the way I create characters. I have to know what they look like so I can "rehearse" the scenes in my mind (and sometimes in front of the mirror while I flat iron my hair)! LOL! :) I agree, characters often surprise us! Thanks again!

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  2. Great post. Love how you do your characterization. I get a sense of what I want my character to look like, physically, then choose a name to go with it. A lot of times, I don't get their personalities down well until the second draft- I need to have them tell me where the story is going first, and then I fill in the missing pieces of their lives (with their help, of course!)

    As for favorite characters, I LOVE Raine Benares from Lisa Shearin's series of fantasy novels. All the men in Nora Roberts McKade brothers series and her MacGregor series.

    As for my own work, I'd have to say Brody is my favorite. He's quite the character!

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    1. Mary--Hey, sweet lady! Thanks for your comments! Since I'm fortunate enough to be your CP for Brody's book, I have to agree. He's very alluring! :)

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  3. How to pick one favorite? I love Anne and Gilbert Blythe from L.M. Montgomery's Anne series. I love the faithful friend found in Lloyd Alexander's Coll and Tolkien's Samwise Gamgee. Looking forward to reading The Prophecy!

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  4. Hi, Erin! Nice to get to know a little more about you. I'm 5'2" as well. (Okay, 5'1" and 3/4...but I say 5'2".) :)

    There's so many characters I love. Who to pick today...let's go with Frank from Kai Strand's recently released MG fantasy Beware of the White. I have a total crush on him!

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    1. Katie--Thanks for reading and replying! Short people unite!! :) Do you always get called "cute?" I'm always classified as cute, based solely on my size, when I'm going for more awesome words like "stunning." LOL! :)

      I can't wait to read BEWARE OF THE WHITE! :)

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    2. Katie, thanks for mentioning Frank. I have a goofy schoolgirl crush on Frank, too. I can't wait to write his story!

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    3. Erin, yup, I'm always the cute one!

      And, Kai, I'm dying to read Frank's story. :)

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    4. Katie-- I feel your pain! Someone call me "stunning" or "gorgeous" already! LOL! Long legs shouldn't be a requirement for those terms! ;)

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  5. Wait, checking out and living in one's own little world is a weakness? I just call is research :) Fun to get to know a little more about you!

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    1. LOL! My parents always said it was a weakness... I see it as a sign of creative genius... LOL! ;)

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  6. I was 5'2" my entire life until I moved to Oregon 13 years ago. Since then doctors have measured me at both 5'3" and 5'4"! Back and forth for 13 years. Must be the clean living.

    I have an anecdote at the beginning of each chapter in my Weaver Tales. Your tagline reminds me of the saying at the beginning of Chapter 10 in The Weaver: It is common for one to trample over the talent they have while they desperately search for the talent they want.

    Great tagline! I'm already intrigued by your book. And I never thought to make myself a character. Great way to mine for character quirks.

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  7. Kai- Hey! Thanks for stopping by for a "chat!" :)

    My mom swears she grew a few inches in adulthood (she's 5'4"). Maybe it's possible! LOL! There is still hope for me yet!

    Wow, I love that Chapter 10 saying. Very true too!!

    Yay! I'm so excited you are intrigued! I can't wait to start rolling the big stuff out (book jacket, excerpt, and cover), but timing is everything...

    I really do love quirks...probably because I have SO many!! ;)

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