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I was at my vet's and she was excited to tell me she was working on her first children's book. How cool! I think that anyone who has the urge to write should absolutely start writing. It's one of those disciplines where you might as well wade in and get your feet wet, because how else are you gonna learn?
And then she told me how fun it was to fill out the character sheets and decide their zodiac signs and all their likes and dislikes, and I kind of kept nodding since I didn't want to burst her bubble. Turns out, filling out detailed character sheets is absolutely opposite my typical approach. And it turns out I'd just talked about this in a Turbulence interview with my fellow writer, Dev Bentham. Have a look:
DEV: Dallas and Paul are both really sweet guys and I love how well suited they seem. There are so many nice balances between them like that while Paul has the higher income job, Dallas has much more experience on this particular spooky flight. How do your characters come to you – are they fully formed when they arrive in your head or do you build them more consciously?
JORDAN: Your question is interesting because there are things that could be seen as differences, but you see them as balances. Maybe difference and balance are two sides of a coin. I think neither of them would be much attracted to someone like themselves. They need contrast, difference and balance.
When I create a new character, they aren’t exactly fully-formed, but I start them off with some key personality traits that I’m dogged about remaining faithful to. Dallas, at heart, is a competent caretaker, and Paul is a tightly-wound skeptic with something to prove. Being super clear on a character’s core can often make it seem as if I’ve spent ages fleshing them out. I find that pre-fleshing a character, as some writing workbooks might have you do by subjecting them to a lengthy and arbitrary character interview, is actually counterproductive. It takes the life and discovery out of putting the character through their paces.
Dev asked fantastic questions--it was clear she'd really immersed herself in the series. For the rest of the interview, come visit her website.
Until next time, stay in character,
Find Turbulence Collection ebook at JCP Books, Amazon and B&N, and paperback at Amazon, or with free worldwide shipping at The Book Depository.
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