Building Characters

Writing the first chapter of a new novel, the exposition where you introduce the main characters and the lay the groundwork for the main conflict, is always something very exciting. For you don’t just introduce the characters to the reader, you introduce them to yourself. Before you sit down to write, you might already have some idea of the hero and the heroine, but only during the writing they become fully fleshed-out characters. At the beginning you never quite know how they’re going to turn out (might I remind you of the heroine of the dratted WIP? the heroine who ended up holding a knife? yes, that’s exactly the sort of unpredictability I’m talking about!).

Normally I don’t work with pictures of movie stars. That’s why I usually find questions like “Which actor would you like to see in the role of this and that character from this and that book?” so difficult: I can’t say because that’s not the way I imagine books — neither my own nor other people’s. The characters come onto the stage as themselves. Sometimes as manga characters, but still, as themselves.

With BEWITCHED it’s different: this time I started with pictures of Annett Louisan, a German singer (on her website you can find sound samples; my favourite songs from Bohème are “Das Spiel” — The Game –, “Das Gefühl” — The Feeling –, and “Das Liebeslied” — The Love Song), and Eric Stoltz, the film star, — and voilà — Amy and Sebastian were born. :O)