Oct 24, 2014
Recently I went to a packed workshop held at ‘The Munich Readery’ run by Rita Banerjee who teaches at the Ludwig Maximilian University.
The title of the workshop was Character Development and playing with persona and we looked at the different types of characters you have in a novel, specifically ‘flat’ characters who don’t develop (e.g. Mr Collins in Pride and Prejudice) and ‘dynamic’ characters (e.g. Elizabeth Bennet or Mr Darcy in the same novel) who do.
Rita then introduced us to a simple but powerful character development tool. By answering a set of very wide-ranging questions about the character (e.g. attitude to authority, dream life, fridge contents etc) you develop a clear mental picture of him or her before you even start writing.
I found the tool very helpful and applied it to the new character, Morpheus Herman, that I introduced in Chapter 29 – The Inquisitor. Morpheus is a ‘bad’ character, but I was dissatisfied with my first version. He was just a cardboard cut out baddie and I didn’t find him very convincing. By answering all these questions about Morpheus for myself, I was able to establish a back story for him that partially explains the way he is now and makes his actions more plausible. You can see the result in Chapter 31- Hidden Treasures below.
For the first time in this blog, I’m putting up two chapters at the same time. I hope you enjoy them.
The story so far ... Celia Thomas, a Munich based art restorer is working on a project to rescue some 16th century paintings in Croatia. While in Zagreb she glimpses somebody she believes to be her journalist brother Ned, who was apparently killed in Bosnia in 1995. As she starts to investigate his disappearance she stirs up a lot of trouble for herself and those around her.
Celia is back in Croatia to supervise the removal of the paintings to Munich for restoration. Meanwhile her husband Franz is examining two sources of information that might reveal something about what happened to Ned.
Chapter 30 – Discoveries and Chapter 31 - Evidence can be found on the right under 'Good Stuff'