Part of creating your plan is deciding what you want to happen in your story and then creating characters that make it happen! Your main character is important, of course, but the other characters have to be developed also.
Where do ideas for characters come from? For me, so far, it has come from people I know and from my imagination!
In The Long Legged Turtle, Long Legs came from my imagination. I saw a picture of a long, legged turtle on a bag and thought –Kids would love a long, legged turtle. Then I had to think about his personality. I wanted him to be different (his long legs and stockings) but I wanted him to be friendly and likable. My message was–yes, I am different, but I am happy and people/animals like me! They other characters in my story were easy–they were real. They were 5 of my grandchildren. I took some parts of their real personalities/actions and built them into the story. They are all wonderful so it was easy for me to have everyone love Long Legs.
In I Love Being Me!, these characters came from my imagination. In this story I started with my idea–we are all different, we all have special gifts that make us unique and we should celebrate our differences! When I created Polka Dottie, I wanted her to be different (long legs and polka dots). I wanted her to be afraid the other turtles wouldn’t like her, but I wanted her to be brave too. The important thing is I wanted Polka Dottie to grow! I think it’s important that the main character grows! I love that in a book I read! I hope as you read, I Love Being Me!, you can see how Polka Dottie grows with the help of some friends!
I needed some characters to support her–to help her grow and I wanted these characters to be different in some way too! I love fireflies! I always have! I think it started by catching them in a jar when I was little–it was a little magical for me But, one day, I was listening to music in my car. Faith Hill was singing her song, Fireflies! So I thought, that is the perfect friend for Polka Dottie, a firefly! So, Flicker came to be. Then I needed another character–a turtle that would like and believe in Polka Dottie. A turtle who was different too! Then my daughter said that I should call him Hawk! Hawk for a turtle, how could that be?? But, I remembered when my oldest grandson, James, came home from Afghanistan. He wanted a mohawk for a few days, before he went back. He got one and my two younger grandsons wanted one too, so James, Jon, Jimmy, Matt, their dad, all had mohawks. So I decided Hawk was his name and he would have a bright, red mohawk! Hawk was going to be Polka Dotties friend and her long legs and polka dots did not make a difference–he liked her and believed in her! And so my story began…