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Hello from Dave Heron
Hello all, My name is Dave Heron, and I am the author of the post-apocalyptic novel, From the Ash. The story follows a young woman’s—Phoenix— desperate journey across a barren wasteland that most of the United States has been left in. To get back to her home state of Maine, Phoenix clings to the hope that those she loves are there waiting for her.
Dave Heron: On Creating Characters
Today, I thought it would be fun to talk about my writing process, especially when it comes to creating characters. One of the most fascinating conversations I’ve had with people that dabble in writing is about their own individual processes, tactics, routines, and rituals—anything when it comes to getting prepared to create that next great character(s). I’ll tell you what, every person I’ve had this discussion with has their own unique approach.
So, back to my original point, I’d like to take this opportunity to share my process of creating characters with you. This topic is something I truly enjoy hearing/reading about, and hopefully, you do too!
Step 1: Developing Personality Traits
The first step for me is developing personality traits. With Phoenix, I wanted to create a strong female lead, but one that wasn’t flawless. Something I immediately felt drawn to was that, with all of the physical strain she is going to suffer from this trek across the country, what if she was also battling her own inner struggles as well? I remember looking down at the words “severe depression” I had written, and just thought about my own experiences, mainly stemming from my relatives’ battles with this disease, knowing just how difficult it can make everyday life a struggle. Add in a post-apocalyptic setting? Geesh. This is the core of who Phoenix is, but it does not define her. I thought it would make her that much more complex of a character to the reader.
Step 2: Visualize Physical Characteristics
For the next step, I close my eyes and try to picture in my head what they will look like, matching the face with the personality I’ve created for said character. With Phoenix, it only took a few moments and the image of her began to manifest. If you’ve seen the cover for From The Ash, that is Phoenix. Dane at @ebooklaunch plucked her from my descriptions and just graced me with an amazing illustration of her.
These two steps are vital, especially when I want to move forward with any characters I want to put into the FTA world. I let my imagination take over at this point, basically “stepping” into their shoes and letting the words flow onto the page. Like I said at the beginning, every process is different. Mine may seem so simplistic with these two steps, but that works for me. I find it truly fascinating when authors can outline a character’s entire history—just notes upon notes about them, even the most minor of players are thought out so well. That, to me, is mind-boggling.
So, that is my process when it comes to creating a character. How about you? What is your process when it comes to this topic? I would love to hear about it! Thanks for reading!
About Dave Heron
Dave Heron was born in Pittsburgh, PA, where he resides with his wife, children and fur-baby. His two young boys, Max and Bennett, keep life interesting and often inspire Dave’s creativity. Between juggling work, rambunctious kids and nagging wife, Dave enjoys spending time writing various genres. His greatest inspirations come from authors such as R. A. Salvatore, Brandon Sanderson and Mark Tufo.
About His Book
The Phoenix Series, Book One
Genre: Sci Fi/Dystopian
Print Length: 255 pages
Publisher: DevilDog Press
Book Description: Five days. It took me five days to crawl out from the bowels of the rubble. I emerged from my tomb into a world nothing more than a wasteland; propelled into chaos where everyone has all but lost their humanity.
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