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Del Garrett

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Member Since: Feb, 2008

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Creating Primary and Secondary Characters
8/14/2011 2:24:04 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

One thought amongst detail-oriented writers is that they should create an entire life history for their characters. From birth to present day, some writers want to know their "child" and how it grew up. The purpose is to have the character react a certain way to a plot point (problem). Scotty on Star Trek will always act emotionally while Mr. Spock normally won't. It's important to define the characters and their character traits.

But that takes a long time and a lot of writing, and I want to jump right into the story and the action. So what I've done with my characters is to pattern them after some of the more famous TV and movie actors. The average actor will always play a part in character and very similar to characters they have done in other movies. If I want the reluctant hero, I need look no further than Harrison Ford. If I want a gangster, there's always Robert De Niro or Joe Pesci. Too loud? Well how about Steve McQueen? There was a man who could say more with physical action than all the other tough guys with big mouths.

And there's composits -- My retired U.S. Marshal Bill Shackley (THE GOODBYE TRAIL -- soon to be re-released as TEXAS JUSTICE) is a combo of Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott.

It saves time when you know how your character will react and makes the action easier to write.

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More Blogs by Del Garrett
• Back in the saddle - Sunday, February 03, 2013
• Lessons Learned: Library of Congress Catalog Number - Tuesday, March 06, 2012
•  Creating Primary and Secondary Characters - Sunday, August 14, 2011  

Sir John Franklin by Anthony Dalton

A biography of the legendary English naval officer, diplomat and Arctic explorer who disappeared in the Arctic in 1845...  
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