This is an author's blog written by Pico Triano. 'Pico's Profile' will tell you a little about me. 'Pico's Stuff' will lead you to links and information on how you can access all my publicly available writing. 'Friends and Family' advertises websites on behalf of family and friends. The 'Friend Book Reviews' page is where I review materials written by the many friends I have made as a writer. Finally I recently added a review page for general reviews.

Monday, 25 February 2013

LSDL Character Development Part II

Mark Rathman

I grew up reading spy novels, organized crime, adventures and more. In those types of stories false identities come up and this fascinated me just a bit. One of the problems with false identities is that they have history that goes back only so far and then becomes very vague or just doesn't exist. What if a person had multiple alter egos from birth or from very near the beginning of life? This would have to be some kind of second generation spy whose parents or some organization created these identities for him. How could such a person believably come into existence? This concept of a character kicked around in my head for years before any kind of story line developed to go along with it.

One night my wife and I were in bed kicking around story ideas and during that conversation I came up with the basic elements that turned into Let Sleeping Dogs Lie. It took a decade of learning about writing and then finding the discipline to put a first draft together. The book "The Weekend Novelist" by Robert J Ray was a big part of that process. Studying writing with The Children's Literature Institute also was a big help. Finally learning about NaNoWriMo and the idea behind it was the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place for me. All I needed was a spark. It just came to me. That spark was knowing where in all that pile of back story was the point where the book had to start. I knew the story had to start on the train where Mark and Christine meet. From there I wrote. The motives of these two characters propelled the story.

Mark is a lot like myself in a lot of ways. My intention was not to make a supercharged version of myself, but to have that much in common made it easier to get inside his head. We're the same height, we both played basketball, both do a lot of cycling and play harmonica. It made it easier to use my own experiences to breathe life into his character. We are significantly different as well. Outside of general size and build we don't look anything alike.

Mark's back story generated a complete first draft manuscript called "The Shadow Sleeps". That was my NaNoWriMo story for 2012. There is a novel length story in between the two manuscripts as well with a definable beginning middle and end. I am hoping to write that for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. Whether either of those get developed further hasn't been decided yet. I'm not sure creating a character that readers will like and then kill her off is such a good idea. I will likely bounce that thought off friends and fans here on this blog. I do have one solid vote for the yes side besides myself, but no decision either way is made at this point.

Related Articles and Links

Sneak Peek: Let Sleeping Dogs Lie Chapter I
Making a new major character for Rat in the Shadows
LSDL Character Development Part I
LSDL Character Development Part III
LSDL Character Development Part IV

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