I feel like a little girl with a new crayon box. Drawing and coloring my heroine Maggie in a creative journal is not only great fun, it’s a process which informs me about who she is and how her story needs to evolve. Maggie is the central character in my Vancouver series.
Black and White Character Development
I’ve written charts of information about Maggie and stored them on One Note. On long walks along the waterfront, I’ve held interviews with her in my mind asking her every imaginable question. And through the first draft I got to know a lot about her as she developed through the twists and turns of the plot. But none of this was enough. I still had that gnawing feeling that I wanted to know more about her. It was kind of like meeting an interesting person at a party, being intrigued, but not being left with a full impression of who they really are.
And then there was the question that burst my bubble: Is she 33 or 35?
I know I’m only talking about two years. But it’s the difference between being a young woman almost in her twenties, and being a mature woman; physically at her prime and edging away into a time when personality trumps looks and plays a more dominant role in her life. So which is she? You wouldn’t believe how many hours I’ve wondered about this.
Maggie Developed in Color
As I started drawing a picture of Maggie beneath her skin (above), I realized she needed tears. Lots of tears. Then I realized I need to look more closely at those tears.
That was my first “ah ha” moment with my creative journal. The process brought me closer to my heroine.