Further to my recent post on reviews, The Railway Man received one on Amazon recently, which said: “The author continues to come up with great storylines and continues to develop the main characters further so it’s like you nearly seem to know them.”
I am delighted that the reviewer felt able to say this. The test of an author’s creation of a fictional character must be the capacity to make them live. You can create the finest landscapes, the greatest stories, the most remarkable writing, but you cannot make your stories live unless you have well-drawn characters.
They are your vehicle to tell the story and they should be realistic (unless in over-the-top comedy where stereotypes can sometimes work) - your reader should feel that your characters can actually walk into the room.
When creating a character, I try to describe what they look like and how they move, speak, react, dress etc but also try to get into their head - how do they think? And I keep secrets from the reader, revealing the character as the story progresses.
Book details: Few tears are shed when an ex-boxer and local hard man is found dead in a disused railway signal box. When DCI John Blizzard is called in to investigate, he discovers no shortage of people who would want the bully dead. But getting any of them to come forward proves difficult.
Having interrupted the opening day of the public display of a steam engine that DCI Blizzard lovingly helped restore, few are keener than he to see the perpetrator under lock and key. It transpires that the victim once gave a man life-changing injuries with a cruel sucker punch, thus Blizzard’s colleagues think they’ve found a likely suspect. But the veteran detective is not so sure. In fact, the real culprits might be much closer to home.
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