Saturday, January 19, 2019

Our first Round Robin blog for 2019 asks: How do you develop different personalities in your main characters? How about secondary characters? Do you have a favorite secondary character or one who has moved on into their own story?

I just love building characters and use several techniques for developing them once they have introduced themselves to me. That might sound odd, but I see my characters and know their names and physical details before I even start writing. But for ‘the rest of the story?’ Ah. That’s where the character building and developing comes in.

My first go-to is to give them a birthday. From that, I use their astrological signs to determine their strengths and weaknesses. I don’t necessarily include their birthdates in my text, I just get to know them better and definitely pay attention to their weaknesses as this is often where I find my characters’ flaws. If my characters have siblings, I’ll refer to The Birth Order Book to see what else I might discover about them depending on where they come in their family's line-up. I do a character interview, and this can be a surprising exercise as I find totally unexpected aspects of my characters, which all add up to a more rounded, fully three-dimensional character.

One of my secondary characters was Lady Juliana Clifton from my first Regency title, His Dark Enchantress. She was my hero’s sister and kept intruding at every turn, especially when Lord
Clifton’s love interest, Emmaline, was on the page. I think there might have been some rivalry going on there, each vying for His Lordship’s attention! Once I promised Juliana her own book, she went away. She got her own book, His Ocean Vixen, the second book in my Berkeley Square series. The third book in the series, His Unexpected Muse, will be released this coming March and again, the characters featured are secondary characters from the first book, Lady Olivia Darnley and Lord Peter Skeffington.

The characters who populate our pages are with us for far longer than it takes to write the book they feature in, and I know I’m reluctant to let them go. See what these other authors have to say about their characters.

Skye Taylor
Margaret Fieland
Helena Fairfax
Dr. Bob Rich
Fiona McGier http://www,
Beverley Bateman
Connie Vines http;//
Judith Copek
Rhobin L Courtright


  1. I forgot about the Zodiak sign although I always do give my secondary characters birthdays. Good idea.

  2. I latched on to your comment "definitely pay attention to their weaknesses as this is often where I find my characters’ flaws." That's certain true in characters, but I find it true also in life. Our social face and what we expose are often different from our real selves.

  3. I enjoyed your post. It's interesting how many secondary characters end up with their own book. Beverley

  4. I'm pleased to see that it's not just my secondary characters who end up in their own books, but yours also. I never intend to write a just usually turns out that way!