Curious what your book characters look like to your target audience? I have often wondered myself how others might see my characters. Do they picture them the way I visualize them? Have I done a good job describing my characters physical traits, style and personality?
I teach fifth grade and recently began to think, hummm…fifth grade is middle grade, my first novel, Liberty Lane and the One-Girl Rebelution is a middle grade book…sooo, I wonder how these students (who just happen to be my target audience) would see my characters. Maybe I should read them my book!
After I was several chapters into reading Liberty Lane and the One-Girl Rebelution to the class, I had them draw pictures of what they thought the characters might look like based not only upon how I physically described them but also the their personality and how they saw them.
I learned several things doing this…. first, I found my class rocks! They drew fantastic pictures. Secondly, I realized they were seeing some characters exactly like I was seeing them, that was super cool! Lastly, I learned I was not describing several characters well enough. This was not good news, but it gave me the opportunity to go back and really liven up some of my characters before I start sending my manuscript to agents in the next month.
One of my characters I found had tons of personality, but I never really physically described him. I knew what he looked like in my mind but I never shared this with my readers. Another character I had described really well but I never described what she was ever wearing and so her “style” was not discovered and she has a very specific style …it is just inside my own mind, forgetting to find its way to print. 🙂
I love the character sketches my class created, so over the next few weeks, I will be sharing their works of art, highlighting my main characters.
What are some of your favorite book characters?