I’ve been hard at work on Book Two of the LA Wolves Series this week and it got me thinking about how I develop my characters in my stories.
I think many writers would agree that often times we don’t invent our characters. Instead, they tell us who they are as we go along. There are certain aspects that stand out right away, but then smaller details reveal themselves as the story progresses. I like to think about it as if I met them all in person. You see their physical characteristics, but you don’t learn about their unique traits or interests until you talk to them, or hang out with them for awhile. That’s how I feel when writing my characters.
The two characters I’m writing right now are Gina Rodrigo and Will Edmonson. The process for them has been different than when I wrote Jack and Paige (In the Grasp, LA Wolves Book One). I wrote Jack and Paige in 2016, so I can’t really remember my full process. The characters came to me quickly and clearly, and every so often different facets of their character or personality would be revealed to me while I was writing.
For Will and Gina, I knew roughly what they looked like. I imagine Gina to be a mix between Naya Rivera and Gina Rodriquez. Will has that black Irish look (dark hair, blue eyes) and reminds me of Sam Hubbard (Bengals player), but with darker hair. When I first started writing, I knew I wanted Gina to be sassy, fierce, and confident, but I also felt like some of that was false confidence covering for a woman with some deeply embedded insecurities. I wasn’t sure where those insecurities came from until I started outlining the story and getting to know her better.
Gina is from a large Puerto Rican family that is incredibly close, but it’s also always been hard for her to stand out. She’s had a string of horrendously shitty boyfriends that have eaten away at her confidence. And then there’s Will, whom she has an undeniably intense connection with, but she can’t get a read on him and hates his hot and cold demeanor towards her.
Will grew up in Texas with his three sisters, and was raised by a single mom. His fiancé, Candace, died in a car accident (something we find out in Jack and Paige’s story), but there are some facts surrounding that night that eat at Will, facts he’s never shared with anyone. He feels this insane connection with Gina, but fights it, the memory of Candace still fresh in his mind. He has a lot of inner demons he’s battling right now, and honestly, he hasn’t even fully revealed himself to me yet.
Discovering who my characters are is one of my favorite aspects of being a writer. Bringing them to life for future readers is such an honor and I can’t wait for you to meet the rest of the couples in the LA Wolves series.
Love, Cadence <3