As an avid reader, one of the most important aspects of a good book is character development. An author can write a really exciting story, but if the characters are flat and perfect, it’s hard to care. Some of the great “meaty” characters that come to mind when I think of someone so well written they could be real, are Katniss from The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter from, well, Harry Potter. By the time I had finished both of these series, I felt like I knew the characters and actually missed them as I turned the final page and set the last book down.
But there are certain things about these characters (my new friends) that I never know and don’t always find out. Why not? I guess it’s not important to the plot. But I guarantee you that Suzanne Collins and J.K. Rowling know their characters favorite colors, their favorite foods, what time they usually go to bed, and what superpower they would choose if they could have any in the world.
I know I have all of that information about my characters. To me, creating a fictitious person that I want people to care about is a very important responsibility that I can’t mess up. For all of my characters, and their opposites, I keep charts as specific as their first car to their sleeping habits.
And since I’ve often wondered about Harry Potter’s biggest regret, or what Katniss’ favorite color is, I thought I’d share some of the extras that aren’t included in my book, but are still vital to creating the main character of The Soul Mender, Riley Dale.
Full Name: Riley Evelina Dale
Date of Birth: October 17th
Hometown: Grand Junction, CO
Alma Mater: University of Colorado, Boulder—BS in Environmental Science
Religion: Not practicing. Grandmother was Jewish, Grandfather was Presbyterian
First Car: 1994 Toyota 4-Runner (Tan)
First Kiss: Tyler Smithfield, Age 16
First Broken Bone: Pinkie toe on left foot from kicking a rock
First Crush: Gabriel Hart
Favorite Food: Nachos
Favorite Music: Folk Rock
Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Movie: Indiana Jones (1-3. Not a fan of 4.)
Favorite Sports: Doesn’t play any but loves watching the Denver Broncos.
Hobbies: Gardening, Reading, Hiking
Personality: Smart, caring, loves nature
Behavior: Polite, loving, quiet
Relationships: Dearly loves her friends and family
Personality: Shy, anxious, judgmental
Behavior: Reserved, timid
Habits: Needing everything to be in order
Relationships: Too afraid to have one
Hair Color: Golden Brown
Hair Type: Long with large curls
Eye Color: Green
Weight: Fluctuates between 112-116
I have eleven pages of notes on Riley Dale’s character. These are just a few of the many details that have gone into creating who is I hope an intriguing character who will make you feel frustrated, happy, annoyed, sad, worried, excited, and everything but bored!