How Ideas Become Characters

Have you ever wondered what goes into character creation? I’d like to walk you through a brief explanation of my character development process where I go from new ideas to finished sketches.

Where the ideas came from

When I started brainstorming for my book I Saw Bigfoot, I had a couple of character ideas bouncing around in my head. I knew that I wanted to write a book with a forest animal setting. I brainstormed for a bit and thought it would be fun to have contrasting characters in both looks and personalities. I wanted one of them to be big and one to be small, so I landed on Bear and Bunny because their sizes fit my vision for the characters, and I liked how their names sounded together with the alliteration.

Creating personality

I dedicated this book to my three younger siblings because the three characters were inspired by their personalities. Bunny is based on my little sister Lily. She is the youngest in our family and has an independent, adventurous side. Much like Bunny in the book, Lily has endless curiosity and determination. When she puts her mind to something, she gets it done.

Bear’s personality traits resemble my little sister Noelle. Noelle is almost two years older than Lily. She is a great leader and has a good head on her shoulders, which seems to make her more aware of her surroundings. Much like Bear, she is able to think through a situation and help calm things down.

And then there’s Bigfoot, whose character traits were inspired by my little brother Gracyn. He is older than Noelle and Lily and always has a way of drawing them into their imaginations with his antics. He encourages the girls to go on adventures and has his ways of egging them on like only a big brother can.

Sketching the characters

When it comes to the beginning sketches, it’s important to depict each character’s unique personalities. When first sketching, I carefully consider facial expressions, features, the character’s build, color and texture. All of this can be used to help communicate the character’s personality to the reader.

Here are examples of the first sketches showing various emotions that I put together when imagining the characters:

What’s coming next?

Hey! Guess what!? I Saw Bigfoot is at the press, which means launch day is just around the corner! Do you want to be the first to know when the book is available for purchase? Just fill out the form below, and we’ll notify you soon.

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