Creating a Character – Sweet Little Things

Creating a character can be difficult sometimes. Yet other times it can be very easy.

Personally, I mostly seem to find a character first and as I write a little about them a story begins to develop around them organically.

I often find characters who have played a minor role in one book can develop further in my mind until they become the main character in another book. This is particularly so for my Liverpool series of books.

I recently completed and published another in the series.This one is a novella called ‘Sweet Little Things.’

The main character in this story is one of those who evolved in my mind from a very old memory.

When I was a little girl, growing up in Liverpool, I used to sometimes see an old lady passing by.

She always wore a scarf with scraps of long straggly hair hanging down. Her coat was in tatters and the little bit you could see of her face was dirty, very dirty.

She never spoke to anyone that I remember and always kept her head down.

She was a real-life Eleanor Rigby and she stuck with me. I can’t think about my childhood in Liverpool without her image appearing in my mind so this year I decided to write a story about her.
At first, I had no idea who she was or what her story was. But, once I began writing about her the story unfolded in my mind.
She came to life. I’d known she was lonely but as I wrote I realized just how intense her loneliness was.
Loneliness became the theme of the book and the story became one of how to break her isolation.
As I wrote I discovered that my character had been happily married but that she had been the quiet partner while her husband had done the talking.
When he was killed in an accident she’d found herself alone. She was unable to find ways to communicate with others and became isolated.
Of course, I didn’t want to begin and end a story with the main character still in the same position. A character needs to progress in a story. I wanted my character to find a way back into the world and for that to happen some event had to occur.
That event was the arrival of a teenaged mother with a young mixed-race son. The development of an unlikely friendship between them amidst racial tensions became the focus of the story.
It wouldn’t be a very interesting story if everything was plain sailing and there were some natural barriers to their friendship. I introduced these in the form of a misunderstanding.
I won’t tell you more because obviously, I don’t want to spoil the story.
If you want to know more the book is available on Amazon now and is at a reduced introductory price of £.99
book cover of Sweet Little Things by Grace Jolliffe - illustrating a post about creating a character

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Creating A Character

Characters don’t always evolve from old memories and sometimes the hardest thing is to create a character straight from a blank sheet. This is where an exercise can help:

Click here for an easy five-step plan to creating your characters.

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