Friday 21 June 2013

Writing Characters - Chloe, Sarah & Charlotte

Writing Characters - Chloe, Sarah & Charlotte.

When writing characters, you always put a bit of yourself into them. Whether you mean to or not, even if it is only noticeable to you, the writer, there is always a little piece of you in your characters. I feel that this is that much more true with the characters from THE FRIENDSHIP TRIANGLE.


Chloe was my first character. She was the one I started the book with and although the book tells the story of all three girls, my focus was on Chloe. I put a lot of myself into her. I started writing this book when I was thirteen, and Chloe was me. I know people say that you should never base a character on yourself because it becomes obvious. I broke that rule because I was thirteen and had been writing stories (or at least telling them) for a big part of my life. I finally had the courage to put pen to paper and I remember writing that opening scene. It was something taken from my own, every day life. The difference was that I stopped being Chloe at some point during my many edits of this book. She still was me, but she was not me at the same time. In the beginning, Chloe's father was alive and her parents were going through a nasty divorce. It was my own way of dealing with the issues in my life. If you've read the book, you'll know now that her father has died and it's a completely different set up. I took out pieces that made Chloe a copy of me, and added bits that made her a completely fictional character. Just like she is today. Chloe was a joy to write. She helped to lead me through the trials of being a teenager, with issues at home. She led the way for other characters such as Tara and Tally, who were also facing their own issues. You never do forget your first, be that a character or a book.


Sarah started her character life as a friend of mine. She was based on her, but as with Chloe, while re-writing and even writing in the beginning, she became the character she is now. Sarah had parents who were separated and her father had a drinking problem, along with gambling away their money. She and her mother ended up living in a bad part of town on a council estate. She faced severe bullying at school and struggling with her life. Writing her was hard, not just because of the issues she faced but because I had, and have continued to, a connection with her. I hurt for the character and although it may have helped me with the book itself, it was painful to write. I couldn't give Sarah what she wanted more than anything, but I was able to help heal some of the wounds, and she did mange to recover and move onto a brighter period in her life.


Charlotte was also based on a friend of mine. She ended up being nothing like her. Not in looks or personality. The whole story of Charlotte was her finding out that she and her younger sister were not technically full sisters and the struggles she faced as her father and mother separated and he shunned her, while wanting the child that was biologically his. Again, I found it hard to write Charlotte, I had some personal experience with feeling "unwanted", but putting myself in her shoes made my heart ache. Yet, she still got through it, and I got through writing the scenes. She was easy to write in some ways, but in others not so much. She is another one of my firsts that paved the way for me to develop characters in other books. For that, I still hold a special place in my writing mind for all three of these characters.

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