There's nothing quite like listening or reading someone else's interpretation of your work. I don't mean that in the sense of someone reviewing it or giving their opinion on it, but simply by relating the information. It really helps you see what stood out, at least to that person.
I recently began character profiles for a set of eight new characters in my next novel. They all have had general concepts for a while, but my wife recently challenged me to flesh them out, so, I went with it. For the entire day I chatted with her about each and every one of them and, while I don't have names settled yet, their character backstories are great. Well, I think so, anyway.
Now, the wife and I have a little agreement where I prattle on endlessly about a topic and she later emails me notes about all the garbage I spewed so that I can just concentrate on the mess in front of me without worrying about writing it down. She's awesome like that. I was looking over the notes and it occurred to me that, while I was genuinely happy with the characters, reading her notes and impressions about them made me want to see them.
I'm not sure what it is, but the way she related the pertinent info that I spewed for around 12 hours of that day in a concise and readable format made these characters pop. There's nothing in there she invented through creative note keeping, so I know that what I did is good, but seeing how someone else sees it... that's really the important part here. Her relating of these characters back to me, her record of the important bits amongst the strings of incoherent gibberish I recited all day made these characters sound amazing. I genuinely am excited to write these guys and I really hope you'll love them, too.
Wait... am I forgetting something. I feel like there's something that needs to come first... Hmm... I'm sure I'll remember it eventually.
Don't Forget To Be Awesome!
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Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.