Every Monday, MYSTERY OF CHARACTER FEATURING SHANNON MUIR focuses on the art and craft of writing, from Shannon’s perspective or that of guest authors. To catch up on all posts, check out the MYSTERY OF CHARACTER FEATURING SHANNON MUIR portion of the website!
This week welcomes a guest post from author Nancy Widrew, about how she develops characters for her thrillers.
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Interview with Nancy Widrew
- What is your process for developing characters for a thriller?
First I work out the plot, then characters. Since I’ve mostly written short stories, with only a few characters in each, that process has been relatively easy. A novel, however, is much more difficult. In Something Down There, I worked out the general story line in my head and then switched to paper for outlining the details in each section. That way, by the time I got to the characters, I had a good feel for their personalities, especially their flaws, and by the time I finished the book, I also thought of it as a character study.
- Can you give any insight to any specifics about how you developed characters for Something Down There, and how did it influence your plot?
I got the idea during an actual spelunking experience. Even though I wasn’t alone in the cave, I felt a profound isolation from being underground in such a dark, unfamiliar place. At one point I panicked when I asked myself what would happen if I couldn’t get back up. Years later that question still lingered and led to my writing the book. It seemed natural to have the main character young and female, as I had been on that long-ago day, and of course it didn’t hurt to throw in a good looking husband along with a dangerous antagonist.
- What do you enjoy most about writing books like this?
I forget everything that is going on in the world: my personal life, the whole planet, the universe, everything.
- What do you hope your readers take away from reading your books?
Even though Something Down There is in the horror/thriller realm, it’s still escapism so I hope they have fun reading it and maybe get a chill down their spine to boot.
Publisher: Azure Spider Publications
Publication Date: November 15, 2017)
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About Nancy Widrew