How do you create characters?

I figure I should blog more about Wakefield. So how about characters?

Erin and I created characters in three tiers:

1.) Leading Stars- We came up with our narrators and central characters for the story. Besides Astrid and Max, I don’t want to get into who we created for spoilery reasons, but this was the “let’s tell a story, who is it about, and who will they fight” stuff.

2.) Plot- We needed threshold villains. Read Joseph Campbell for a better description, but it’s basically the first person the hero faces before he (or she) can start out on the main quest. Both Astrid and Max have threshold villains, who fill vastly different roles in the book. Besides that, we had other characters to fulfill plot points.

3.) Setting- We devised a setting (Wakefield Facility), which dictated that there would be staff members, roommates, supervisors, teachers, etc. This brought us to the “who is Astrid’s roommate?”, “who teaches them English?”, “who’s the facility director?”, etc.

4.) Incidental- Everyone else who was created while writing. This included the random one chapter people and the flashback stuff. Some of them can become important. Some of them are vital to understanding characters and their relationship. Some of them are completely random and will never be mentioned again.

So there you have it. That’s how Erin and I jotted down our characters that first fateful night we returned from Borders and started writing with our scribe, Jerry.

As always, if you have any questions, direct them to and we’ll post a FAQ, and feel free to review us on and


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