I’ve begun! Well, sort of. My editor requested a character description for each of my main characters. This information is vital for creating a book cover that meshes perfectly with your story line and characters. Everything has to match–down to the clothing they wear and the color of their eyes. I remember seeing a book once that had the main character on the cover with the totally wrong hair color according to the descriptions in the book – wow! Talk about jarring me out of the story!
But how does that happen? How could an author forget the color of their “baby’s” hair? Very easily–especially if it has been awhile since they worked on that story. When No Angel was finally picked up, I had already written two additional books; and it took me forever to go back through No Angel and unearth eye and hair color.
I’m a fast learner though, and I created an ongoing template for each of my main characters in From Heaven to Earth where I recorded their age, height, build, hair color, hair length and texture (curly or straight), eye color, skin tone, demeanor (expression, like serious or angry), and manner of dress. As I wrote From Heaven to Earth, and defined their characteristics throughout the story, I updated my list.
It made it super easy to respond to my editor today with a, “You bet – I’ll have that for you today!” If you write novels, you might want to fill out one of these for each of your main characters as you go–and not wait until your editor needs it!
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