Before I begin to write a novel, I introduce myself to the characters. I find pictures of them. I write down their physical attributes. I also write down their personalities and their good and bad points.
I ask myself these questions. What motivates them? What are their goals? What happens when there are obstacles? What happens when feelings change?
In my novel, ‘Where The Heart Is’ my two main characters are Daniela Sante and Antonio Bartolini.
The story is set in Western Australia in the 1980s. In the early days, Australia went from a policy of ‘White Australia’ to one of ‘Multiculturalism’. Prejudice was rife and many suffered the consequences of being ‘different’.
My character, Daniela (Dani) is Australian-born with Italian parents. She is an angry young woman who has battled the constraints of her Italian heritage and the prejudice within her community.
Enter, Antonio, who is a newly-arrived Italian migrant, and Dani’s defences immediately rise. She’s had enough of Italian men and their rules.
To add conflict, I made Antonio extremely charming and handsome. Does Dani fight her feelings or does she accept him?
Thankfully, my characters worked it out for themselves.