How Did I Choose The Characters Of My Debut Novel

Hello there one and all! How’s everything? Hope y’all are doing well and enjoying the week so far. Things have been good and promising at this end too. No, it’s not like I have won a lottery or something, it’s just that over the days I have decided to feel good about things and myself in general around me. What happens as an end result? Not only do you feel complete within yourself, but the others around exude the feelings of happiness too.

So, in my last blog yesterday I did mention why I chose fiction as a genre to kickstart my debut novel and I also revealed that I shall be talking about how I chose the characters of the novel — that is the protagonists. I have to be honest here and say that the process of choosing the protagonist happened a lot organically and through observation from the day to day rituals. And, also perhaps a lot of the choosing happened because I lived with these characters for a prolonged period of time, and I could say that I was fortunate enough to check all the boxes of selection soon, and practically didn’t have to struggle a lot with them.

So, while I was conceptualising these characters at the back of mind I was still figuring out if characters like these existed in reality and of course people will understand that this novel is a depiction of fiction and that any resemblance to the characters would be purely coincidental, but fiction too needs to have some grounding and a touch with reality, you can’t just build castles in the air there and thus began my journey of mentally meeting these characters.

So, I was a lot dicey when I actually started giving shape to these characters mentally and realised that they have the possibility to exist and we do see characters like these exist in real life. It was only when I started writing that I was struck with the firm conviction that they are here in my life and their story needs to be told to the world.

Thus began their journey with me and my voyage with them. So, when a writer is writing a plot and is sketching the characters, he/she realises that the presence of someone very trivial in our lives can play a vital role. So, imagine on a cold December day you are just pacing through to collect some basic grocery items at the department store when your eyes suddenly rest on a a staff from the supermarket. You see that he/she just looks at you with a smiley face, but then again that is the most important person there, as he/she is the one that’ll help you towards the processing of your order.

Next, you bump into your ever curious neighbour who has no business of talking to you otherwise, just a smile would suffice, but she’ll stop by only to ask you how whether you’ve gotten a salary hike and wouldn’t leave, without reminding you that you are getting older and now it’s time for you to get married. Of course at that point in time you might have taken offence, but later you come to the realisation that she could be designed as a prominent character in your novel.

And, I did that too. Fortunately, there are very few instances of prying neighbours in my novel, but I have chosen to portray the reality as we do see in our daily affairs. And, of course we cannot negate the fact that they play an important role in our lives and they can be very important characters in themselves, helping debutants like us to write a whole novel around them.

I have to reveal here that choosing characters isn’t perhaps the most daunting task, you can do it once you do pour some knowledge in it, but what sounds challenging sometimes is you never know how the plot is going to be and how the story is going to unfold at the end.

Will it be a success story or a failure? That depends solely on the writer, but he/she also has to step into the shoes of the audience and think of what they’re expecting out of this novel. Now, that’s a long story there. Perhaps we’ll get there in my next blog. Ans, if you haven’t gotten a copy of my book yet, you can get it here:



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Gairika Mitra

A writer embarking onto a journey into spirituality, it has literally changed my life overnight! I write twice a week and would love to keep y’all abreast.