How do you develop your characters?

I think all of the characters I’ve created start out as fragments of myself that I then build upon. For me to really understand a character, good or bad, I have to walk in their shoes. I have to see the world through their eyes I need some sort of a common denominator that I can latch onto to begin building a personality, so it ultimately comes from me.

Oftentimes, while I am figuring out who these characters are, I begin drawing them. It may be a portrait of their face, or perhaps a general body shape. Sometimes, like Mr. Spider in The Spider & The Fly, it’s all about the costume they wear…or the house they live in. Those visual cues guide the viewer as to what sort of character they are reading about.

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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.