One of the first steps in creating a character is to understand their backstory. Whether we use the details about each character’s past in the actual story or not, we need to have a clear and compassionate understanding of our characters’ histories.
Oftentimes, we have an inkling of our characters – even when writing from real life experience in a memoir – and our tendency is to write and write until we stumble across their desires and the motivations for those desires. In fact, it is likely even more difficult to get to the core of characters in memoir because we’re so very close to it all – so emotionally attached to our version of the story.
Whether we’re writing fiction or memoir – or something in between – we need a way to approach characters’ emotional inner workings, and an effective method to accomplish this is to explore the Root Chakra because this chakra is about our origins. It will take you to your characters’ emotional underpinnings.
What do you know about your characters’ family of origin, and how does it inform her/his desires, motivations, and behaviors?