Cosy Knave Characters

For today at least The Cosy Knave Baton is back home.

For question 7 see Bill´s post yesterday – or perhaps today, depending on matters of geography that are beyond me 😉 

The answer:

No matter what writers say, I think they are all inspired by people they have met in real life. I don´t mean we just snatch other people´s lives to use them in our books, but real life is where we are introduced to the odd ways of other people, after all.

Apart from minor characters, I don´t consciously set out to use my neighbour, my colleague or old school friends, however. What I do when I begin plotting a new story is make a table of the characters I already know I need. And for each name, I jot down a few pieces of information.

A few examples from The Cosy Knave:

Rhapsody Gershwin   – librarian, curious & enthusiastic

Archibald Penrose       – honest, hardworking, incorruptible – not imaginative but dogged

Mark Baldwin/Marco Bellini – charming gentleman, but also vain

Tuxford Wensleydale  – chubby man with double chin (Tuxford = a cheese)

Olivia Cadbury-Flake  – proud of her position and name, but as flakey as it suggests

Arnold Kickinbottom – a quirky mushroom lover, stubborn, a real pain in you-know-where

I also try to keep track of who got blue eyes and chestnut hair, who are green-eyed and freckled, etc, but I don´t describe people awfully much. Their personality is much more important to me. And from these first jottings, I try to let the characters take over their parts of the story, try to set them free to do what they do best (or worst).

So even though I am the kind of writer who has to plan my story thoroughly before I begin writing, I don´t write long lists about my characters´ background, education, family, hobbies etc. I know I will have to make a proper archive before or later, as I have ideas for some new Archie & Rhapsody stories, but that is for remembering what they did and looked like in the first story, not because I want to know too much about them before I jump into the next adventure in their company.

8: What makes your cosy cosy?

For the answer, please visit Col, a brand-new blog friend of mine, tomorrow.

About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
This entry was posted in Gershwin & Penrose, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Cosy Knave Characters

  1. Kerrie says:

    I loved Mildred getting her own back on Arnold with the mushroom stew!

  2. I think important elements of cozies are characters, setting, and voice. You’ve nailed all three!

  3. Margot Kinberg says:

    Dorte – I really like your characters very much. The Kickinbottoms are just wonderful (I really love that “mushroom twist”). And Rhapsody and her sisters have a great relationship with their father. These are all very nicely-drawn characters :-).

  4. Petty Witter says:

    Good to meet the characters, and all with such wonderful names – given my love of chocolate I especially like Elvira Cadbury-Flake.

    Sorry that I wasn’t able to post yesterday (would you believe blogger problems?) but have posted about The Cosy Knave today.

  5. Kerrie: hehe 😉
    Elizabeth: thank you very much!
    Margot: I am so pleased when readers like Rhapsody – I am quite fond of that girl.
    Tracy: yes, I would believe Blogger problems, and thank you for writing about my story.

  6. Kelly says:

    Reading your descriptions just makes me anxious for “Book 2” in the series. 🙂

  7. Barbara says:

    Dorte, I posted my review of your book today. I really enjoyed it and I absolutely loved your characters.

  8. I love how you remember your characters. I also got your email and will add it to my week’s blogs.

  9. Kelly: why? If it´s the names, don´t fear – there are plenty of wondrous names out there.
    Barbara: yes, I saw that, and I have not recovered yet – Victor Borge & Charles Dickens!!!!
    Clarissa: thank you!

  10. I love the names you chose. Olivia Cadbury-Flake is fabulous.

  11. Kelly says:

    Oh – I didn’t mean “anxious” in the bad sense….. I meant “can hardly wait” kind of anxious!! Reading all their names and descriptions got me all excited about joining them for another adventure!

  12. Col: I am sure she would agree 😉
    Kelly: I thought so but I wasn´t sure 🙂

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