by Marsha Ward
Many years ago, I typed notes about characters in my Owen Family novels on 3- by 5-inch or 4- by 6-inch index cards. It's pretty illuminating to go back and read those cards and see if anything I wrote remains true now, three novels later.
For example, one of my female characters is the elder daughter in the Owen family, Marie. She was born between James and Clayton, and is five years older than her sister, Julianna. She was first seen in The Man from Shenandoah, and appears in Jessie Bingham's memories in Trail of Storms.
I have two photos on Marie's card. They are both far too old for the real Marie. One is of a female newscaster whose name escapes me, and the other is of an actress whose name I never knew. Ha! I didn't need names for the photos. Their purpose was to provide a general physical description I could visualize and describe as needed.
Here is what I wrote on Marie's character card:
Marie has thick dark hair and a beautiful smile. She loves a good mystery, and is good at ferreting out people's secrets. Her eyes range from hazel to dark brown, according to hertemperament . She enjoys teasing her brothers. Marie is aware of becoming a woman, but has no anxiety to wed. She would love to have several beaus to play off against each other, but will take what comes with a good will. She loves adventure, and looks forward to the trip west with high excitement.
I'm looking forward to getting to know Marie better. Are you?