building historical fiction characters, character development, creating characters in historical fiction, developing characters, dual timeline stories, novels set in Hong Kong, writing dual timeline stories, writing techniques
Writing any kind of fiction involves an intense relationship with your characters. I’ve read of other authors creating a bulletin board with photos of their characters so they can easily bring them to mind. At any rate, I decided to do this with my current work in process, a dual timeline novel set both in 1912-ish and 2015 Hong Kong.
I’ve found photos for two of my 1912 characters – Winifred and Henry Taylor. Henry is an admiral and Commander in Chief of the China station. Winifred is his wife who, along with their four year old daughter accompanies him to Hong Kong.
Sir Hedworth Meux is the model for Henry. As it turns out, Hedworth Meux was Commander in Chief of the China station in 1908 so it seemed fitting to style Henry Taylor after this fellow. Hedworth Meux was a career naval officer who became Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth in WWI so he must have been quite accomplished.
For Winifred I chose a woman named Alice Keppel, a British society hostess and a long-time mistress of King Edward VII. Apparently she had beauty, charm and great discretion and is the great grandmother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. I rather like that little twist.
In any event, I’m becoming rather found of these two. They seem to speak to me now which is helpful. I still need to find the right images for my present day characters and for the other main character – a man of Chinese ethnicity – for the historical time period.
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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.