Instead of using lockdown ('flattening the curve') for the past 6-8 weeks to get lots of stuff done, we've had a few major things go wrong at our end so have been using the time just to get through the various crises.
Slowly, slowly we've been getting back to "normal" and some of what falls into normal includes putting together a series of 'lessons' on 'Creating Great Characters' to be used in our Broken River Writers Writers' Corner Sessions.
Here is part one.
Creating Great Characters #1
There’s lots of great information out there on creating characters and there are also a multitude of ways to create one and multiple attributes you “should” include.
What makes a character memorable?
Think about characters in books that make you laugh, or cry, have you concerned about their choices. What is it about these characters that grabs you? What is the magic that takes a flat, 2D character and turns them into someone real, someone you’d like to have a coffee with?
So the writing is a part of it. You can create a great character, but if your writing is shite, then the character won’t shine. However, I’m not talking about your writing – if you want to get good, then write a lot and read a lot, even when you don’t feel like it. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.
I believe that a great character needs to be real. They need to have things they are passionate about, they need to have interests and hobbies. They also need to have fears, problems and faults.
Maybe they love horses, hate cats, are allergic to housework, collect books, eat too much chocolate, can’t balance their bank account, always run late, are a clean freak, can’t leave the house unless their perfectly made up, don’t know how to change a tyre, have dirt under their fingernails, are terrified of spiders, aren’t human without coffee...
What I have discovered over the years of writing is that the best way to create a great character is to do so using whatever method/s best work for you. In this series I will share some of mine.
But first, what are the problems I face when it comes to creating a great character? Here are some of mine (NB: I may add to this list over time) –
What about you? What difficulties do you face when creating characters?
Over the years I have discovered that it is very easy to tell somebody how to do it, but sometimes that just isn’t enough, so in this series I’m going share my “Creating Great Characters” journey using these examples of problems I have in several of my ‘in-progress stories.
Hopefully, I will actually create some great characters in the process otherwise it’s going to be a tad embarrassing!
Feel free to comment, message or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with other character issues you have and who knows, maybe I can help.
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