Howdy, creatives! I hope you’re keeping your imaginations sharp and your creative juices flowing:) Me? Oh, sometimes it’s like my thoughts for creating characters in my stories are running a mile/minute, that coupled with the urge to just create something meaningful and gritty that will make the reader go “No, s/he didn’t!”
In the past, I rarely did research for my characters, preferring to tickle the ole noggin instead, however, I’m applying more thought and research into the character development process that will help move the story forward, and get my work closer to publication.
The thing I’ve learned about creating meaningful characters in story, that works for me, is that they must be well researched, well-rounded individuals and so believable to the reader, that it’s like standing next to a true-to life human being with flaws, strengths and weaknesses just like us! I also know their individual mannerisms, thoughts and behaviors must keep readers turning the page.
When writing my stories, I liken my characters to actors on the stage because, after all, “the whole world is a stage and everybody’s playing a part.” Thanks Smokey Robinson for the great analogy!
These are the components I took away from my class at FutureLearn on getting to know intricate and intimate details of characterization.
- Physical/biological: age, height, size, state of health, assets, flaws, sexuality, gait, voice.
- Psychological: intelligence, temperament, happiness/unhappiness, attitudes, self-knowledge, unconscious aspects.
- Interpersonal/cultural: family, friends, colleagues, birthplace, education, hobbies, beliefs, values, lifestyle.
- Personal history: major events in their life, including the best and the most traumatic times.