Building Great Characters

Who are your favorite characters? Are they your favorite characters because of their unique personality?

My personal answers to these questions are: my favorite character is Katniss Everdeen because of her undeniable strength and unquestionable authority. You could tell who she was as a person because of how she was described in the book.

This is something to keep in mind when writing. The development of your characters is equally important as the development of your plot.

When beginning a story you usually start with naming your characters. Well, I do, at least. When I do this, I generally try to match up the character’s name with their personality. While this is not a must, it is better for the character’s name to be memorable.

After you have bestowed the names of the characters onto them, your next step is character development. You develop your character with three things:

  1. Their dialogue.
    • How your character speaks gives you a pretty good idea about who they are. If your character is from a certain region, maybe they should speak a little more differently than usual.
  2. Their description.
    • The description of your character is what makes their image stick. Do they have blonde unruly hair? Or maybe they have another unique feature that you describe. Either way, make sure that you keep track of what your character looks like, and remind your readers of what they look like too on occasion.
  3. Their actions.
    • Based on how your character reacts to certain situations gives your character a personality and traits. If there was a burglary and your character heroically stepped in to stop it, that would give him/her the trait of bravery. Or vice versa. Try to think of situations that flow with your plotline that would further elaborate your character. Think past their favorite color or movie. What do they like to do? What’s their hobby?

Think of these three things when you’re developing your plot to help you to create characters that are memorable.

When you create memorable characters you’re one step closer to creating a memorable story.

I’ll see you next time with tips and tricks of how to create a believable setting!

 

-Kate

 

*Side note. If you’re looking for good examples on amazing character development I recommend ‘Prince of Wolves’ by Quinn Loftis. This book is free on iBooks and other reading platforms!

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