Meet your Characters

Before even you start writing the very first page you should already know everything about the characters that you are going to use. And by that I do not mean a simple description like:

Name: Neville
Age: 17
Height: 1.86
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Blue

Of course you have to know what your character looks like but that is not neither the only nor the most important thing to have in mind. What you must know about him? The answer is EVERYTHING!
This means that you should know his likes and dislikes, his beliefs, his past, the way he thinks about things (like politicians, environment, and human being). You should also know his fears, his passion (we are going to talk more about it in another article) , his secrets and everything else you might think about.

“Why should I have to know all of these?”

The answer is to be able to make your story seem natural and realistic. Think of somebody talking like a genius in the beginning of your story but somewhere in the middle he starts speaking like a little child. Awful and disappointing! (I have done that mistake and felt really awful at the editing process). Or think of someone who cares about the protection of the environment seeing someone throw rubbish on the road and doing nothing!!! These are simple mistakes that occur really often because we created a character but we did not spend a moment considering and writing down his thoughts and beliefs.

“So if I write down all his thoughts among all the other mentioned I can avoid such silly mistakes?”
“You have some more possibilities not to make such a mistake, true, but this is not the best you can do”.
“Then what should I do?”

Let’s take for example the previous character

Well Neville is 17 years old boy who fears of being crazy. His older brother went crazy five years ago and he thinks he is next. He is excellent at school does a lot of exercise. He loves running and much often he wakes up early in the morning to run in the woods. His parents who are meteorologist want to follow their job but he hates it. He want to study nuclear physics. His greater love is Nephele, a girl one year older, but he thinks he is not “enough” for her. He does not only love her but he admires her as well.

Well that’s a really good description. What we know?

• Neville fears of being crazy
• His older brother went crazy (information about his past)
• He likes running
• He hates his parents’ job
• He likes physics
• His greater is Nephele
• He thinks he is not enough for her (far too sensitive and ethical)

So it is significant less likely to make a mistake as described above. Is it enough? I would say no!

“What else?”

You should also try these:

• Interview your character
In that way you can ask him whatever you want and you can rely on his answers. However do not seek only for answers. Observe how your character corresponds to your question, how he answers and his vocabulary level. Is he sincere or not?
• Make a dictionary of your character.
That is the most effective way to know what your character thinks about different things as mentioned. Do not be shy. Try it!

You should make all these for every single character of yours! That is what eliminates the possibility to make a mistake as described. That is all for the moment.

Make sure to subscribe to our list in order to find out about the sequence of the article that is going to be written soon with title “Are all the characters the same?”(click on it to read the new article!) Additionally if you missed our first article about writing an outstanding beginning you can check it out going to back to Writing Treasure or simply clicking here.
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5 thoughts on “Meet your Characters

  1. Totally agree! As I write I add my charters to a separate document with family history, traits, background etc think it really helps understand who they are and even if you can build another novel based on them as the MC. Great post!

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  2. I don’t think that is even vaguely true but you may dismiss my view for lack of Big$$ Sales and major awards. I do think that you need to know the traits of your characters most vital to the plot – and I do strongly agree that by the time you end up with a well edited complete work you will know your characters more deeply. Fiction characters and story lines are a lot like healthy intimacy, but in the end story books are no more real than other illusions and therefore, less information is involved or needed.

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  3. Pingback: It is your Main Hero So Make it Count! | Author Corner

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