Creating Realistic Characters - Just Add Passion!

by Jasmine
(England)

We all know about irritating, one-dimensional characters in writing that completely ruin a story.

Look no further than Twilight's bland heroine, Bella Swan, who has no faults except for her clumsiness and no life other than Edward.

To create a truly memorable character, get to know them. Literally. For example, you want a character that has been betrayed and finds it very difficult to trust. Imagine them walking into your school/place of work.

How do they react when greeted? They are not likely to be the most vivacious, are they? They will probably shrug, half-smile, not do any thing to keep the conversation going.

On the other hand, a vibrant eternal optimist will probably be overly friendly, beaming, chatting, using hand gestures and generally showing that they would like to meet new people and make friends.

Imagine what would happen if you tried to hug them, or slapped them, or said some thing deliberately hurtful. Treat your new characters like your new best friends. Explore them, challenge them, maybe even interview them.

And slowly but surely, your character will begin to shape form and the readers will love you for creating such a vivid character!


Comments for Creating Realistic Characters - Just Add Passion!

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Aug 03, 2010
Interviewing Characters
by: Audrey

This is a technique I was taught in a writing course. I did it the first time only because I had to. Then I started doing it more regularly because I found it really did add depth to my characters.

I don't use everything I learn about my character by answering the questions about them, but that's OK. I don't "use" everything I know about my friends and acquaintances every time we meet, either, but the background knowledge deepens the relationship and makes each encounter richer.

I think it's the same with my fictional characters. The more I know about them, the better, even if what I know is not something I'll ever share with a reader.

Aug 03, 2010
further
by: Malin Boström

In popular youth fiction it seems that there is an abundance of one dimensioned characters. The characters I liked the absolute most to read from the very start was the ones with dark and light mixed. Shades of grey is important. When I started writting I found it hard to imagine my characters to solve this i started having "talks" with them, I wrotte down 20-30 questions completely unralted to my text, half the time taken from magazines, and made my character answere them, I have to this day files with these character interviews and I use that technique still, as it makes it easier to make the character come to life for me.

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