How I Invent Characters

I think this will be a series, one that I might update every Sunday.

My favorite part of any story is the characters. The characters are what make the story flow, the characters make readers feel excitement or anguish, and very fitting, in my opinion, to start this series off with.

Firstly, decide if there is going to be a character change in your story. (If there is no character change, skip to the next step.) If there is going to be a character change, make sure to make it subtle. No one likes a character that goes too fast from wicked to good, but make sure not to go too slow (no one likes a character that is wicked the whole story and changes right on the last page, either.) Imagine it like a river – and take small steps toward the river’s goal, the sea.

Secondly, make the character come to life. No one likes a Mary Sue (a flat, perfect character that has no dimensions.) You have to make characters connect with the readers. Use descriptive language, vivid, vibrant words that really make the character jump off the page and into your reader’s imaginations. Do not make the character too one-dimensional either – if a character is evil, make a backstory, perhaps, one that makes the reader feel sorrow for the character.

Thirdly, use snappy dialogue. For example:

“Just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon, doesn’t mean we all have.”

This character doesn’t just show anger, she uses wit and humor to show her annoyance. Make sure to not bore readers with your words, to make speeches drone on and on. Add some wit and humor to your story to make your reader smile and laugh. But you have to know when not to use humor, because your character would seem idiotic trying to enlighten the mood during a war, say, when all his friends are dead.

Fourthly, remember your audience.

When you’re writing any book, or inventing characters, you always have to remember your audience. For example, when you’re writing a children’s book, and you kill the main character, it might drastically affect the child, especially if the character had all of the three things mentioned above.

Lastly, make characters that are both memorable and believable.

All your favorite characters are remembered for something. For example:

Harry Potter – green eyes, glasses, messy hair, lightning scar

Make sure your character is distinguishable from the millions of other characters in the literary universe.

Make sure your character isn’t drop-dead ridiculous, or silly. You need to make him/her realistic to a point. After all, characters’ personalities are the most important part of a character.

We’re almost done – if you do all those things above and more, you’ll be on your way to develop great characters, from fanfictions to novels. Have fun – and remember the most important thing of all – have fun and smile!

Next Week: How to Name Your Characters

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