Bringing Your Characters To Life
So You Decided to Write a Book
So you have decided to write a book. That's quite a step. Have you decided what type of book? Have you put thought into what you will be writing?
That will be your next step. The next question is, have you put any thought into the characters of the book? These character that you will be writing with, dare I say, living with, while writing your book can make you or break you.
What do I mean by that you might ask. Well, I am going to answer that question with a question. Have you every read a book where the plot is entertaining but the people or characters in the book seem flat? A character that seems real can help make that book a best seller. However, if the characters seem flat or boring it can kill a book.
Believe in yourself
Now that we know how important characters can be to the success of a book, lets look at how we can help them be real.
Before we begin make sure you believe in yourself. If you don't believe you are a writer you won't be. If you do not have the confidence to identify yourself as a writer you will not have the confidence to complete a book.
Good luck, I know you can do it.
Building your character
I will begin helping you make you characters real by giving you the things you need to make them become whole.
First of all, your character needs to have a physical description. How can they feel real if you don't know how they look? Are they fat, thin, big, little, ugly, beautiful, cute as a button? Do they have blonde, blue( ah, teens these days), red, brown hair? What color are their eyes? Are they missing a leg, arm, have an extra finger? You get the idea.
Now we need to work on personality. Are they happy natured, sad, silly, serious? Are they stubborn, friendly, stuck-up, willing to help? What are they thinking? Are they quick to laugh? Do they even have a sense of humor? Do they look down their nose like they smell something bad when they meet someone? You'll get there. There are so many facets that you can use to make your character a real person.
Don't forget that your character didn't just appear in a puff of smoke. They have a past. Or at least they do if they are to become real. Where was he/she born, where do they live now? Have they committed a crime, have they been abused, has their life been like a dream? Anything you can give us about a past can only help. Get creative.
Also, what is their name, age, gender, ethnic background? What is her family like, what kind of friends do they have? I could go on and on but I am sure by now you realize you need to make a real life for your character.
Now you know some of the more important things you need to develop your character into a living, breathing person, it's time to go on to the next question you might have. How in the world do I get all of this information together? The answer is, imagination.
How do I build a character? First I start thing about what I want to happen in the book. Next, I think about the type of person it will take to make this happen.
Then I sit back in a quiet spot, close my eyes and slowly let my character start to build.
For example, the character in my upcoming reluctant readers book has come together quite nicely:
- she is a petite girl with a slight body
- her hair is long and medium brown with golden and red highlights that sparkle
- her eyes are a golden brown, shine with anticipation, they spark when she is angry
- she has a little nose that crinkles when she smiles
- there are little dimples next to her pink lips that come out when she laughs
- she loves a good joke and believes that most people are good
- she has a quick mind, her grades are way above average
- she likes to draw
- her fingers are long, great for playing the piano
- she is slow to anger, but once she is angry, watch out
- she wears bright colors and has a girly way of dressing
- she left a boyfriend behind, she's unhappy about that
- she loves to read, especially mysteries and ghost stories
- her mother got married a few months ago and they moved to the country
- she has always lived in the city
- she makes friends easily
- she has a small scar on her left ankle where she had stitches when she was three
The list goes on and on. I tried to give you a variety of characteristics so you would know just how important a rounded list of characteristics are needed to make your character real to others.
I can see her walking, talking, and carrying on with life in my mind now. She was built up in my mind piece by piece, she is now real. It doesn't happen quickly. believe me, you have to put in a lot of hard work. It is worth it.
Now, it's time to get busy and start building your character. Good luck I look forward to hearing about your progress.
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© 2015 Susan Hazelton