For Aspiring Writers

Archive for the tag “creating characters”

Kim Lee: On the Art of Creating Characters

Click here to visit Kim Lee’s blog ‘Writers for Life’

I lean back in my chair and close my eyes. The clock ticks endlessly, but that’s fine. It helps my concentration. Something like a giant screen unfolds in the darkness. Smiling, I paint the scene. Everything is in place; the flora and the fauna, the sticks and stones. Bricks and mortar, fire or ice. Whatever I need to be there, is there. But there is something missing. Whether I’ve created a small town, or a space flight, a bedroom or a garden, the missing element remains the same. The scene is missing people. Characters. Those beings that will bring the whole thing to life.

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Using Personality Types to Flesh Out Characters

The personality type can provide very useful for a writer. It can provide pages on information, or simply a paragraph to help flesh out your character to a well rounded human being. There is one test in particular, perhaps the most well used of our time, called the Myers Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI). It categorises humans in sixteen personality types based on four temperaments:

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Character Interview

There is really no right way to do it. You don’t even have to do it. It all depends on whether you want to plan beforehand and whether you’re struggling to fully understand your character.

A lot of the following fields don’t have to be filled in, just think about it. For example, the number of siblings – if you know it’s two, then that’s fine, no need to write it for the sake of it. Some of these things may not even be relevant to you, it really depends on the story, so be selective.

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Creating Compelling Characters

This is a big one. A lot of writers worry about making their characters too perfect, too boring, too one dimensional, or a Mary Sue or Gary Stu.

A Mary Sue or Gary Stu can be defined as a character who has a lack of flaws (‘seemingly perfect’), a manifestation of the authors ideals, has implausible talents and liked by all other characters in a story.

There are many a ways to avoid creating such a character: Read more…

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