In my last post I talked a little about outlines and where they could lead. Today, I want to focus on characters and their importance (in short form because otherwise this could be a very long blog) to a story. Some hero will vanquish an evil ruler, but who is he/she and why does this person care about destroying evil? What traits or skills does a person need to defeat tyrants? The questions could be endless, but I’ll leave the path of character discovery to you.
What we will look at is a character’s biography laid out in your mind that needs to ink on paper. Knowing character traits will elevate fictional characters to new heights if their strengths and weaknesses are fully fleshed out. Does he/she shrink away from confrontation? Is the main character outgoing/an introvert? These are things you will inevitably need to know to breathe life into a make-believe person. One way I think could help with developing fictional characters would be using one of the many role-playing player bio fact sheets out there. It might bring on ideas not thought of while building personalities in a fictional world.
Give some of your main characters birth dates to liven up the story. Somewhere long the way that person could have an unexpected party – wanted or not. Character fact sheets will also assist with what a person looks like. Hair color, length, and maybe the style the person wears is important. Describing the clothes could add to the overall feel of who you are creating.
This should start you on the right path to building characters and bring depth to those you love dear milling about in your head. Next week I plan to speak a little about dialogue. I will admit to a small secret about this next subject, it’s my Achilles’ heel. I tell you more next week. And how I work it out.
About the Author:
Adam Santo was born and raised in Southern California before joining the Army for his short lived career as a soldier in Colorado Springs. Currently living and writing in Florida with his family and faithful dog, Copper. He has written the Temperature Trilogy and a short story, Ocean’s Fury, to date.