How to Create a Convincing Character For Your Story
Getting Ideas for Your Character
People watch.Take note of certain characteristics of the people you know that distinguish them from everyone else. Does that boy who lives across the street have a habit of knocking things over? Does your best friend talk with her hands when she's excited? These could be quirks of a character you create yourself.
Consider basing the character on someone.If this is your first time writing a story, or you're not sure how to make your character believable, base your character on somebody. It could be a friend, a family member, a celebrity, or even you! If you base it on someone you know, you will know how they react to situations, which makes it easier for you.
Putting the Character Together
Get a file folder.Keep everything you'll need to know about your character in this folder. Doing this will keep you organized. Alternatively, you could make a folder on your computer and type everything up on Microsoft Word.
Know what the character looks like.How tall is the person? Are they of athletic build, slim build or chubby? What colour is their hair and their eyes? How long is their hair? Is it curly, wavy, straight, etc.? Look online for 'face makers' or, if you have a Sims game, make a Sim look like your character and take several screen shots. You could also look through pictures on-line and in magazines and find a person that looks like your character. This will help you get a strong visual of what your character looks like. Put pictures of your character in their file.
Do character sketches.This means recording things like the full name, birthday, ethnic background, and every detail of your character's personality. Search Google for character sketch outlines. Many are quite helpful. Work out and write down the basics, such as:
- When is their birthday? How old are they?
- Who are their friends?
- What are their dreams/goals? What do they want to accomplish?
- What is their past like?
- Who's in their family? Do they have any family? Any pets?
- What are their favourite things?
Select a name for your character.Names are important and must fit the personality of your character (although, as the writer, the name you choose will usually fit eventually, as readers get used to the combination). The name should reflect the time period and location in which your story is taking place, in order to seem fitting and convincing to readers. For example, a boy living in a small town in South Georgia in 1980s isn't going to be named Throckmorton.
- Sometimes, a long, complicated name is appropriate, but keep in mind how many times you will have to write it and your readers will have to read it. There's nothing worse than not being able to pronounce the main character's name!
Give the character fears and secrets.These can form excellent subplots and are a great help when you're stuck. What if Oliver is afraid of heights? What if the only way to save his little sister is to climb across the rickety bridge a mile above the ground? Knowing your characters' secrets can also create a compelling story. Having the secret slowly revealed can help to bring the plot and characters to life even more.
Draw the character.If it helps you, draw your characters. While the personality of characters is far more important than appearance when it comes to being convincing, appearance can help to develop the character as well.
Understanding Your Character Thoroughly
Know your characters inside out.Know their greatest desire, because this will keep the plot alive. Know their past, their biggest fear, their most embarrassing moment, their darkest secrets. Even if some of this doesn't show up in your story, that's okay. Knowing your characters will convince them that they are alive, and will do the same for their reader.
Interview your character.Once you have the essentials down, start interviewing your character. How does she/he look at the world? Pretend that you're someone on a talk show interviewing a celebrity. Watch some talk shows for ideas on questions to ask your character. Ask as many questions as you'd like until you get a real feel for your character.
Make sure that all the aspects of your character have been written up and stuck into the folder.Put the folder in an easily accessible place so that you can continuously go back and take another look at the details of your character while writing. This will ensure that your character is strong from start to finish of your story, instead of starting strong and dwindling away as the story progresses. Now start your story with a strong, convincing character!
Sample Character Descriptions
QuestionWhat's the difference between using the same archetype and plagiarizing?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf there is nothing substantially different about your character and someone else's character then you are plagiarizing. However, if your character falls into a certain archetype, like the hero, young maiden, etc. then you are not plagiarizing. Evaluate your character to see whether he resembles another specific character or just an archetype and if the characters are too similar, make adjustments to make your character unique.Thanks!
QuestionCan I base my character on an existing fictional character, but not completely copy the original?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThanks!
QuestionWhere is the "Facemakers" site?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could try Face.co. There you can choose the shape of faces, skin colors, eyes, hair and clothes.Thanks!
How do I make a believable character that people will like and click to when writing a story?
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- Make your character believable. For instance, a grandmother wouldn't say "That's cool," or "Sweet!". She'd say "That's nice," or "That's lovely!", etc. Believable characters would notalwaysbe mean, or happy, or sad. Use a variety of feelings and traits.
- They don't have to act their age, it is supposed to be realistic!
- Don't be afraid to make them human. Give them weaknesses, flaws, and fears.
- Don't do it all in one day. It can take weeks, maybe even a month, before you truly know your character.
- Make sure you have your character down pat before writing anything serious; otherwise, you'll find yourself with a desperate need to revise.
- Creating a notebook in Evernote is a great way to organize all your character's information. And since all your notes are stored in the cloud, you can add to it on your computer, or from your smart phone if you think of something while you're out!
- Be conscious of the genre you are writing. In a romantic novel, aliens will most likely not attack earth (unless that's the main plot of your story). Your characters will be less far fetched and more present-day, "ordinary".
- As stated above, fear is a great way to reveal a character. Don't be nice to your characters! If he's claustrophobic, get him locked in the trunk of his uncle's car with his friend or romantic interest. It not only advances the plot, but the reader will learn how the characters will react to certain situations.
- Try putting some of your characters into a Sims game to see how they would act in a simulated "real life" environment.
- Try to avoid cliches like the "super powered tragic orphan that saves the day" backstory or the "common guy/girl is stupid and weak but defeats the greatest enemy ever" track.
- If your character is comedic, try not to overwhelm the reader/viewer with their comedy. Balance it out with an irrational fear, secret, etc, to make them more life-like.
- Sometimes, a character profile may be very excruciating to write. Try to keep things at a minimum, i.e. the fact that Mary Jane went to Wisconsin at the age of five is unnecessary, unless it is crucial to the plot of the story.
- If you're basing your character on someone, be sure to change their names so they won't be offended.
- Make sure that your character isn't a Mary Sue--someone who is perfect in every way, etc.
- Be careful when basing a character off someone you know! While this is a great way to nail the traits of the character, it can just as easily offend someone.
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Date: 18.12.2018, 19:20 / Views: 95193