How To Create Diverse, Intriguing, Exciting Characters

By on October 18, 2017
How To Create Diverse, Intriguing, Exciting Characters - Writer's

As we all know one of the most essential points to consider when writing a book is how to create characters who will captivate your reader.

Characters need to be complex, they need to be memorable, and have layers which are revealed as the story progresses. Characters need to be lifelike and relatable but also larger than life and truly exciting too.

Throughout your book, your characters will make choices, and the choices that they make have consequences which will drive your story forward.

Creating compelling, characters will not only make your story more readable but will also make your story stand out from the crowd.

So how do you create such characters? Here are some helpful tips.

Keep records of your characters.

At the beginning of your story, you may not know your characters that well, and it’s important to try to do so as quickly as possible before you get too far in. One of the simplest ways to do this is to create records or biographies of your characters where you can note down both their physical attributes and their personality traits too. Write down the basics such as their name, age, occupation, and physical appearance then flesh this out by perhaps giving a brief history, as well as their current situation, and how they are related to other characters in the book.

From there, go further by thinking about their likes and dislikes and why they have them, their motivations and inspirations, their crux, the chip on their shoulder, their strengths and weaknesses and so on. The more in-depth you go, the more detailed a picture you will have of this fictional person, and the more natural it will be for you to consistently and realistically write them.

What makes them special?

Getting to know your characters is one thing, but making them memorable is another. You need to give them quirks and idiosyncrasies to help make them stand out. Do they have a particular physical attribute that makes them noticeable? Perhaps they talk strangely or have a particular catchphrase that they overuse?

What is their purpose?

Each character, however minor, needs to have a purpose in your book. If they don’t then you must ask yourself what is the point of them being there? Sometimes it is hard to get rid of characters you have grown attached to, but if they don’t drive the story forward in some way it may be that you need to say goodbye to them.

What have they learnt?

Creating conflict and obstacles that your characters must overcome (or not) is important in any story. Readers want to read about characters who have learnt something, who have grown somehow. Characters should not be the same at the beginning of a story as they are at the end.

Avoid stereotypes

Of course, it’s hard to write a character that is truly unique. Many writers use similar skeletons for their characters - the schoolboy that gets into trouble, the bored housewife who has an affair, the billionaire businessman who loses his fortune and so on. The important thing to remember however is how to make your schoolboy/bored housewife/billionaire businessman different somehow from those that have been written about before.

It’s important to remember to include a diverse range of characters in your book. Otherwise, they run the risk of all blurring into one. Make sure the characters personalities, appearances, backgrounds and cultures are different from one another and you are more likely to create an interesting cast of characters for your book.

Using the above tips will help guide you to create robust, active, relatable, exciting characters with purpose. If you can do this, your book will be more attractive to readers and your story will be all the better for it.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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