Creating Good Characters Part II

freds booksCharacters, the stuff of legends. Characters define your story. Whether your story is focuses in first or third person, or even second person, the characters define your story. So you want to make them look good, right? You want your characters to be easily recognizable. If you truly are a reader, you’ve heard of Harry Potter by J.K Rowling’s  Let me guess. When someone mentions the name “Harry” or “Ron”, you immediately think of the Harry Potter series. J.K Rowling’s was that good at describing and implementing her characters in the readers mind. That is what you should aim for. There are many variables to which a good character can be recognized.

What does the character look like? This should be one of first things the reader discovers while reading your story when the character is introduced.

Age: Authors rarely include a detailed bio of the character. You should manage to sneak this in somehow. You can even do this through dialogue. “How old are you, Bob?”  he demanded. “I’m only twenty-one!”

What race is your character descended from? Is he an ork? An elf? A troll? An alien? A human? This is the most obvious factor, but I’ve read books that do not fully include what type of  creature the main character is.

What is the characters role in the plot? You should not hang onto this. Never, ever, include a completely plot-useless character in your book. You have never known confusion until this has happened to you.

What kind of person is your character? He is solely meant for comedy relief? Is he an evil character? Is he sarcastic? Demeaning? Condescending? Joyful? Easy going? That’s for you to decide.

Does your character(s) die or live by the end of the book? Again, this is for you to decide. Make sure you know who’s dying, staying, or coming back by at least the middle of the book. If you’re super smart and you completely have no problem with planning, there’s no harm in figuring this all out at the beginning of the book.

I hope this post helped out anyone who is struggling with character developing!


Letting The Reader Discover Your Character

This is vital, and must be implemented. Read carefully. You don’t want to randomly stop the story to explain your character. You want to slowly and progressively explain the character through dialogue and action. Remember, action is what the character does, now, not what the character did, or is going to do.

So how do you show your character to the reader? Description, flashback, interior emotion, action, and dialogue. Action and dialogue are the easiest to use, so rely on them if you’re still a beginner. 

Action: Remember, the characters can show action through body language. It might hint if he’s happy, sad, bored, annoyed, angry, and many more. This is important, and you should try your best to show this in the story. 

Example: Bob yawned. Bob cracked his neck and turned to look behind him. Bob gritted his teeth. Bob jumped up and down. Bob tried hard to choke back the tears. 

These are just a few examples. Which emotions would you link with the above examples?

Dialogue: You can find out more then enough about the characters by how he or she acts. You can tell by the way he pronounces words, (do not attempt trying to give them an accent unless you are experienced. If you don’t know you’re doing, you can easily annoy the reader and make the dialogue sound choppy and ridiculous) and what words the character uses. 

The reason I only gave ‘Action’ and ‘Dialogue’ examples are because they are the most important; as well as they are the easiest to use. On this blog I will be writing and explaining like you are all beginners.