Creating Your Characters Backstory (Character Help Part III)

This is a very important addition to the creation of your character(s). In this article I will teach you how to define your character(s) backstory.

1. Give your character details — quick! Describe your character as a policeman would describe an escapee. Blue eyes, blonde hair, 6’4, etc. Name is Bob Douglas Remember, you don’t have to put all this information straight in. Firstly, it’d sound weird and forceful, and secondly, the reader doesn’t want to know all that information right off. Give it to the reader slowly and gradually. Give it time to adjust and fit an image into the readers mind.

2. Write about his back story, his birth, and early childhood memories. Where was Bob Douglas born? Who are his parents? What did they do for a living? What are the first things he remembers? Did he do anything that is plot worthy? Don’t stop now! Keep writing down every detail possible. Aim for making his back story as complicated as yours.

Remember, all of this will come in handy at some point in your story. Imagine you’re writing really fast, and you’re on a streak. Suddenly you come across a weak point in your characters back story or plot, and you don’t know how to fill it in. You lose your train of thought and lose yourself in trying to make up details. It is absolutely necessary to make sure you have all those details nailed into your head.

3. Bring him into his adult life. What did Bob do for a living? Is he married? How many kids did he have? What were they named? Did he have any notably good or bad friends? Did he skip college or scrape through it? Write all this down, and remember — it doesn’t have to be pretty. You’re just note taking and rough drafting. Keep this in a spare document when you’re writing so you can look at if need be.

4. Interview the character you created. Peg him with questions! Ask yourself: what did your character learn through all his years? What specific skill sets did he pickup? What hardships did he endure? Did he take any shortcuts? How old is he? What would he like to change about his life? Something that stands out. Your decisions will determine how Bob Douglas’ role in the plot continues. Remember, don’t bother going this detailed for all your characters. Whoa, I’m not saying don’t go detailed, just don’t go super detailed. You’ll tire yourself out and have a million useless details floating around in your head on the paper. Sub characters never need to have excess details.



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