How I create my characters.
Have you ever stopped reading a novel and wonder if a character is based on someone real? It happens when an author creates a full, realistic character. It takes work but it is not at all difficult.
I like to create the best characters for the plot I have in mind and still have characters that will fit well into other scenarios. The best way I know how to help you is to share what I do. Take what you think will work and implement it as you see fit, of course.
I usually have my plot is mind after doing my mind mapping and research. By this time I have a good idea of what kinds of people will drive the action forward best.
I choose my names very carefully. I want my character names to fit the character every so subtlly. The last thing I want is have a character's name to sound false and made up.
Than I choose my character's age. That, to me, is very important. A lot of our actions and attitiudes are influenced by our age and the kinds of experiences we have had in our lives.
I, then, decide on the appearance of my character. I start with their height and weight. I want my reader to get a vision of what my character looks like. I decide if the character will be imposing or frail. The character's first impressions are well established here.
I create the other physical qualities of the character. Namely, thier hair and eye color. With this comes their complexion and other notable features. In most people, these features match closely. A red haired, brown eyed character, for example, may have a more ruddy complexion.
Than I concentrate on the most important part of their person-the personality. My character's personality traits will determine how they will react to the action going on around them. Will they be brave or cowardly? Will they be peace loving or militant? With this, I try to create the most realistic character. I will also try to establish how the character will relate to the other characters in my story.
The profession of the character will be integral to the plot, so I usually have it in mind. But, there might be changes depending on the profession they have.
I give each of my characters personal likes, dislikes and hobbies. Each of us have things we do just for pleasure outside of our professional lives. Including these elements make a character seem like a real person that jumps off a page at the reader. I am a believer that the details count.
I establish the relationship that exists between each character. This can affect, either in a large or small way, the action that goes on and how the characters feel about what is going on in the plot.
By their actions, thoughts and attitudes, I establish how the character feels about the world around them and how their society works.
Everything must connect. Sudden coincidences only work in soap operas and horror movies. I try not to confuse my reader. This true of even the characters. They must react consistently without becoming boring or pretictable to a fault.
This is what I do to create living, breathing characters. How do you plan out your characters?