Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

How to Create Characters For a Novel

April 05, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 86

For most writers creating believable characters is the hardest part of the job. If you are just starting out you may not even know exactly how important this part of writing is. The Characters are your story. They tell you where they'll go, what their temperament will allow them to and when you're just stretching them beyond their ability.

Let's say you're writing a story about how the newest cop in the town is taking no prisoners in the war against crime in LA. You have the plot all developed. She (let's call her Lucille Cabaracci) is going to fall in love with the senator (Kirk Someone) as she tries to follow the trail of a murderer. She will then dump the senator because she's just - you know - butch like that. Then later discovers that she actually has a soft spot for him because he's so cute and lovable (aww) and the murderer will turn out as his assistant who wanted him all to herself. The Senator and Lady Bond end up together and ladidadida.

Cute story, but it might end up being just twenty pages. If you want to fill up the pages with words that will just draw the characters in you need to build your characters first before you put them into the story. Lucille will kick out his honor because she just doesn't believe anyone could love her - it's probably because she grew up in foster care and was shifted from home to home before she was thirteen. She's so insistent on solving this case because its a suicide and her mother was assumed to have committed suicide but she didn't believe it, which is why this case seems much more important than her new relationship with Kirk.

So what exactly is the process of developing your character? Well your hero is right there in your mind you just need to poke that creative mind of yours a little to discover exactly who they are. Let's build up Lucille by creating a profile that you'll be able to use to build up all your main character.

Bio-Data

Lucille hates her real name so she goes by Luc (sound more cop -like). She was born in Jersey City in New Jersey. She's half Italian, half black (I bet you can see the conflict coming from her heritage coming...but let's not spoil it). She is not religious at all (why?...just chill). She of course has just moved to LA. So why don't you give me a bit of bio on your main character?

Physical Appearance

I know you all want a tough no-nonsense looking woman - I don't think so. In fact just to piss you off I'm going to make my new private detective the most female person I can find on the internet. You know who I want her to look like - Scarlett Johansson. All long wispy curls, pale skin, lush lips, blond hair, husky voice and a curvy body that she likes to flaunt in fitting clothes. She's just the right height but her high heels make her cover for any 'shortfalls'. That's what's going to shock them all. They've been told to wait for tough guy Luc Cabaracci. Instead of the cigar smoking tough guy they're waiting for strolls a blond bombshell. They're laughing at the blond airhead - underestimating her then she opens her mouth and knees one of the unruly detectives sending him sprawling on the station's floor and boom! Meet my baby Luc. (of course you noticed that she's already created an instant conflict for her case with her little kneeing incident right?). So who did you pick as the ringer for your character?

Personality

Of course you've noticed that dear Lucille doesn't like nonsense. So I'm going to duck into the Myers Jung Personality Types and just lift a few character traits for our firebrand. I think I'd like to make her an INTJ - you know them strategic, independent introverts with tremendous belief in systems. Oh I forgot she may seem cold, thinks she's always right and has absolutely no interest in making friends unless they're coming with a clue for her.

Of course now Senator Kirk has to have character traits that diffuse her vices so I'm going to check out Complementary Personalities. Oh hey, Kirk is an ESFJ (warmhearted, popular and still as intelligent and responsible as she is) - otherwise that happily ever after is doomed to end up in some dark alley hanging from the rafters. So what are your character's virtues and vices? And does their co-main character complement them?

Habits

As you all know Luc is the responsible control freak so of course she's going to be an early riser with all the weird jogging in the morning. Her finances are up to date. Despite all her coolness she has a thing for romantic movies, she swears I'm imagining it, but I think I just saw a tear in her eye from that emotional scene. Babe's got no hobbies - unless you're counting the romantic films (Oh Lord - did the guys at the station hear this). What are your character's quirks, routines, talents, likes and hobbies - the works?

Past

Now people this may seem like a teary job because Lucille is obviously damaged - but we can get through it. He African American father abandoned her mother. When she was four years old Lucille was taken into foster care because her Italian mother had turned into a drunkard. Blame it on the fact that her parents had abandoned her for daring to get pregnant by that...that...black person. Two days later Lucille was able to escape social services only to find her mother hanging from the rafters of the one bedroom apartment. She has always blamed herself for coming too late.

Lucille was shifted from home to home till she escaped at fifteen to join a gang. She was arrested as an accessory to a robbery but placed in the custody of her arresting officer. She resisted but eventually she developed a taste for catching criminals instead of being there. You see where I'm going with this- right? Tell me you don't want to just make a story where this woman wins?

Goal

She just wants to solve her case but this Senator just keeps getting in her way - pulling at her albeit thin heartstrings.

Time to build Senator Kirk now!

Think of characterization the building block to an expert plot

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

 
0
 
0
 
Rate this Article
 vote(s)
Feedback
Print
Re-Publish

Article Tags:

Create Characters

,

Believable Characters

,

Main Character

,

Character Traits

A speech is similar to an essay, except that a speech is meant to be spoken, while an essay is meant to be read. If you wish to write a great speech that will impress your audience till the end and

By: Denize Rodricks l Writing & Speaking > Writing l December 07, 2012 lViews: 254

The ability to writing great headlines hold the key to getting people to read your article or sales copy - whether you publish it online, send as email or even print it on a magazine. Learn how you

By: Prince John l Writing & Speaking > Creative Writing l July 10, 2012 lViews: 246

Unemployment rate in India has been one of the most terrible problems that it has been facing since its independence. Corruption and crime has increase manifold due to the unemployment factor.

By: Vaibhav P. Bhadange l Writing & Speaking > Creative Writing l July 10, 2012 lViews: 383

Four out of five adults say they have a book inside them. Only two percent actually write and publish their masterpiece. Talk is cheap. Just do it!

By: Ted Bowman l Writing & Speaking > Creative Writing l July 09, 2012 lViews: 217

You have wanted to see your book in print for years and now, thanks to self-publishing, you reached this goal. Now you must market your book, an uphill climb for any author, especially a new one.

By: Harriet Hodgson l Writing & Speaking > Book Marketing l July 08, 2012 lViews: 241

Choosing the right creative writing program could compensate for copywriting in businesses, although, it is a whole different course subject. By being successful in such a competitive industry you

By: Edward Joseph l Writing & Speaking > Creative Writing l July 06, 2012 lViews: 221

Unemployment rate in India has been one of the most terrible problems that it has been facing since its independence. Corruption and crime has increase manifold due to the unemployment factor.

By: Vaibhav P. Bhadangel Writing & Speaking > Creative Writingl July 10, 2012 lViews: 383

The ability to writing great headlines hold the key to getting people to read your article or sales copy - whether you publish it online, send as email or even print it on a magazine. Learn how you

By: Prince Johnl Writing & Speaking > Creative Writingl July 10, 2012 lViews: 246

Four out of five adults say they have a book inside them. Only two percent actually write and publish their masterpiece. Talk is cheap. Just do it!

By: Ted Bowmanl Writing & Speaking > Creative Writingl July 09, 2012 lViews: 217

Choosing the right creative writing program could compensate for copywriting in businesses, although, it is a whole different course subject. By being successful in such a competitive industry you

By: Edward Josephl Writing & Speaking > Creative Writingl July 06, 2012 lViews: 221

A personal enquiry into witchcraft and related subjects. The objective is in to make the actions of a fictional character more convincing in future publications.

By: Chris Elgoodl Writing & Speaking > Creative Writingl July 05, 2012 lViews: 208

Molding a character to fit the needs of the novel you are crafting requires in-depth probing to fully understand how he/she will react in a variety of situations. Many authors find the process one of

By: Charles Jacobsl Writing & Speaking > Creative Writingl July 05, 2012 lViews: 238

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus