How to Make a Good Original Character
How to Create a Character for Your Novel
Do you need help creating a character for your novel? Well, you have come to the right article. This article will show you how to create a very "real" feeling character your readers can relate to regardless of the genre of your novel. Get started with step number one below.
Get something to write with and on.Pen and paper, a notebook, a nice fresh Word document on your PC, whatever you prefer. If you need to, go out to the store and buy something to write with and on.
- Keeping your character notes, drawings and doodles in one place is recommended, as this makes it easier for you to refer back to as needed.
Naming your character
Write down your character's full name (first name, middle name, and last name), and any other names/nicknames/titles he or she has.Try not to use your name, or someone else's name that you know, as this may be considered personal information.
- Your character doesn't have to have their name mentioned in your novel. You may be writing a mystery have your main character may just be referred to as, for example, the Man, all the way through the novel. Even if this is the case, to add depth to your character, you should know them inside-out even if the reader will not.
- Some characters may not get their name until you've fleshed them out. That's okay too––go with whatever feels right as you develop the character.
- Give your character a unique, memorable name. Baby name books are a good resource. You can also check sites that help new parents to name a baby.
Developing your character
Describe your character's physical features.Does he/she have red or blonde hair? Are his/her eyes green, blue, or two different colors? What color is his/her skin? Is he or she human, animal, robot or mythical creature. Make your character unique.
- Describe your character in an interesting way, even your character is meant to be bland or average. Pink hair with pale skin and green eyes? Or short brown hair, brown eyes, and a good tan? Maybe brown hair with purple streaks, brown eyes, and ghostly pale skin. The possibilities are vast, just make the descriptive language good, so that it conjures up the character for the reader.
Write down your character's main features, traits and activities.This includes:
- Nationality, social status and job/occupation.
- Beliefs, values, preoccupations, superstitions, preferences, fears or phobias (Is he/she afraid of the dark? Or maybe spiders?) and why they fear that specific thing.
- Friends/allies, enemies, any family he/she has, any lover or crush, etc.
- Particular talents (maybe he/she is good at juggling), any movements/protests he/she is involved in (describe the movement/protest and its purpose), and past/childhood (maybe he/she used to be a warrior, or a bank-robber), etc.
- Hobbies/things he/she likes to do for fun.
- Describe his/her current home (in full detail) and past/childhood home.
Describe the character's personality in detail.Is he/she loud and flamboyant, or more the quiet introvert? Does he/she stand for his/her beliefs? Is he/she shy, or in-your-face? You want your readers to know exactly what kind of person your character is, if required.
- Of personality traits, which are the best? They are all great for working with as a writer, but you must choose a reasonable selection that best fits your character––don't try to overwhelm the character with an unlikely combination of many traits.
- Don't give the character merely neutral or good traits. Also spice it up with the vices and weaknesses. Your character is best if presented as imperfect (in actions, appearance or personality). Your character can make mistakes, have bad habits, and possess little interesting quirks. This is what makes the character interesting. For example: Is he so nice that he gets taken advantage of? Or is she so pretty that is goes to her head? Maybe she is such a tomboy that the guys don't mind including her in guy's night out?
Flesh out the character's past.Your character's background is the most important thing about them. That is when they learned what they know today. Was her father a drunk and beat her so badly that she is scared of guys? Or maybe her father was never even in the picture and her mother wasn't the best mother? Maybe she is the oldest child and takes care of her two little brother since her parents left her at a young age to fend for herself? What are you going to make happen?
Develop a plot that relates to the character's involvement.What is a good story without a good plot? Maybe your character fell in love with the wrong person and now has to find a way out before it is too late? Maybe your character has become mixed up with some bad people or a strange mystery. Maybe your character has only months to live and wants to do something great. Keep imagining away!
QuestionI feel like I'm writing a book that's already been written. How do I steer away from doing this?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAs long as you aren't directly copying a story, it is okay to use an idea that has already been used. It is impossible to write a book where every single aspect is brand new. Just try to include some twists that makes it unique. For example, if you are writing a fantasy novel, add a mystery aspect. Or if you are writing a fluffy YA novel, add an odd character that takes the story in an unexpected direction.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I find the balance between too much detail and too little?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUsually you can tell when something is overwritten. I usually stop at one or two adjectives per sentence, and maybe leave one bare. If you're talking about a character, then they can never have too much. Just don't introduce it all at once or it'll be overwhelming.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I get my own ideas without taking ideas from other books I have read?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGive yourself time to think. Good ideas for stories don’t usually come quickly. As for not using their ideas, you can take little bits of these stories and meld them into a new plot if you must, as long as these bits are not anything that could be copyrighted, like a character named Harry Potter.Thanks!
QuestionI based my story off of something else, but now I think I could go somewhere with it. How do I make it different from the original?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf is difficult to make something completely different from what it is based off of. That said, you can try making subtle changes to your character and as you write, go back and make sure that you are able to distance you new story from the original. It may take time, but you can do it.Thanks!
QuestionI am struggling with writing a specific character because she's the opposite of me. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAsk yourself how you would deal with your character's situation. Once you determine how you would do it, make sure the character does the opposite or something different from your choice.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I get past writer's block?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry writing a small side story about one of your minor characters; that can help get your creativity going. Sometimes you just need to take a break from writing altogether though, so maybe wait a week or two before you continue your story.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I get people to love my character?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCreate a character people can relate to. Do this by assigning it actions and characteristics people find heroic and likable.Thanks!
- Give descriptive clues for your character.
- Remember, this person you are creating is yours! Do whatever you want with him/her.
- If you want the reader to remember this particular character then really describe them and give them interesting names...don't forget to give them middle names just because they are interesting. Names can tell us a lot about someone if they have a name that suits them, you need to make sure that your character has a name that suits them. Another point is to think about is what the name means. Here are few examples: Ella means all/light therefore this character might be a cheerful, light person that doesn't think about "The Dark Side"
- You can use real people as models for your character. You could make your character a lot like your loud, goofy friend, but more like your quiet friend in some ways. It can be easier to define your character when you have a real person to base them on. But don't feel you can't just use a random idea that came into your head.
- Don't make a character based on a real life person that is defamatory in nature. If it is evident to most readers who that character is in real life, the real person may seek to sue you for defamation.
- There will be people who may not like your character.
Video: How to Create a Character Profile
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