Developing Unique Main Characters

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Main characters are the essence of a story. Without interesting, funny, UNIQUE characters, the story falls flat!!!! Even if you have the most amazing plot, if your main characters aren't lovable or real, most likely your reader will put down the book and walk away.

Now I don't want you under the impression that I've completely figured out how to make my characters one of a kind and special. The truth? I haven't! I haven't figured it out, but I'm on my way, and that's the first step.

1. Make them relatable. Give them flaws and problems that we can all relate with. Your character is stubborn? That can turn into hundreds of other little things like greed, impatience, arrogance. 

But don't make them too imperfect, unless they're supposed to be like, say, the villain.  Give them good character traits. Make your character stubborn, but compassionate.  Impatient, but loyal.  Even it out. 

2. Don't forget the importance of the outward appearance!  How the characters tend to look on the outside is a big part of their personality!!  Do they always have their hair down?  Do they like having the green eyes they were born with?  Do they wear stylish outfits or do they even care about their clothing?

3. Start a character quirks notebook.  I have a tiny brown journal with the word "characters" on the front, and whenever I think of something new I jot it down!  here are some ideas...( note, please don't use these because I would really like to use them in the future.)
 :) I collect smiles
 :) I'm scared to fall asleep
 :) I get embarrassed easily but try not to show it
 :) I collect watches and wear them on my ankles
 :) I burp when I eat green apples

4. Find pictures of them!  Another reason why Pinterest is so nice.  They have millions of character pictures and possibilities out there!!!  It's so hard to choose!  It will really help you get to know your character better if you have a picture in your mind.  But be careful- if you're as picky as I am it'll be hard to find just the right person to base your character off of!
{Picture courtesy of Pinterest}

5.  Take a personality quiz- but take it as if your character is!  Answer the questions with you character's personality in mind.  What would he do if he were in a crowd?  Talk or stay quiet?  Does he enjoy solitude or people?  Would he enjoy competitive games or more quiet activities? 

6. Base them off of people you know!!!  Notice the certain little things they do when they talk, eat, hang out around people.  The better you know people, the more little things you can pull from them.  But don't make it too obvious, or you could have some hurt friends.  Change things and just take a few little personality bits. 

Have any other ideas?  Comment below and tell me!!!  I'd love inspiration! 

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