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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Getting to know you.... Creating Memorable Characters Nano Prep Episode 2

What about a story makes you want to keep reading?   Is it the setting, the world building, the plot?  Well, those are certainly important aspects of story; but it's the characters that move the story.  They are the most important aspect of story, but they cannot exist without the other as well.

So what makes an interesting character?  How do you build your character?  A character should be multi-layered.  They should be pretty believable for the reader to care about them.   They should also learn something, and change during the course of the story.

But how to do that?  Basically I use a questionnaire, and then I moved the responses to a four paged synopses of the character.

The questions go over what the character looks like, what scars do they have, and character quirks.  Like do they chew their fingernails?  Do they have any regrets?  Do they have any nervous habits/ticks.

It's the little things that can make your reader empathize with, and root for, your characters.  I generally do not complete a character until the edit phase, but get enough detail to write the first draft.  Do we need to know everything about that character?  A reader does not, but we as the characters creator should know pretty much everything about our characters.

Below is a picture of a Character sheet that I use.  This comes from Victoria Lynn Schmidts "Book in a Month."  When you get her book, she has a yahoo group that you can join.

This isn't the complete one, but it gives you an idea.  You can also find Character sheets here:

And the questionnaire I was telling you about:

Those are a couple to get you started.

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