Characters are what give your story life. They are what the reader connects with and what they remember most. Learning how to write a character can be the most essential information for any aspiring author. That being said, in this post, we’ll look at what’s critical to do before you even start, and how to properly write characters in your stories.
Know Your Character
Before you begin writing your character, you should get to know them. After all, how can you write someone you know nothing about? The better you understand who the character is, how they act, and how they grew up, the better and easier you’ll be able to write them in your story.
To begin, you’ll want to create a character bio. This is where you’ll keep all of the details of your character.
There are many things you may want to include in your character bio, but here are some ideas to get you started:
- physical appearance
- quirks and flaws
- likes and dislikes
Besides their personality, you should also be aware of their role in your story. With any character you write, you should know what their role is (protagonist, antagonist, romantic interest, etc.) and their goals (inner and outer).
Once you have a clear picture of your character, it’s time to begin writing.
Write Your Character
All of the actions and decisions your character makes should be based on their biography. Their actions are influenced by their personality, background, and relationships.
To make your character unique, their dialogue should be different from other characters in your story. The words they choose, the way they word things, etc., should set your character apart from anyone else. This doesn’t need to be overly apparent, making the dialogue hard to read for the reader, but it should be subtle enough, and seamless enough, that everything is cohesive.
Knowing who your character is will make writing them easier, and when weaving them into your story, you’ll want to keep their goals and character role at the forefront of your mind.
Be sure they are actively working towards their goals and that the steps they take reflect their personality.
To learn more of the ins and outs of writing characters and story plots in general, I recommend a book I read in college that helped me a lot: Crafting the Character Arc by Jennie Jarvis.
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