Monday, May 14, 2012

Creating Memorable Characters, Part 1

Passion, Pizzazz and Power

Whether consciously or unconsciously, when we read a book we want to connect with the story characters. We want to find something about them we share--their life goals, ethnicity, age, life experience, etc. These shared aspects (connection) draw us into the story and help us care about what happens to the characters.

Humans are three dimensional beings—body, soul, and spirit. But we often fail to show all three dimensions in our story. Let’s start by analyzing the protagonist and antagonist from your present work in progress (WIP). What do you know about your characters? Do you know how do they look (body), think (soul), and feel (spirit)? Do you know their personality type, their goals, their motivations? What are their flaws or vulnerabilities? Why do they get angry, sad, or excited? About what are they passionate and why? What in their life history has made them the way they are today? Why are they in conflict and how do all these characteristics play into that conflict? These character features and more influence how they act and react as you throw obstacles at them on their way to obtaining their goals. 
Give your story characters the passion, pizzazz and power they need to capture your reader.

Create memorable characters by giving them depth and dimension.

Recommended reading: Unleash the Writer Within by Cecil Murphey and The Writer’s Little Helper by James v. Smith, Jr.

Debra L. Butterfield © 2012

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