Characters Wrap Series

Posted: March 18, 2016 in Craft Post

It is Friday. Thank god! It has been a long week. This week has started out well and I see no reason why it won’t keeping going. This is the last post in the out Character Series for the Weekly Craft Post. By far I thought this series turned out a lot better than the Campaign your Novel series. Today’s post is just a wrap up of the whole series. If you would like to read the rest of the series first, you can find them here: (Insert Link). If have been reading every week, then you know what we covered. For those who are their first time visiting this blog, we covered characters in five posts: Cliff Notes or Details, Character Traits, Personality, Back History, and Goals and Motivations.

Characters are easy to come up with, and this is coming from a plot first guy. If this is an area where you struggle with, it just means you need to practice. This series was there to help you, even to those who don’t struggle with creating characters. I myself, never really struggled coming up with characters. It was getting my characters to come across in my writing. I have learned a lot but doing. It really all comes down to your style. This is why I started this series. Do you need to know everything about your character and have a detailed profile or do you need a few details or ideas and discover your characters are you write. Maybe you are a bit of both.

From the idea of how to create characters, we moved to Character Traits, Personality, and Back History that all go together. While I covered these areas in the order listed, you can write them in any order. They all have effects. Sometimes, I write the background first while mostly their personality comes first. What kind of traits such as snarky, easy to please, loud, etc are traits that are part of a personality that makes characters unique. From six to eight character traits and blend them into the personality of each character. You could start with a base such as an archetype or use Myers-Briggs, it’s what you build upon this base. What you add on is what the character has gone through up to the point of the story starts. The more layers you add the more realistic your characters will feel full. This is why I grouped these areas into one as they go together.

Lastly, I covered an area I almost forgot about: Goals and Motivations. Key to characters, as if they don’t have motivations or goals they are flat and most likely boring. There is a difference between characters who have none of these and those who seem like or think they don’t have any. Every character has a goal they wish to achieve and there are reasons why that is. Also, they have reasons why they act how they do and like or dislike other characters. I like to do this after I write the personality and history as I understand why they do or won’t do certain things. For me, it is easier when I understand their lives and who they are.

After I have all this, I ignore it when I write. Okay, not completely true. I don’t keep looking at my characters profiles all the time. I have it open while writing, but I don’t really look at it. If I have a question I will or struggling to write a scene I will. When the first draft is complete I look at what I have and then take in an account of how well it works and what I have learned by writing. From this, I learn more then what really wasn’t them. This is just how I go about my characters. You need to do it yourself and how you would do it. If you don’t know how you would, that is why you try other writers ideas and practices to see if it works for you.

That is all I have on characters. If you want to learn more, there is more than enough information online and in books that will give you, even more, information than what I did. Hope everyone’s writing week is going well, and that you will come back, next week as we start a new series. What is it? I am not sure. I still deciding between World Building or Magic Systems. I go back and forth between them. I will know by the time I post my Weekly Wrap-up on Monday.

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