More Details=More Realistic CharactersA Lesson by TopHatGirl
Getting in depth with your character.
So, you have the basic stuff. So lets get into the hard details, really digging into your characters inner self. Lets start out with the brain of the character.
Fears: (example: afraid of the dark)
Strengths: (example: very social)
Weaknesses: (example: dies whenever touches something sharp)
What you love about them: (ex:Is brave whenever someone needs her/him to be)
What you hate about them: (ex:Won't go near any dark places, stubborn.)
Good points: (ex:Kind, good sense of humor.)
Relationships: (ex:Can talk with complete strangers, even murderers. But is silent around mom.)
The brain makes your character seem realistic to you, someone who you could share a class with, or sit next to at lunch.
Talents: (ex:Walks through walls)
Favorite sport: (ex:basketball)
History: (ex:Father died when young, doesn't like to talk about it, lived with her mother, whos a drunk.)
Personal Goal: (ex:To find her father's killer)
Bad Habits: (ex: smokes)
The heart makes your character seem realistic to the reader. Everyone has a few characteristics that anyone who knows them can list off at any moment. The personal goal drives the plot, the bad habits hold them back. Talents are what make the goal reachable.
Clothing: (ex: black shirt, black pants, black jewelry)
Appearance: (ex: long black hair, celery green eyes, black nails, tall, skinny,)
What you would find in their room: (ex: poetry, black roses, posters of death, a bunk bed)
Best Friend: (ex: Julie, the exact opposite of her, but still a great friend)
Accent, if any. (ex: British accent.)
Occupation: (Fast food worker)
Don't dwell too much on appearance. Though it is vital, a common trap for writers is to spend too much describing what exact shade of blue the eyes are instead of focusing on what's more important. Never go for the cliche of spending two paragraphs describing the clothes your character is putting on in the morning. A general rule of thumb is that if you're describing the average human for more than three sentences, you're writing too much.
I like to keep these outlines in a separate word document for reference. Don't spend too long on this, and feel free to go back and edit. Often times you'll decide you'll want something different for your character, that's okay. The character you started your rough draft with will be drastically different by the end of your final draft.
Another good route to go is to list out a beginning to end. Keep this simple, one word sentences will do.
See? Nothing too extensive; you don't want to tie yourself down. Vague words can be helpful if you keep them in mind while you're writing.
Added on December 22, 2009
Last Updated on May 21, 2013
AboutHi, I'm TopHatGirl! If you're here about my character lessons or to get some advice, email me instead of messaging at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is because I don't go on this site as much anym..