Characters

Characters

A Lesson by Jewel Ailiyah-Celeste Lanmont
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Here you learn how to describe your characters. *This could be done before plotting*

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Plotting may be hard, but sometimes creating characters is even harder. So, how do you create characters?

It's simple: from your head. Now, ask yourself a question: what type of people are there in this world? If it's not a person: what type of animals? And, if it isn't a real animal: what does that mythical creature look like in your head?

Ask yourself what it looks like, and if you want to draw it: you could. In fact, if you draw it, it might be easier to write the description. You don't exactly have to write the whole description in the book, but you might want to know it in your head so that you could see your character.

Naming Your Characters

This can be difficult. I always have difficulty in naming my characters, and in fact, most of my names come from a website - not my head.

I would suggest get a baby name book, or type in baby name genie in Google and see what happens there. Sometimes, after looking at names, you might get one that isn't in the book. But the one important thing: make sure that the name fits the character (matters on who you are as a whole) and matches with the setting and society of the book. For example: you can't have "John" be a native-born African - the name isn't really African. You can't name a person Jacob and have him be an alien - the two things don't really match.

Describing Your Characters

Again, imagine the person and imagine seeing him/her in real life. That gives you an idea and ask yourself many questions about who he is. Here is some questions:

- What creature is this character?
- Is he tall or short?

That sort of questions. Continue on. One idea might be to ask friends to describe some good qualities in a person that they might like so that YOU could build up upon that.

In the Book

Make sure you don't describe TOO much in the book. You have to make sure that you describe characters so that people could see the characters and know what they might look like. But if a description is too long: the reader might drop the book and never read it again. Ask your friends to read the descriptions: and if they say "it's too long," ask them what's the most important part in this description. If they say, "it's too short," ask them what you should add for them to understand the character. Also, if you think that something is too long or short, then something is wrong. Change it.

Creating a Life

Make sure that you know what you are doing. Don't change the character's description too much. What I mean is, don't say that he is blond in one sentence, and then the fact that his hair is blue in the other sentence. That'll just confuse the reader. Also, pretend that he/she is your friend. Talk to him and imagine him being in situations that might occur in your book. Sometimes it might be good to get a diary for him/her. In this diary: create 9-10 sentences about his day, his emotions, what he likes/dislikes, etc.

Imagine being him, and going to this world and understanding his point of view on things. Basically: starting BEING him so that you could  understand him more as you write the story.

I hope that these suggestions help. Remember: if you get stuck on a character: wait a day or two, imagine, yet not too much so that you get stuck even more. But still, create characters - because if you don't, there won't be no book!


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Posted 4 Years Ago


I always tend to think that characters should be created before the plot. It might be just me, but I find plot writing much, much easier after character writing.

Yes, both are extremely dificult! But when it comes to characters, I like to find pictures on Google, save the ones that I like, and create the characters based of the picture I have. Then, after the picture is found, I stare at it for a long while, until a name comes to mind and they usually come from nowhere and the name usually fits the picture very well. (I don't know how, but it does.) And when I get the name, I usually go off a character building list I found on the internet. Where I found it, I don't remember, but it covers a lot of the basics like; The name, age, size, build, height, scars, tattoo's/piercings, phobia's, fears. Things like that. And usually after the name comes, the rest comes greatly easy to me, because I know what the message of the book is about (like your first lesson.)

Then, when it comes to writing the plot, I go back to the message, and relate it with my character.

Example:

Cammeron (Cam) Bates
14
5' 7''
123
Schizophrenia

Message: Getting the word out about what people with schizophrenia (that hears voices) goes through, especially when the family has no clue that it's in their family genes. How to spot it, how to find help, how to help your child when they have psychotic episodes and how to spot those.

Plot: Beginning: Cam hears voices and is forced awake because he suddenly hears his blasting alarm clock when the voices finally stop taunting him. The alarm blasting because it's the first day of school.

Over the summer, he resorted to drinking alcohol to keep the voices shut, because they promised they would keep silent if he did what they wanted. And that morning, he decides to take some of the alcohol he left in his room to school because the voices mentioned for him to take it, or they would do something he wouldn't like.

At school, he would get caught and be sent home due to 'stomach illness' because the nurse wasn't told how and why he wasn't feeling good, when in fact, he was overtly intoxicated.

When he gets home, he's confronted by his brother, Sam, saying that it isn't smart for him to do what he's doing and takes the bottle away from Cam before he passed out on his bed for a couple of hours.

(That's the gist of the first chapter)

Then, I have to come up with a cause as to why the voices are acting at such an early age. Did something happen in his childhood? Did something traumatic set him off down a path that he didn't know he was going down?

I had to bring up his father, who's not there because he passed away. That's when I thought about the words 'traumatic event' and came up with Cam seeing his father die in a horrible car accident. This, I used as the set off for the voices to start up much quicker than they would if no one died.

(I'm so sorry if this comment is so long! >.< I tend to get carried away when explaining something. A number one problem I have. Forgive me?)
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Author

Jewel Ailiyah-Celeste Lanmont
Jewel Ailiyah-Celeste Lanmont

Brookline, MA



About
Hello World! I'm Jewel and really like to write. My other favorite things to do is: horseback ride, read, learn about animals, play piano and hang out with my baby brother who is super cute! I want to..