Establishing CharactersA Lesson by Dusty
Characters are the thing that makes any story, but they are one of the most important elements in a fantasy. In a story where nothing is real, the characters are what really haunt the reader until they come to life.
Every story has characters, but how do you make one seem real? How can you create a character so human that the reader feels closer to them than their best friend? The answer: Give them flaws. Nobody is perfect. and this should be true even in stories.
Now, flaws does not mean that the brave, selfless, confident Prince Charming has buck teeth, though that would be rather comical. A flaw is moreover a personality trait that we wouldn't normally want to picture in one of our heroes. For instance, nobody ever describes Jesus as being cocky, do they? In the Bible, though he is a Savior, we picture him as the perfect Son of God, whom we can never be equal to no matter how we try, who will be greater than us always. Nobody wants to read about a main character that makes them feel like crap. A reader doesn't want to feel ashamed of their human emotions such as jealousy and stuborness while reading about a character who has no such emotions as these or no weaknesses.
All characters should be susceptible to human emotions. These include greed, lust, envy, rage, pity, apathy, jealousy, a wanting of independence, a sense of defeat, etc. Obviously, the character should not feel these emotions all at once. Space them evenly throughout the story. Not everything listed needs to be used, your protagonist cannot be a pool of festering human emotions with absolutely nothing to fight them back with. Instead, pair the "bad" human emotions with some good ones, such as courage, generosity, sacrifice, etc. Pick one dominant characteristic for each character if that makes it easier. For yourself, write down what each character is and what their personality is like, and stick to that throughout your novel. Fill in the following for each character and save it somewhere, so that you can refer to it to keep your character constant, believable, and real. For characters that change, you may wish to fill out the chart twice, once for the beginning of your story and once for the end.
Meaning of Name (if meaningful):
Dominant Personality Trait (Trait others see most):
Parents and circumstances of birth:
Race (human, elf, etc.):
Social status (slave, nobility, etc.):
Role in story (protagonist, antagonist, etc):
Name of Partner (Spouse, lover, etc.):
Number of Siblings and names:
History and important past experiences:
Hair color, texture, and length:
Normal style of dress:
Normal, everyday talents (ex: singing, etc):
Other important facts:
Have fun with your characters, make them real, alive, feel their heartbeat as you write about them. Best of luck to you all and I hope this helped some out.........
Added on December 24, 2009
Last Updated on December 24, 2009
Crown Point, IN
AboutHey everyone! My name is Aly. I am 15 years old and live with my mother and brother in a house with our 7 pets. We have two cats -Matti and Amber, a dog- Skunky, a hedgehog- Harley, a hermit crab -Aug..