Characters: Individuals

Think about your favourite book. Who are the main characters? What makes them different from each other? They might be angry, happy, sad, polite, rude, intelligent, dumb … the chances are that each character will have their own set of personality traits that makes them distinct from the others. They are, each of them, individual.

We are thinking about our characters this month. Characters are a key detail in our writing that can either make or break what we have written. So far, we have thought about the basic elements of our characters, knowing our characters inside and out, and maintaining our characters’ key features, including their personalities. Today, we’re going to think about creating distinct and individual characters.

It can be hard to build clear differences between two characters who are together in the same story. Of course, if you know your character and focus yourself on their key features, then this should make it easier to distinguish one character from another. Try to pick up on personality traits – bravery, cowardice, hatred, love, and so on – and demonstrate them when you get the opportunity to show exactly who your character is and how they tick. No two characters will ever react in the same way or say the same thing.

Your readers need to see that your characters are different people who have different hopes, dreams and agendas. Not every characters has to be a favourite, or a perfect creation, but they should be distinct enough for you as an author to build an interesting and memorable combination of personalities that interact with one another in believable ways.

How do you make your characters differences clear in your writing? Here are a few ideas to help:

Remember:

  • Different characters will react differently to the same situation

  • Different characters will interact with other characters in different ways

  • Different characters have different histories

  • Different characters have different outlooks on life, e.g. their idols, their faith, their wishes

  • Different characters will view different things as important

Most importantly, remember:

  • No two characters are ever the same!


This month’s theme is CHARACTERS. If you have written something that you would like me to share on this blog on the theme of characters, then please post a link in the comments or email me on lauramarieclark1@gmail.com with the subject: Characters.

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