Building fictional characters

Crafting characters has been on my mind for the last few months. Initially, when I wrote the first draft of my novel, I only touched on the characters’ backstories. My primary concern had been to get the 1st draft finished, which I did. At the moment, I am working through each character and testing them within the story using the following five steps.

Here are my top 5 tips for building fictional characters:

1. Develop their backstory:
A character’s backstory shapes them into who they are. Knowing what happened in their past can help you understand how they might react to present and future situations. Consider their upbringing, their relationships, and any significant events that have happened to them.
2. Give them strengths and weaknesses:
No one is perfect. This should be true for your characters. Give them strengths and weaknesses that make them unique and interesting, and consider how those traits might affect their decisions and actions throughout the story.
3. Make them relatable:
Readers want to feel connected to the characters they’re reading about. Giving your characters relatable qualities or experiences can help with this. It can be anything from a fear of public speaking to a love for pizza.
4. Use their physical appearance to convey personality traits:
While a character’s physical appearance isn’t everything, it can be a valuable tool for conveying personality traits. For example, a messy-haired, dishevelled character might be seen as carefree and spontaneous, while a sharply-dressed, polished character might be seen as uptight and controlling.
5. Consider their motivation:
Every character should have a reason for doing what they’re doing. Whether it’s a desire for revenge, a need to protect someone they love or a search for personal fulfilment, understanding their motivation can help you craft a more well-rounded and compelling character.
On a complete sidenote, the process has been made slightly lengthier since our new Springer Spaniel puppy arrived four months ago.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This