How to Create a Character to Remember is a Guest Post on Indie Author News by Sherry Foley - Author of the Suspense Fiction Book Switched in Death.
A CHARACTER TO REMEMBER
Creating a character a reader likes well enough to follow through the pages of your novel can be exciting…and terrifying. What helps the writer not to show up to a blank page and experience stage fright?
When you set out to tell a story, one of the most important parts you should take into consideration is how believable are the characters you create. If you understand your characters, you can bring them to life on the page for the reader. If your characters are sketchy to you, they will be sketchy to the reader as well. Create a character you want to spend time with, get to know, and have in charge of your story. What is the true test that you’re onto a real character? When you realize your characters have come alive enough that they begin to direct the story and you’re just to follow along taking notes.
How does one reach that exhilarating moment?
Some find it helpful to fill out detailed character sheets of questions on your characters or to interview them. I have a friend that sets up a portfolio on each character right down to a picture she finds in a magazine or online. It’s important to seek a method that works for you and stick to it. You need to humanize your character by giving them true to life flaws. Do they click their pens incessantly? Sniff as they talk? Jangle change in their pockets? Twirl their hair? What traits do they have that can become familiar to the reader? Not only do these little elements bring the character to life, but they separate the characters in the story from one another as well. Having distinct characters will aid the reader in tracking everyone so they don’t become confused and can concentrate on your storyline.
A couple of my favorite areas of “research” on this subject is to people watch and eavesdrop. You can learn so much by observing others discretely while waiting in line, shopping in a store or sitting at a table eating. The next time you find yourself sitting stopped in your car, watch how the pedestrians walk…saunter or shuffle. Take mental notes. Practice and train yourself to utilize all of your senses as everything you observe can be used later in a story.
What characters do you think back about with fondness? Nancy Drew? Wuthering Height’s Heathcliff and Cathy? Harry Potter? Whoever comes to mind, zero in on what was memorable enough to linger in your memory. That author did a good job of reeling you in for a visit and upon completion the story, you took the character with you.
That is your goal the next time you start a story!
Happy writing and remember-always write with the reader in mind.
Link to the Book Switched in Death with Excerpt
Connect with Sherry Foley via Twitter: @Sherry_Foley