Character Writing Techniques

Character Writing Tips

By: Samantha Sanchez

A great character can be the foundation of a great story. They help make a reader feel emotionally involved with a piece causing a great connection that leaves the reader wanting more. Before you can start your story, you, the writer, need to understand your character. A useful tool is a character analysis. This tool would have the name and a synopsis of those who are present in the story. This synopsis can contain information about appearance, background, their interests, anything that could affect their personality. This analysis is not always going to have information that you’ll use in your story. Any small detail that could alter a character’s attitude should be put in the analysis. For example, a woman in her 30’s with a high paying job could have many different ways of carrying herself. If she came from a bad neighborhood with poor grades she could act very grateful for what she has, whereas someone who went to a private school and has a high paying job could feel more entitled and act arrogant. The reader may never know what type of life she had as a child, but as a writer knowing this information can help build a persona.

Now, before you start putting these characters to good use think of how they interact with each other. The woman with the high paying job may meet with who she thinks is the love of her life. Think of what makes these two lovers compatible, what makes their relationship seem toxic, make sure that they have traits that would easily fall in place with each other depending on the relationship type you want perceived. Behavior types can help you integrate these roles together. If the behavior types don’t match nicely dialogue between the two may seem choppy and incoherent from an outsider’s perspective. If you can’t picture the two having a relationship in real life the relationship between the two was never meant to be. Realism is key. Even if a story is science fiction, a sense of realistic elements within the characters can help a reader become involved in the story. Realistic emotions that can fit within the boundaries you set is necessary to build a role that works well with others. No matter how many characters you have, the personalities should be balanced out. A balance of yes-men to pessimist can add a great sense of actuality to a story. Just how friend groups don’t have one personality for everyone, a story should have a wide variety of personalities. Character’s don’t just happen on their own, but with attention to detail they can make a story come to life.

 

By: Samantha Sanchez

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