Let’s talk about characters. No, not weird people, but Characters we write about. I think Characterization is the toughest part about writing a book. It’s like Voice, how do you define it.
Does that pretty much cover the Heroes?
Sound like any Heroines you’ve read before?
What’s a writer to do, you ask? Don’t all the workshops tell you to interview your Characters, give them a flaw, trash their back story, and throw a little motivation their way and you will be just fine, right?
I tried this lately and it seems to work.
Start out with a REAL person. I’m serious!
There are more Characters in my life than I have books to write in my lifetime, even if I were younger. My family alone could fill a bookshelf.
So, start with real people, with real personalities and embellish like hell.
Okay, let’s start with some general things. First, I know three people that never, ever lie. Not even itsy, bitsy, tiny lies. And my husband is one of those people. Never ask him if these pants make your butt look big. You won’t like the answer.
Also, I have several people in my life I truly admire. They are noble and honest people. Also, I have friends who make me laugh, make me cry, make me sit up and pay attention.
I also know people I don’t trust at all. Also, I know liars, and cons and irresponsible people. I know people who constantly accept challenges they can never meet. I know people who are lazy and whiners.
I know big hearted people, cold hearted people, good hearted people, evil hearted people and tons of no good scoundrels.
If you are struggling with a Character, ask yourself; in real life, who does this person remind me of? Or this person I know, or work with, or am related to would make the great beginning of a fantastic Character in my book.
Give it a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Better yet, look in the mirror and ask yourself what’s inside you that would make a great character. I didn’t say you had to use every personality trait. J