Friday, October 31, 2008
Friday Five- Building a Character
Today, I'm going to highlight the five basic things you need to help bring a character to life.
1) List physical characteristics (not just the basics- dig deep)
2) Mannerisms- pick one or two that can show your character's inner feelings
3) Verbal expressions- What is the character's favorite expressions
4) Strange quirks- list any strange quirks the character has
5) Back story- this could end up several pages: childhood, family, beliefs, values, things that drive them, career history, romantic history, motivation, priorities, goals, what the character wants, what the character is willing to sacrifice to get it, vulnerability.
When you sit down and think this information through, you slowly build a solid character that you know as well as you know yourself. When you have this kind of a relationship with your characters they will jump off the page and come to life for the reader.
What kind of system do you have to 'birth' a character?