Archive | October 18, 2015

That’s Some Character Quality!

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Hey, everyone! Sorry I haven’t posted for a few weeks! I have new content up now, and today, we’ll be talking about character!

Character means many things when it comes to stories and poems. Today, most people use the word ‘character’ to describe someone in a movie, but character can also mean traits that make up a person or being or someone who possess morality (ex: She posses strong character.) When writing up a character for a story, there a few steps that can help you put emphasis on their traits and abilities.

If you’re like me, creating a character can be a little difficult. You want to make up someone memorable and teaches important lessons through them. Sometimes you may want them to represent something, such as purity, strength, loyalty. This is called symbolism, and it is very important in the world of writing. Many characters such as J.R.R Tolkien, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and C.S. Lewis create memorable and realistic characters that stand for something. Take Aslan from the legendary Chronicles of Narnia series. He’s a wise, all-knowing lion with power beyond even the most wicked people. It’s clear he represents Jesus, who is omnipresent, powerful, and wonderful, all the same time.

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How do you create these kinds of characters, though?  I have come up with a few steps for even myself that may help put together some characters you can use for your writing. Every person is inspired differently, though, and some steps may not be necessary for you, but this is what has helped me create my story characters.

  1. First, figure out what kind of setting and story line you want your book to have (you can read more about settings and genres in July 24’s post ‘Genres of the Ages.’) and then pick out a character that will help move your book along. For me, it helps to figure out what sort of genre I want my book to be so that I can place characters accordingly. If the character does not fit, the story will not make sense.
  2. Figuring out the personality of your character also plays an important role in your story. A tough character may not be scared of much, so maybe he could work out in a military setting during a war. The personality of your character plays such an important part, because without a character, the story can not be moved along. Characters helps create drama, and if there were no characters in a story, there would be no movement, therefore making your setting pretty deserted.
  3. Once you figure out the character, look for their abilities. Abilities in a character usually distinguish what they are good at. They might be good at consoling others, fighting in the heat of a battle, or they might be brilliant at science and equations. Everyone has a special ability that makes them unique, and the same goes for fictional characters.
  4. After I figure out all these three steps,I like to figure out how the characters know one another. Recently, I’ve went through a list of all the characters I’ve created for my books over the years, and I realized over half of these characters had the exact same last name, so I decided I’d make them a large family. That was one way I bonded the characters. For the others, I selected a few older characters and a few younger characters, making them either great friend, heroic figures, or characters that liked eachother. Your own characters don’t have to know eachother, but it’s important to keep in mind that they probably will affect the main character in some way.
  5. The last step I do is to put them into the story. Trying to match their personalities and abilites up with the drama at hand, I want to make sure that everything makes sense. If I create a grumpy character, he’s not going to do well with consoling a broken-hearted person, but he could maybe go fight in a battle that’s happening at the same time.

Most people have different ways of handling their characters, though. If one step doesn’t work for you, maybe come up with some of your own. Writing is a unique way of showing creativity, so one way isn’t for all. Remember, many stories reveal truths that can be applied into daily life, and that is why characters are so important to what you are writing. They help the story along, create drama, tension, conflict, sympathy, remorse, and joy and that is why even the smallest of characters can produce the biggest changes, just like in reality.

Thanks for reading! If you have anything you’d like me to consider writing about next, comment below one of my posts! Ideas for upcoming posts are appreciated and welcomed!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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