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Old 09-09-2011, 02:48 PM   #1
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Default .:Guide:. How to make a great character!

How to Make a Great Character


Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy my guide for making good characters for your writing.

Here are my tips on making a quality character:

· Stay away from cliché. A pretty cheerleader with blue eyes who is blonde both in the hair and the head is one of the characters you want to try to avoid, for instance. This is extra important because it makes it easier for your readers to get into your writing if your characters have depth.

· Everyone has insecurities sometimes, so don’t be afraid to give your character a couple, it adds depth and shows them that you have skill.

· Know your character the way you know your best friend. You know your best friend’s hair color, eye color, shoe size, where she lives, her phone number, etc. You should know all this about your character, too.

· Everyone has their own special style, so develop your character’s style. Does she like to wear lots of accessories? Does she like sneakers? Headbands? You should know her style like you know your own.

· Develop a “blueprint” of your character (guide below).

Now here’s a helper for making a “blueprint” of your character:

What is his/her full name and age?:
His/Her parents’ names?:
Any siblings? If so, their names and ages?:
Does he/she have any pets? If so, what kind/breed?:
What are his/her hobbies and talents?:
Does he/she have any allergies? If yes, what to?:
What is his/her style?:
What is his/her favorite outfit?:

If you have any questions about developing your character, feel free to ask!

--Lu

Last edited by gimmeabook; 08-07-2012 at 10:29 AM..
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: .:Guide:. How to make a great character!

Thanks so much! I am starting a new book on here and this was very helpful!!
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: .:Guide:. How to make a great character!

This is awesome! Rep to yooou
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: .:Guide:. How to make a great character!

View Post Originally Posted by Steelersgal86
Thanks so much! I am starting a new book on here and this was very helpful!!
I'm glad to help, and glad you got something out of it!

View Post Originally Posted by aquahusky14
This is awesome! Rep to yooou
Awws, thanks!!!
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:12 AM   #5
 
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Default Re: .:Guide:. How to make a great character!

This is a great guide & starting point for many authors, I have made this thread "sticky" so others can read it & add their tips as well.
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: .:Guide:. How to make a great character!

Great guide!! Now others can know how to make a good character.
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:51 AM   #7
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Default Re: .:Guide:. How to make a great character!

Awesome tips, Lu!

A few of my own tips:
  • Names- This is a big part of your character. My advice is to either make the name fit the character really well or make it be the complete opposite of that character. For example, one of my characters is named Wildflower Avans. Like her name would imply, she's sweet, shy, and a bit unusual. In contrast, you have Sarah Hunter. She sounds pretty normal, but she's anything but. She's weird and proud of it.
  • Secrets- Give your character a secret, either one for the character to find out or for them to desperately want to keep. For example, Sasha Siver is half dragon (don't ask) and naturally, she doesn't want anyone to know it. In fact, she'll do anything to keep her secret from getting out. On the other hand, you have Kelia Grashen. She thinks that her family is normal, but she's quickly learning that it's anything but.
  • Quirks and pet peeves: These add personality to your character and make them more likeable, or unlikeable, depending on what they are. Examples: Taryn Anduin is cold, angry, and not afraid of much of anything (or so she claims) but she's totally helpless if she has to swim. Abbie D'vine is deathly allergic to nuts. Sarah Hunter thinks that other worlds exist, speaks Elvish fluently, and knows more about fantasy than real life.
  • Character profiles- These help you get to know your characters better. Here are two, one in-depth, one not so much.
In-Depth
Spoiler: show
Name:
Background:
Birthday:
Place of birth:
Parents:
What was important to the people who raised him:
Siblings:
Economic/social status growing up:
Ethnic background:
Places lived:
Current address and phone number:
Education:
Favorite subject in school:
Special training:
Jobs:
Salary:
Travel:
Friends:
How do people view this character:
Lives with:
Fights with:
Spends time with:
Wishes to spend time with:
Who depends on him and why:
What people does he most admire:
Enemies:
Dating, marriage:
Children:
Relationship with God:
Overall outlook on life:
Does this character like himself:
What, if anything, would he like to change about his life:
What personal demons haunt him:
Is he lying to himself about something:
Optimistic/pessimistic:
Real/feigned:
Morality level:
Confidence level:
How is he viewed by others:
Typical day:
Physical appearance:
Body type:
Posture:
Head shape:
Eyes:
Nose:
Mouth:
Hair:
Skin:
Tattoos/piercings/scars:
Voice:
What people notice first:
Clothing:
How would he describe himself:
Health/disabilities/handicaps:
Characteristics:
Personality type (choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholy):
Strongest/weakest character traits:
How can the flip side of his strong point be a weakness:
How much self-control and self-discipline does he have:
What makes him irrationally angry:
What makes him cry:
Fears:
Talents:
What people like best about him:
Interests and favorites:
Political leaning:
Collections:
Food, drink:
Music:
Books:
Movies:
Sports, recreation:
Did he play in school:
Color:
Best way to spend a weekend:
A great gift for this person:
Pets:
Vehicles:
What large possessions does he own (car, home, furnishings, boat, etc.)
and which does he like best:
Typical expressions:
When happy:
When angry:
When frustrated:
When sad:
Idiosyncrasies:
Laughs or jeers at:
Ways to cheer up this person:
Ways to annoy this person:
Hopes and dreams:
How does he see himself accomplishing these dreams:
What’s the worst thing he’s ever done to someone and why:
Greatest success:
Biggest trauma:
Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to him:
What does he care about most in the world:
Does he have a secret:
If he could do one thing and succeed at it, what would it be:
He is the kind of person who:
What do you love most about this character:
Why will the reader sympathize with this person right away:
How is the character ordinary or extraordinary:
How is his situation ordinary or extraordinary:
Core Need:
Corresponding psychological maneuver (delusions, obsessions,
compulsions, addictions, denials, hysterical ailments, hypochondria, illnesses,
behaviors harming the self, behavior harming others, manias, and phobias):
Anecdote (defining moment):
History:


Quick
Spoiler: show
Name:
Given Name:
Nickname(s):
Rank:
Title:
Occupation:
Nationality:
Age:
Hair:
Eyes:
Height:
Attire:
Personality:
Distinguishing Features:
Family:
Best Friend:
Pet(s):
Enemies:
Weapon(s):
Weakness(s):
Motto:
Favorite Saying:
Theme Song:
Most Prominent Virtue:
Pet Peeves:
Hobby(s):
Hero(s):
Favorite Book:
Dream(s):
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: .:Guide:. How to make a great character!

View Post Originally Posted by MissGnomie
This is a great guide & starting point for many authors, I have made this thread "sticky" so others can read it & add their tips as well.
Aww, thank you! That makes me happy, I'm glad you think it's good!

View Post Originally Posted by ElfLover
Awesome tips, Lu!

A few of my own tips:
  • Names- This is a big part of your character. My advice is to either make the name fit the character really well or make it be the complete opposite of that character. For example, one of my characters is named Wildflower Avans. Like her name would imply, she's sweet, shy, and a bit unusual. In contrast, you have Sarah Hunter. She sounds pretty normal, but she's anything but. She's weird and proud of it.
  • Secrets- Give your character a secret, either one for the character to find out or for them to desperately want to keep. For example, Sasha Siver is half dragon (don't ask) and naturally, she doesn't want anyone to know it. In fact, she'll do anything to keep her secret from getting out. On the other hand, you have Kelia Grashen. She thinks that her family is normal, but she's quickly learning that it's anything but.
  • Quirks and pet peeves: These add personality to your character and make them more likeable, or unlikeable, depending on what they are. Examples: Taryn Anduin is cold, angry, and not afraid of much of anything (or so she claims) but she's totally helpless if she has to swim. Abbie D'vine is deathly allergic to nuts. Sarah Hunter thinks that other worlds exist, speaks Elvish fluently, and knows more about fantasy than real life.
  • Character profiles- These help you get to know your characters better. Here are two, one in-depth, one not so much.
In-Depth
Spoiler: show
Name:
Background:
Birthday:
Place of birth:
Parents:
What was important to the people who raised him:
Siblings:
Economic/social status growing up:
Ethnic background:
Places lived:
Current address and phone number:
Education:
Favorite subject in school:
Special training:
Jobs:
Salary:
Travel:
Friends:
How do people view this character:
Lives with:
Fights with:
Spends time with:
Wishes to spend time with:
Who depends on him and why:
What people does he most admire:
Enemies:
Dating, marriage:
Children:
Relationship with God:
Overall outlook on life:
Does this character like himself:
What, if anything, would he like to change about his life:
What personal demons haunt him:
Is he lying to himself about something:
Optimistic/pessimistic:
Real/feigned:
Morality level:
Confidence level:
How is he viewed by others:
Typical day:
Physical appearance:
Body type:
Posture:
Head shape:
Eyes:
Nose:
Mouth:
Hair:
Skin:
Tattoos/piercings/scars:
Voice:
What people notice first:
Clothing:
How would he describe himself:
Health/disabilities/handicaps:
Characteristics:
Personality type (choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholy):
Strongest/weakest character traits:
How can the flip side of his strong point be a weakness:
How much self-control and self-discipline does he have:
What makes him irrationally angry:
What makes him cry:
Fears:
Talents:
What people like best about him:
Interests and favorites:
Political leaning:
Collections:
Food, drink:
Music:
Books:
Movies:
Sports, recreation:
Did he play in school:
Color:
Best way to spend a weekend:
A great gift for this person:
Pets:
Vehicles:
What large possessions does he own (car, home, furnishings, boat, etc.)
and which does he like best:
Typical expressions:
When happy:
When angry:
When frustrated:
When sad:
Idiosyncrasies:
Laughs or jeers at:
Ways to cheer up this person:
Ways to annoy this person:
Hopes and dreams:
How does he see himself accomplishing these dreams:
What’s the worst thing he’s ever done to someone and why:
Greatest success:
Biggest trauma:
Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to him:
What does he care about most in the world:
Does he have a secret:
If he could do one thing and succeed at it, what would it be:
He is the kind of person who:
What do you love most about this character:
Why will the reader sympathize with this person right away:
How is the character ordinary or extraordinary:
How is his situation ordinary or extraordinary:
Core Need:
Corresponding psychological maneuver (delusions, obsessions,
compulsions, addictions, denials, hysterical ailments, hypochondria, illnesses,
behaviors harming the self, behavior harming others, manias, and phobias):
Anecdote (defining moment):
History:


Quick
Spoiler: show
Name:
Given Name:
Nickname(s):
Rank:
Title:
Occupation:
Nationality:
Age:
Hair:
Eyes:
Height:
Attire:
Personality:
Distinguishing Features:
Family:
Best Friend:
Pet(s):
Enemies:
Weapon(s):
Weakness(s):
Motto:
Favorite Saying:
Theme Song:
Most Prominent Virtue:
Pet Peeves:
Hobby(s):
Hero(s):
Favorite Book:
Dream(s):
That's all great stuff, Elf! You're absolutely right about the characters!
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:22 PM   #9
Call me Elf
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Default Re: .:Guide:. How to make a great character!

Thanks, Lu! Glad I could help!
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: .:Guide:. How to make a great character!

OOOOh, wow!!! thankies Lu!!!
I'm writing a book which is EXTREMELY slow process, and this would really help
((I'm proud of you too xD LOL))
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