How do you create dynamic characters? There are many theories out there and I’ve found a great deal of them to be useful. The main thing is to remember that if your characters are perfect — they’re also most likely dull and not relatable. To prevent that from happening, I’ve provided links to a few tools you can use to create characters that grab people’s attention.
As you see in my photo, I’ve used a visual representation to help me think about my characters. While I am definitely not the best sketcher, I am able to get an idea of what they look like when I draw them.
This handy sheet allows you to think about the character’s problem, past, solutions to their problem, traits, and the change they undergo. I found it on Totally Terrific in Texas, where you can print it off and use it for yourself.
I found it to be both entertaining and educational. The video also gave me some good ideas.
If you’re looking for an in-depth character outline, you can find one on Creative Writing Now. The list makes you think of details a real person would possess, like attitude toward religion and favorite sports. I found this list a bit helpful for side plot development too.
Check out the outline here.
A humorous character creation video is offered by John Green. He plays a soccer video game while discussing theory and application.
He discusses the difficulty of “showing” what a character is like with text and without images. This man is endlessly entertaining.
David Corbett at Writer’s Digest gives some ideas as well. There are suggested methods of creating multifaceted characters. Check out the article here.
So what’s on my book shelf concerning characters? I bought Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood a couple of years ago. It’s a collection of emotions and strategies for writing them into the novel — very helpful.
Other writing tips and ideas: