I have been thinking a lot about the next step and I have realised that I can’t go further in the story until I have more characters. So the next week we will continue the character creation. You can create one or more characters, as you find more convenient. I would like to create three characters and what I expect as a result is that I will see the beginning of the story more clearly. At the moment the middle of my story has more characters and it is more defined than the beginning. I want to change this by working on characters from the beginning of the story.
What makes a character a believable character?
In my opinion it is important that the characters of a story are believable and realistic. What I mean by this is that they act and think like human beings. They have real emotions, they have fears and problems. They make good and bad decisions, sometimes they can’t even decide on something. The actions they took will affect their story in a good or in a bad way. This will make them change too. They are far away from perfect, they will do mistakes and sometimes fall a few times before they realise they do something wrong.
How can you check if your character is believable?
First take a look at his strenghts and weaknesses. If you see that there are way too many things listed as his strenghts and barely something as a weakness then that is a sign that he is too good. If he can fight in many ways, he is strong, he is clever, and he does everything right from the start then he might also be too good for a character. Everybody makes mistakes, and every people has weaknesses. Perfect people doesn’t exist.
Another way is to ask yourself in a given situation of your character: what would I do in his place? or what would my friend do? Now check what you have planned for the character to do. Is that a realistic decision for him? For example: your character is a young boy who is playing with his friends in the woods. He hears some strange noises, then he sees a boar. What will he do? I believe he won’t get his short knife out and run towards the boar shouting “I will kill you!”. He will probably turn to pale and he might not be able to move at all.
Sometimes characters act in an unpredictable way. That is good. You can’t always plan their moves, they will act on their own and that is a good thing. If you plan their actions they might turn to be a boring character. Let them do what they want, even f they do crazy or wrong things. That will make the character interesting and not so perfect.
What to avoid while creating a character
Look out for perfect characters. If a character can win all the time, if he never does anything wrong then there is a high chance that your character is a godly, perfect character. People don’t like perfect characters because they can’t relate to them. They are boring. Who cares if he can do everything without any effort? Your readers have problems in life too and they want to root for someone, and follow a characters story especially if they can relate to that character. And they relate to them if they see that the characters have similar problems or they have such difficulties that triggers some emotions from the reader.
Next week’s assignment:
- Create at least one charcater
- Fill out the Character Sheet
- Bonus: sketch the character (we will do more sketches later, this is just a warm-up)
- If you have not yet subscribed to the mailing list I suggest to do so, you will get the assignments to your mail box weekly