One of the most important aspects of any novel is the main character. And this is true for both the reader and the writer.
As a reader, if we don't connect with that character in some way, many times we won't continue reading. And as a writer, if we don't like the character, we won't continue writing him or her.
There have been numerous books written on how to create the perfect character and each writer has their favorite way to bring those characters to life. Many writers fill out in-depth character sheets and profiles, conduct interviews with their characters or even write the whole back story for that person.
Others, get to know their characters as they write the story. They choose to be surprised as their character
And, honestly…there's not wrong or way to create characters. It's whatever works best for you and your writing style. I've got some character profile sheets along with interview questions I'll share later on.
But for now, I want to focus on what makes a great character. What it is that draws us to that character.
Instead of pulling characters from books, I'm going with a couple from television since our reading tastes probably vary widely. Two of my favorite characters right now are Temperance Brennan from Bones and Brenda Lee Johnson from The Closer. I love these two ladies and while they are both very different people on the outside, on the inside they have some very similar qualities.
For example, both are very strong women in male dominated careers. They are both determined, almost to the point of being stubborn but they are both honorable and have a strong sense of duty.
Both women also have a complex back story and as the series progresses, we get to see glimpses that history along with how it shaped their personalities.
So…for the next couple days, think about your favorite characters and some of the things you like about them. Maybe make a list of character traits you'd like to incorporate into your characters.
If you enjoy writing books, here's a couple I have on characters. Well, more than a couple but I have this fetish for writing books.:-)
Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint by Nancy Kress
Dynamic Characters also by Nancy Kress
Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
Breathing Life Into Your Characters by Rachel Ballon
Bullies, Bastards & Bitches by Jessica Page Morrell
The Writer's Guide to Character Traits by Linda Edelstein
Careers for Your Characters by Raymond Obstfeld & Franz Neumann
What Would Your Character Do? by Eric & Ann Maisel
Got any you'd like to share?