We all have heard the maxim ‘a character can make or break a story.’ It’s therefore understandable that you’d want to create an interesting character for your upcoming story. You already have the idea for the plot. You only need characters – the most unique, interesting ones that your readers will ever come across. There’s just one problem. You don’t know where to start. It is every writer’s desire to create a character that resonates with their readers. But how do you achieve that? Below is a short guide on creating original characters.
They are one facet of a good story
The first thing you need to be aware of is that characters are only one facet of a story. They are indeed essential part of the story. However, if they don’t have a twisty plot for them to do something or a world where they can traipse around, then they will most likely get bored, not to mention your readers won’t make halfway through the story.
Listen to your characters
Your characters will undoubtedly come to life. They will have opinions, decisions to make and if they feel like they aren’t in love with the hero, there’s no need to force things. They will face challenges, some of which they will surpass and some of which they won’t. They will happy at times and unhappy at other times. Try to keep an open mind as they know who they are. Better yet, listen to their suggestions.
Characters need flaws
In storytelling, it’s against the cardinal rules to have characters that are perfect. Even when he’s selfless and brave, the hero can’t lack flaws especially if they also happen to have great looks and a talent for swordplay. They need to have a weakness. They need to have obsessions, fears and quirks. They need to be imperfect. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough.
Characters need goals
Everyone in life has a goal to achieve, characters need them too it makes them relatable. This goal needs to have obstacles in the way to achieving it as well. Make it real, and readers will understand them more. This goal will need to be clear, as without it your story won’t have a direction to go in.
Don’t make them entirely one thing
Villains aren’t the devil incarnate and Heroes cannot be just angelic. Characters need positive and negative traits to make them human. Even aliens need to be relatable, nothing in the world can be completely dark or light. Take Regina or Mary Margret from Once Upon a Time, they both have the tiniest treads of their opposite inside them. Regina has good bits and Mary Margret has bad bits. It makes characters whole.
What do you think makes a good character? Let me know in the comments below!