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The Creative Process > Rounded characters

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message 1: by Jess (new)

Jess | 104 comments We have threads about characters we love (or hate) and characterization, but how do you create the characters we all love? How do you know if you have a unique character, or if it's just a copy? Do you have any hints on how to make the characters more realistic?


message 2: by Ayunda (new)

Ayunda (ayundabs) I usually get inspiration of my characters from real-life people like my friends or family. I just change a little bit, so they are not exactly the same.


message 3: by AnQi (new)

AnQi (anqiyu) | 16 comments I think adding quirks to your characters can make them more realistic. What do they do when they're nervous? When they're happy? etc. I also think it's good to make sure they're not flawless. If anybody is perfect, like Edward kind of is in Twilight, than that makes them unbelievable.


message 4: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess Okay, this sounds weird, but there are a handful for characters that have been developed based on their clothes.
For example, my favorite character in my current novel-I somehow got the idea into my head of black. Black, smart pants. a smooth black shirt, and a black waist coat on a gangly man with black hair.
From there I started thinking more in depth, with his sly and cold personality, he is a criminal and con man from Switzerland, high class, most wanted etc etc.
That may sound weird, but many of my character are born through clothes.


message 5: by Jordan (new)

Jordan (flyinglogicmonkey) | 54 comments That doesn't sound weird... :)

Two of my NaNo characters were kind of born that way. First demeanor, then style, then names, and now personality and backstory.


message 6: by Jess (new)

Jess | 104 comments That's really cool! I usually get a role and build my character around it. I have a healer planned for my NaNo book, and her character was a lot easier to flesh out (in my head) once I decided she'd be a healer.
Oh, and I actually disagree that Edward's perfect. He's for sure got a temper and he's a bit arrogant.


message 7: by Jordan (new)

Jordan (flyinglogicmonkey) | 54 comments Yet Stephenie Meyer thinks he's perfect. He's definitely a Mary-Sue character, in my opinion.

And yay, fellow insane NaNo-er. :)


message 8: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess Just throwing this out there: No boyfriend could be perfect if he "Could slip and crush your skull"
And rather that not be on the cards in a relationship.
But you know, thats just me!


message 9: by AnQi (new)

AnQi (anqiyu) | 16 comments Jess wrote: "That's really cool! I usually get a role and build my character around it. I have a healer planned for my NaNo book, and her character was a lot easier to flesh out (in my head) once I decided sh..."

Yes, I agree. :D


message 10: by Ebehi (last edited Oct 25, 2010 11:24PM) (new)

Ebehi (hardlysimilar) | 6 comments Yay! more Nano-ers!
One way to flesh out characters is to let the characters' actions speak for them. Instead of saying "James was an arrogant man" you could describe how he raised a supercilious eyebrow at his personal assistant who had dared to offer him a suggestion.


message 11: by LeAnn (new)

LeAnn (leannrf) | 16 comments I have often wondered this myself and this is an element that overwehelms me (hence my writer's block that won't go away). How do I made my characters come alive and realistic? I don't know that many people. What kind of quirks do they have? what makes them stand out?


message 12: by Maggi (new)

Maggi | 73 comments ya wat i do 2 make sure tht my characters r "rounded" is i make sure @ give them flaws.


message 13: by Arch (new)

Arch  | 90 comments First thing, I make my characters lovable to me. I'm the person who has to love my characters. I'm like Maggi as well, I give them flaws.

I strongly believe in putting realism into fiction. There's nothing super about my characters. My characters are mirrors, someone might seen themselves in my characters.

Another thing, I tend to write about characters that some people don't write about. Like right now, I'm writing a story - I'm not an author, just a writer that has been writing for 23 years, in a couple more months, it will be 24 years. Anyway, my hero (Cop) is bald. I haven't read a romance story where the hero was bald.

If a character is different that character can stand out. Not only is my character bald, his name is Cop.


message 14: by LeAnn (new)

LeAnn (leannrf) | 16 comments I see what you mean. I noticed when reading books or stories that the author will give characters certain quirks and that also makes them more real and believable.

And yes, if I don't love my characters, then how can I expect my readers to like them?


message 15: by Maggi (new)

Maggi | 73 comments ya a lot of my books actually started with just an idea for a good charater.


message 16: by Kristen (new)

Kristen (kristentaber) | 32 comments People have flaws. If your characters don't have any, no one will believe they're real.


message 17: by Maggi (new)

Maggi | 73 comments ya! And isnt that sort of the point of being and author?


message 18: by Kristen (new)

Kristen (kristentaber) | 32 comments lol, Maggi. I would suppose so :).


message 19: by Jess (new)

Jess | 104 comments I agree that the flaws and quirks make a character more real, I've also read books where it defines the character, making them one-sided. So I think it's a fine line to walk.


message 20: by Kristen (new)

Kristen (kristentaber) | 32 comments One dimensional characters in any direction are a bad thing. If a character isn't real - in the way that they have enough interesting human characteristics to make them life-like - then your audience won't connect with them. It doesn't matter how good your story is, if your audience can't connect with your characters, you're doomed.


message 21: by Maggi (new)

Maggi | 73 comments i am in complete agreement with you there :)


message 22: by Ayunda (new)

Ayunda (ayundabs) Arch wrote: "First thing, I make my characters lovable to me. I'm the person who has to love my characters. I'm like Maggi as well, I give them flaws.

I strongly believe in putting realism into fiction. The..."


Your character is very interesting! I am also quite confused on making unique and interesting yet life-like characters. It's just so hard. I usually end up making common characters, like geek girl with long hair and glasses or something like that.


message 23: by Arch (new)

Arch  | 90 comments ayundabs wrote: "Your character is very interesting! I am also quite confused on making unique and interesting yet life-like characters. It's just so hard. I usually end up making common characters, like geek girl with long hair and glasses or something like that. "

Ayundabs, to me there's no such thing as common characters. They are unique in their own way. So what you have geek girls with long hair and glasses! That's your puppet, bring it on stage.

I write about nerds. I'm a nerd. Just because my hero can be tough and dangerous, it doesn't mean that he can't be a nerd.


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