Characters tell your tale; if they are boring, flat, or common your story will be, too.
- Characters need personality (thus the designation character) and a name that will cause that your readers to remember and relate to them throughout the book.
a. The way your character dresses also adds personality and can make him/her very distinctive in the reader’s mind. A personal eccentricity or oddity or a mysterious quality is also a good personality trait.
b. Some sort of skill or power, a special experience, a history or past, humor or the lack thereof adds character.
c. These characteristics could also be mannerisms or physical traits. Examples:
The character seems to stop everything to stare at the moon at midnight. She/he bites his/her lips when presented with a big problem. He/she has a lisp and is very touchy about it. He/she is missing an arm. When he/she passes me I am transported to a meadow of wild flowers. He has a handlebar mustache, a crooked smile, a patch in his/her eye, or cat-shaped eyes.
- It’s crucial that the main character be developed by the action in the story. He/she needs to learn and to become better than how he/she started out in the tale. A character that doesn’t have a reason to become better is a flat character and no one will connect with him/her.
- Make your heroes stand out:
For this, your character needs goals and motives or purposes to reach those goals. For example:
The antagonist (evil one) is coming to destroy everything the character believes in and he/she is the only one who can stop him/her.
This requires a reason why is he/she the only one. Maybe it is because your character’s destiny is to rule over his/her people. He/she is the first born of so and so and that makes him/her immune to the powers of the evil one. For that same reason, he/she has the ability to create or use some special powers.
- The way your character talks also makes him/her memorable, or blah as the case may be. You cannot have all the characters talk the same; each needs its own mannerisms.
- A king will not talk the same as a peasant.
- An astronomer won’t speak like a cartoonist.
- A teenager will converse very distinctly from a teacher.
- Someone from the 28th century won’t communicate like someone from King Arthur’s court.
- Connect your readers with your characters with their five senses, all at once or any combination of them. That will make them stand out. If they can see them in their minds, feel their strength, smell their perfume, taste their kiss, and hear their talk; then you have created someone worth knowing.
All of these and other ideas, arranged carefully, will give you characters that your readers will bond with and remember almost forever. Thus, let them act out their oddities throughout the pages of your book. It is what makes them killer characters.
Now go, and happy writings to you…
Tags: 28th century, A teenager, antagonist, astronomer, book, cartoonist, evil, five senses, goal, handlebar mustache, history, humor, killer characters, king, kiss, lisp, mannerisms, meadow, memorable, moon, mysterious, oddity, patch in his/her eye, peasant, personality, personality trait, power, skill, traits, wild flowers