Writing Saturday (On Monday); Creating Nonexistent characters

9:16 AM

I meant to post this Saturday, but I didn’t finish it and get it posted. Sorry about that. I hope it is helpful to you now.

How do you create many different characters to make your book come alive? What are some of the things needed to make a character that the reader will identify with or connect with? Today, I would like to share some of the things that I have learned with you by introducing you to some of my characters.

The first character I would like you to meet is Winter. She has a supporting role in one of my books as a girl who has a lot of issues, but in the end ends up embracing the faith. The two things that define Winter’s character are her beauty and her way of speech. Here is a sample.

“Well, like, thank you. Come Maria, we must get home before mother begins to worry what has happened to us,” Winter said with one last smile to the USF officer, then she quickly led Maria out into the street again.

“Security checks are, like, so annoying,” Winter said, flipping her hair off her shoulder then giggled; “It’s a good thing that I know how to get out of them.”

“What? Do you always leave your ID card at home?” Maria asked, a little annoyed with Winter's performance.

“Like, no. I have to have it with me all the time. It is right in my purse where I always keep it,” Winter said.

Maria stopped dead in her tracks, and Winter turned to see what was wrong.

“You mean you lied to that guy?”

“Like, yeah,” Winter said without a hint of regret.

“Why?”

“Do you know how many stupid times a week that I get stopped for a ‘random’ security check? At least five, sometimes more. The only thing that they are checking for is if I am open for a date.”

Notice how she dropped the word "like" into every sentence and how her beauty has affected her life and character.

Next, I would like you to meet is another supporting character. His name is Daniel, and he is a brother to the main character.

“Well, gang; let’s get to our boarding gate. We don’t want to miss our flight,” Maria’s father said, staring down the long hallway on which the boarding gates were.

“What number are we looking for?” Daniel asked.

“Let’s see here,” Stephen said, looking down at his communicator which held all the fight information. “We are looking for boarding gate 2-0-0-9.”

“Come on, Richard, let’s go find it,” Daniel said, and the two boys started to run ahead.

“Daniel, Richard, come back here,” Linda called. The boys reluctantly waited for the others to catch up and then walked just in front of them

“There it is!” Daniel shouted. “Gate 2-0-0-9.” Sure enough, there was a steel colored door just to the right of them, and it had black numbers that read 2-0-0-9. Daniel jumped over to the door and pulled hard to open it.
*******

“Welcome aboard the space plane Solar Flare,” a woman greeted as she scanned their passports to make sure that they had purchased tickets for this flight. “Thank you,” the woman said handing them back their passports and waved them on. As they entered, Maria cast one longing look toward the cockpit.

“I want to see inside there someday,” she whispered to Daniel.

“You will,” he said confidently. “When I get my pilot’s license and have my own spaceship, I’ll give you a tour.”

“Daniel, you’re not taking flying lessons and you’re not even working and saving money so that you can go to the flight academy. How do you think you are ever going to get a spaceship?”

“You sound too much like Mom sometimes,” Daniel said plopping down in his seat. Maria shook her head. Sometimes she wondered about her brother. What did he think was going to happen? That someone would just suddenly give him his own spaceship and a scholarship to the academy?

Daniel still has a lot of kid in him and, if you didn’t notice, he doesn’t like people telling him what to do.

The last character I would like you to meet is Anna, Daniel and Maria’s sister.

“Leah, look at your dress. I told you that you ought to go to your house and change. Now it’s stained red from the Martian dirt,” Anna, said to her ten-year-old cousin. Leah looked down at her red stain and then looked back up at Anna, her eyes pleading.

“Anna, do you think you can get it out? Mommy won’t be happy if she sees it.”

“Well, she is going to see, but I will try to get it out for you. Bring it to me later today, and I will see what I can do,” Anna replied.

*****

“Are you okay?” Anna asked. Maria didn’t even open her eyes.

“Yeah, I’m just trying to figure out what to do.”

“You’ll do the right thing, I know,” Anna encouraged. Maria looked at her sister and smiled.

“I don’t think I could do any wrong in your eyes. According to you I always make the right choices,” Maria said with a smile.

“I was just saying that…” Anna began.

“Anna, it’s okay. It’s just that you never seem to see any wrong in me, and I find that funny.”

As you see Anna is a sweet and sensitive girl who likes everyone to be happy. It is important to give all your characters different personalities and different struggles. That is what makes a book good.

There are to other aspects that I don’t have any really good examples for right now, but you should keep in mind, the first being a character shaped by their past. What was their life like as a child, what kind of friends they had, and/or any major event in their past can have a lot to do with how they act in your book.

Another thing to keep in mind is fears. All of us have at least one fear in our life, and so should your characters, whether that is fear of failure, fear of heights, fear of bugs, or something unusual like fear of mountains or snow.

Wow, this ended up being a long post, but it is by no means exhaustive. Do you have anything that you would like to add?

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1 comments

  1. Good post, Sarah :) I think I struggle sometimes with making each of my characters unique and different from each other, but I'm working on that!

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