Recipe for Writing Compelling Characters:
|Go ahead, mould me!|
The best way to answer these questions is to use a Character Template. I always flesh out my characters this way. And if you want to get really creative - try putting together Character Collages, they're lots of fun! Grab a pair of scissors, glue and cardboard and pull out those back dated issues of Vogue, Cosmo, Harpers, Vanity Fair, House & Garden!
Add the following Ingredients:
1. Voice, voice and yes more voice....and at the risk of having a barrage of tomatoes tossed at us, lets chant it calmly...Voice, voice, voice! Your character must have a voice. Give her a great big fabulous voice! Make her sing, let her cry, make her thoughts intriguing...
2. Language - Add liberally - where does your character live? Does she have an interesting accent? Will she stutter when tall, dark and dashing stranger approaches her? Does she swear like a trooper? Does our favourite girl have a quirky remark that slips out from time to time.
3. Dreams - We all love to dream. What's yours? What's your characters? Give her ambition. Give her hopes - break them, burn them, tear them down and build them up - just please give the dear girl something to strive-whine-pine for.
4. Unique Habits - Add a splash of uniqueness to your character. Make her special, give her some charming habits that will make your reader laugh. Does she always cross the road when men in plaid suits walk towards her. Or, perhaps she has a nervous cough whenever a nun passes by her...a hangover from her school days. Unfortunate then, that she lives next door to the convent. Maybe she wears purple underwear on a Wednesday, turns the teapot three times before pouring and twists her hands whenever 'he' approaches. Give her something to do with those hands.
5. Conflict - She walks like a supermodel, has the voice of an angel, stutters at Mr. Right, falls for Mr. Wrong, and has a driving ambition to reach her dreams. So what do you do? Give her some conflict - make her work for that dream!! Come on we all have to, why shouldn't she?
1. Use a firm grip on your storyteller wooden spoon, and stir all the above ingredients very carefully...just so. Give your character a great plot to weave her way through. Enormous hurdles, emotional highs and lows...quiet reflective moments. Make your reader stick with your character until the end.
2. Remember taste your mixture to get it just right. More spice?
3. Pour the tantalising creation into a baking dish....place in preheated PC for at least 80,000 words.
4. Use oven mitts to remove from PC.
5. Let cool for a month. Review, add extra seasonings if needed.
6. Serve proudly with relish!
And lastly, embellish greatly and enjoy your writing!
|Compelling? Here's one I prepared earlier.|
A/N: Photocredits, purchased via shutterstock.
A big thank you to Alex J Cavanaugh, Elana Johnson and Jen Daiker for hosting such a mammoth blogging experiment!