Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Character Building, Part Two

Here are a few more tips on character building...

(1) Don't make your characters perfect. They have to have a flaw. The story will be too unrealistic if your characters are perfect. For example, I have a character named Honor. He's captain of the guard(called Draedenai in my book), and he is great at making strategies...but...he has this habit of constantly twirling his dagger around and around in his hand. Now, I had no intention of this habit showing up, but nevertheless, Honor won't quit spinning his dagger around, and in the end, it stuck with him.
(2)Start simple--perhaps you've thought of a cool name--write out a short description and maybe one prominent character trait...then let he/she/it develop as they want to.
(3)A character must grow, change, and mature--I guarantee it--no character you create will stay the way they started.

Now, this goes along with my first point. It is a quote by Madeleine L'Engle...
"The hero has great flaws, and the villain has a heart."
Quite cool to think about, isn't it?

Write On!!!
Shelby Marie


***Flinn-fan-of-the-Twins*** said...

Very helpful! Thanks! I am surprised to see in my writings the changes that have happened to my characters. A romance sprang up out of no where. I killed off a character that represents one of my best friends (sorry J.A.C.)! But even their courage or sense of honor changes. It's cool!

Sapphira Adi said...

Wow! Very helpful, Shelby! Hey, did you have a good birthday? By the way, love your new avatar! It rocks!


Elliot Reed said...

That's definatly true, and I would say that even if you have a point of change and a goal for that character to change to, it's not a bad thing if/when that gets changed, it will flow much better with the story.


Great post and hope you had a GREAT birthday!

Ian said...

See, here's why I didn't create a dominant story line for my books: my main characters main trait is that he thinks and daydreams a lot. This leads to some other interesting traits, and from wriitng the history, it seems to me that it has rubbed off on some of my character's accomplices. Therefore, they are going to get easily distracted, and I will be powerless to stop it. My intended path will be shattered, and they will get thrown about, no matter I'll just let that happen, see where it takes them, and send them out from there!

I was, however, in danger of making a virtually perfect character, and a nearly perfect race. I fortified the race with many of my thoughts on general society, and...well....I need to give them a I will. Arrogance...:)


Ian said...

By the way, I didn't mean to say that my thoughts are perfect, just that in my story, it would make the race seem nearly perfect.


Shelby Marie said...

Glad you like the tips...I have like another half a page to post about character building, if you want it.
Oh, and yes, I had a really, really good birthday.

Write On!!!
Shelby Marie

Paris said...

i have a problem of describing the characters too much at the beginning of a story. i'm getting better at revealing certian traits leter on though.

Anonymous said...

If you like reading Christian fantasy and allegory, may I suggest one to try? "Outcasts of Skagaray" by Andrew Clarke. See the excerpts on See what you think! It was written for open hearted Christians.