Another tip from Writing-world.com, and this one is, to me, about creating memorable characters. Characters who stay with you long after you’ve put the book down. No easy feat, but then if it was, no one would be reading this blog, right?
I have to be honest, the most memorable characters I’ve created are the ones I didn’t really know that well going in to the story. I don’t if that’s because they ‘grew up’ as I wrote them or if they were just able to surprise me, but whatever I did to make that happen, I’m glad I did it. Ultimately, though, characters should probably be well-defined before you even start writing, but you can’t always do that, and good characters rarely stay within the confines of a character outline.
Finding Your Characters
Read the full article at http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/cook.shtml
When you left the cinema as a child, did you dance off down the street, convinced you were the Gene Kelly character? Nowadays, are you the hero or heroine whenever you read a novel?
The cinema hero probably owed more to the skills of the actor than the writer. One thing’s for sure – you got to know him pretty intimately during the big picture. But the successful writer can make you “see” characters without the aid of pictures. And the most successful characters in fiction are the ones you identify with or feel you know.
At the risk of sounding obvious, writing and reading are complementary activities. The writer must engage the reader with realistic characters. And the reader should be able to say, “That’s me!” – or, “I used to know her.”
Characters are the driving force behind the plot. They’re not vehicles, dragging the plot behind them like a trailer. You live your life, it doesn’t just “happen” to you. You do things, say things that reveal who you are – and so should your characters. To the author they must be real because he/she breathed life into them. They have a name and a history.