Who Are You? Getting to Know Your Character!
It’s a problem most writers have. It’s easy to picture them; what they look like, the feeling they bestow on you and perhaps a few of the quirks, habits or hobbies they have. But then you place them into your story and they just don’t belong.
There are, of course many tools you can use to decide who your character is. You’re able to pre-determine everything about them. But does that really help? Well if it doesn’t for you, then we are in the same boat.
Because of that, I’d like you to try something new. Don’t plan your character. Take that photo of your character in your mind and get to know them as you write, perhaps imagine them living your day. As a way to practice the technique, here’s a short example.
I’m at the store shopping for groceries.
Charlie looks down at her list as she picked out a fresh looking bundle of bananas. Next up is cereal. As she walks slowly down the isles she notices a brightly colored display of flours. Looking down at the list, she looks back at the display, biting at her lip. She knows she’s no good with plants, and they’re not on the list. Soon she is walking down the cereal isle, a violet in her cart.
This is a situation you may actually see your character in and from this short moment, you can figure out what your character would do in another situation or other situations this character may face.
That’s why your character doesn’t need to be planned out. Let them grow on their own and, when needed, explain how your character gained these skills/ behaviors.
What traits do you see Charlie having? Can you think of any situations that Charlie may come into later based on this shopping trip? Can you tell me what Charlies home might look like? Why did se pick a violet?
Try it out and see what you think and feel free to introduce me to your characters and I can try to answer any questions you may have. 😀