I’ve joined ‘The Great Blogging Experiment,’ and here is my assigned post. Writing Compelling Characters.
In other words, write believable characters. Your readers must believe this character is a real person, without your character actually being a real person. Lawsuits come to mind. In order for you to achieve this you must know your character, what is his/her habit, goal, weakness, need I go on? You need to have a psychological profile of your character in mind or written out that you can refer to. You may also want a general profile of your character on hand in a file somewhere.
How do you create a profile? A profile is a list of character traits and details that may never see the light of a published page. This is information that you, the author, refer to when you set your character in a scene and forget what kind of response your character would normally have to the stimulus you’ve created. The profile is kept as an easy reference guide. Either in a paper file or a desk top computer file. I knew one writer who actually had an astrological chart made for her characters. She said it helped her immensely, though I can’t imagine how.
I have a book that I refer to religiously when I am developing a new character, titled: 45 Master Characters, by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. (Click the title to view on Amazon). Within the pages each character type is listed by the Greek god/goddess that inspired the archetype. Once you know which one your character is, you can research their response to any given situation. You will learn the traits of the hero or villain both male and female. For major characters, choose more than one archetype, this allows you to layer your character, creating a depth of realism for your readers.
Who inspires your characters? Who mentors them? What is their darkest fear? What gives them the most pleasure? Who do they love more than themselves? Or, do they love only themselves? What are your character’s goals? Will their goals change over the course of the book? Or will they view their goals differently? Perhaps the character changes, matures or evolves in some way.
The other book that I refer to and you should to is: ‘The Writer’s Journey,’ 2nd Edition, by Christopher Vogler. (Click the title to go to Amazon). Buy it, study it, and let your craft soar.
Tomorrow I will post a profile list that you can copy and use if you want.
For the complete lists of participants go to Elana's blog...click her name and it will take you there. But wait, please leave a comment first.
Does this help?