Thursday, 23 June 2011

Characters

In answer to the Alternative Read Blog Hop question:
When creating a main character, is it better to start with a good girl/guy with a drop of bad or vice versa?


When devising a fictional character, we should choose their unique set of characteristics with care to ensure they are believable.

One technique to avoid stereotypes and clich├ęs is to mix and match attributes so that characters take on a distinct personality, but credibility is still key.

For my part, I tend to draw on the real world - people I know (or know of), personal experiences etc.

Characters should be complex, not one dimensional i.e. like people in the real world. Certain characteristics may dominate, but generally people are a mix of a range of characteristics, and which ones come to the fore will vary in different situations. A well-drawn character will have positive and negative aspects and the mix of good/bad will change during the course of a novel as characters respond to the dynamic circumstances of the plot.

If we regard characters as being on a journey where conflict plays a pivotal role, it figures that the early stages of a novel where conflict is rife will be more likely to bring out the 'bad'side of a character than the later stages when the conflict has beeen resolved.

In my writing, I find that my characters grow almost organically so they develop and change throughout the course of a novel anyway.

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