Welcome back, to another post in our World Building Category!
Today we are going to talk about creating your character! Same as my last post, this will be an overview sprinkled in with the steps I take.
So you have built your world, you have created the outlines of a few species, or races, or events, or anything. Next step? Create your protagonist or antagonist. Now if you are like me and created a protagonist as a race of beings, then lets talk about that leader for the purpose of this post, or your main character.
Creating a character happens more often then you think, and chances are, you have created one without even knowing it. Example #1: You take part in the amazing experience called Dungeons and Dragons, guess what, you have created a character, and I’m betting you had fun. Example #2: You’re a liar. Think about it, we have all lied at one point in our life, some of those lies even consisted of fake people or fake events. Guess what, you created a character. (So for anyone out there that says they can’t write, if you’ve lied you’ve verbally written!) *DISCLAIMER (I am not saying all writers are liars! Just some of them.) Example #3: Repeating events/encounters to your friends. You’re excited about a story or encounter that happened to you or someone you know. Guess what, we all exaggerate, and what’s exaggeration? Yep! part of story telling/writing! When you tweak the events or encounters even just a little, you are creating and building on characters. I feel three examples is enough, so let’s dive into the meat of this.
Hopefully, with the examples above, you can see that creating a character is not that scary of a feat. Quick note, don’t confuse this with creating a well rounded multi faceted character, we are just talking about bringing life to someone or something. So let’s talk about my process. The Last #1 had a focus on three characters, all of which were family, mom, Dad, and son. This little cheat, made creating my characters easy, they were family, which means similar interests and goals, (again not multi faceted in depth creation right now). I created a common purpose for two of those characters, protecting their son. With the son being my main character, I can’t spoil to much! So i will end it here.
Step 1: Compare to life
First step is to copy from real life. We have an enormous amount of examples all around us. You will find that any character you create will share similarities to a handful of people in this world. Break it down further, everyone in your life, including you, has goals, dreams, fears, strengths, jobs, and what not. Your character will also have all of these! As the step says, compare to life!
Step 2: Give them a purpose
Great, so you have created Bill, the $87,000 a year accountant that lives with his two cats. You have just taken your first steps in creating a character. Now he needs a purpose. Everyone needs a purpose in life right? (refer to step 1) The purpose is what breathes life into your character, it motivates Bill to keep working at his accounting job, or motivates him to leave, who knows. What we do know is that when a character has a purpose, they now have life, they have a reason to be followed, and a reason to why the reader should care about them.
Step 3: WRITE!
We just created Bill, the $87,000 a year accountant who’s two cats at home are actually trained assassins. He works his high paying job in order to be able to afford their assassin training. Do you see what I just did? I wrote! Creating a basic character is as easy as typing two sentences on your keyboard.
Let’s review it! Start by looking at your life and seeing characters all around you. Once you find one, give them purpose. Then wrap it all up by writing! Next thing you know, you’re going to have Bill the accountant running an underground high value cat assassin organization tasked with keeping peace in the world we know.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post on world building! If you are loving everything, make sure to follow me on Twitter: Sympl Books Instagram: Sympl17 Facebook: Sympl Comics. If you want an in depth look into my mind and my projects, take a look at https://www.patreon.com/Sympl17 and become a patron!