Five steps to make a killer character

Five steps to make a killer character
Five steps to make a killer character
Characters are what tell your tale; if they are boring, flat, or common your story will be, too. 1. Characters need personality (thus the name character) and a name that will cause that your readers to remember and relate to them throughout the book. 2. It’s crucial that the main character be developed by the action in the story. He/she needs to learn and to become better than how he/she started out in the tale. A character that doesn’t have a reason to become better is a flat character and no one will connect with him/her. 3. Then you need to make your heroes stand out: Most importantly, your character needs goals and motives or purposes to reach those goals. For example: The evil one (antagonist) is coming to destroy everything the character believes in and he/she is the only one who can stop him/her. This requires a reason why is he/she the only one. Maybe it is because your character’s destiny is to rule over his/her people. He/she is the first born of so and so and that make him/her immune to the powers of the evil one. For that same reason, he/she has the ability to create or use some special powers. 4. Make your characters memorable with an eccentricity or oddity about themselves or give them some mysterious quality: some sort of skill or power, a special experience, a history or past, humor or the lack thereof. These characteristics could also be physical. Examples: The character seems to stop everything to stare at the moon at midnight. She/he bites her/his lips when presented with a big problem. He/she has a lisp and is very touchy about it. He/she is missing an arm. When he/she passes me I am transported to a meadow of wild flowers. He has a handlebar mustache, a crooked smile, a patch in his/her eye, or cat-shaped eyes. 5. The way your character dresses also adds personality traits and can make him/her a very distinctive in the reader’s mind. Examples: Eccentricity: The girl has nothing but silks in her closet, yet she lives in the forest. Mysterious: The words “a rugged man” tell more about the character than to just say “a poor man”. It could also be a spy or a person who has no goals or future. Experience: A mountain man will never dress the same as a city slicker. Oddity: A geek will not dress like an outgoing trendy character. Historical: A princess’ apparel will be more elaborate than that of her ladies-in-waiting and even more so than that of her servants. If you put silk on a peasant and have him/her talk or act as a peasant it will make him/her memorable and mysterious. (If done wrong it can lose your credibility with your readers.) 6. The way your character talks also makes him/her memorable, or blah as the case may be. You cannot have all the characters talk the same; each needs its own mannerisms. A king will not talk the same as a peasant. An astronomer won’t speak like a cartoonist. A teenager will converse very distinctly from a teacher. Someone from the 28th century will not communicate like someone from King Arthur’s court. 7. Every time your reader can connect with your characters by any of their five senses, or a combination of them, they will identify with them. If they can see them in their minds, feel their strength, smell their perfume, taste their kiss, and hear their talk; then you have created someone who will stand out in your readers’ memory for a long time.
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