By: Theresa Snyder, @TheresaSnyder19
Sci-fi author Theresa Snyder analyses what makes a very good character and how to have one even in sci-fi stories.
Last weekend I saw yet another visually stunning science fiction film with lack luster characters. Science fiction seems to be the home of under developed characters with overblown settings both in books and film. Technology cannot take the place of artful character development.
Characters are the soul of any story. They need to be vivid, relatable.
Let’s look at some good examples:
In Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card the reader feels the isolation of Ender. They experience his loneliness as each successive person he learns to care about is ripped from his life.
In Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon the reader is compelled to relive Nykyrian’s difficult past along with him in order to accomplish his mission. The reader wants him to succeed. The reader longs for him to be redeemed.
Han Solo in the Star Wars saga stands out as a well developed motion picture character. He’s one you can sink your teeth into - the rogue who is redeemed in spite of his past.
Pick a novel, any novel, or a movie. If you loved it, that love was based on the author’s ability to wrap you up in the life of their characters. Vivid characters are the soul of a great story. What makes a character come alive? What gets an audience involved and compels them to keep reading or watch yet another sequel?
If you search the internet you will find lists of rules for character development. These are the ones that keep me reading or shelling out the big bucks for the blockbusters. As a writer these are the ones I try to make sure my characters abide by:
- Physical Description. This doesn’t have to be regurgitated in a couple of sentences when the character is first introduced. It can be handed out in bits and pieces to link together and fill in the empty spots with your imagination. Game of Thrones’ author George R. R. Martin crafts great physical descriptions.
Read the full article HERE!
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