By: Peter Rey
You can write a romance. You can write a thriller or a fantasy. You can write whatever kind of story you want.
In any case you’re at least going to have to create a character.
More likely, you’re going to have to fill your stories up with characters. A lot of them.
And chances are that in most cases you’re going to have to create them from scratch—especially if you want to avoid being sued.
As a result, it’s important to know how to create a character as interesting and compelling as possible. After all, a story can be extremely promising from a purely plot-wise point of view, nevertheless it can fall flat on its face if the characters populating it are nothing more than banal stereotypes.
After all, when we pick up a book we want to be moved, thrilled, scared. We want to get a glimpse of interesting and unexpected hypotheses about the meaning of life, of death and whatever else in between. But for sure we don’t want to be fed with banalities, with stale and flat characters.
The key ingredient to create a character who feels real
Looking around on the Internet it’s all too easy to come across many articles detailing how to create compelling characters.
They tell you characters must be compassionate, likable, very good at least at one thing. They must be bright and self-assured. They must be brave and sensible. They must have evocative names and interesting backstories.
This list could go on for quite a while, but the truth about such a litany of “desirable traits “ is that even though they can be helpful, they don’t help beginning writers to get to the core of the question.
In fact, what a character really needs, if he or she is to become a memorable one, is a good amount of complexity and conflict.
I mean. It’s like in real life. We may know a lot of people superficially. But it’s only those we get to know better we fall in love with, or really come to loathe. There’s no way around it. The more we know about someone, the more our feelings can grow for the better or the worse.
In a novel, the same principle applies.
. . .
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