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Creating Your Character

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Creating Your Character

I belong to a number of writing groups on Facebook and I’ve been seeing a disturbing trend. Writers and would-be writers asking for help in creating their characters. This boggles my mind. People, the story and characters come from your imagination! If you are unable to name your character or define their personality and motivations, how the hell are you going to write a story? Unless you are rich and hire someone to write your story for you, every word comes from your mind. Start thinking and stop asking for help!

Naming Your Character

First off, naming your character is as simple as grabbing a phone book and creating names from the listings there. Another method is to use a Name Generator. Open a search engine, type in Name Generator and off you go. You can make an ordinary name a bit different by changing a letter or two.

Example

In the Ravynwyng Chronicles, my main character is Ravyn Wyng. Instead of using Raven Wing, I changed a couple letters.

Name Generators

All right, back to creating characters. Name Generators. Below are several useful links for naming your characters.

Behind the Name Random Name Generator

Wordlab Name Generators

Seventh Sanctum Name Generators

If you can’t come up with a name using one of the above sites, I don’t know what will.

Character Descriptions

Again, this is where your imagination comes into play. The character is YOUR creation. You are the one that gives them life; from where they live, to their favorite food, and their deepest fears. This comes from your imagination. How much detail

Example

Ravyn Wyng is a 26 year old female. She grew up in the foster system which has left her with physical and psychological scars. She’s married to Jennifer Wells, who helps keep her sanity intact. Involved in a car accident and road rage attack, Ravyn now suffers from PTSD and had a break down that required hospitalization.

To help you flesh out your characters, I’ve included a Characterization Chart at the end of this post. Use it for all your characters. Remember, the better you know your characters and their motivations, the better your story will be.

Characterization Chart

Character Name:  

Sex:

Age:

Birth Date:

Physical Appearance: (Body Type, hair, eyes, facial features, dress, posture, movements, mannerisms, speech, first impression)

Background that may influence motivation: (Education, religion, family, early childhood experiences, financial situation, profession, marital status, other relationships, habits, surroundings/environment, health.

The inner person: (Distinctive traits, self-image, yearnings/dreams, fears/apprehensions, sense of humor, code of ethics, attitude (optimistic? Overly sensitive?)

Other details: (Hobbies, favorite foods, colors, books, music, art)

Positive traits:

Negative traits: (Character flaws)

Brief Bio:

May the words ever flow!


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Writing Quotes — Janet Evanovich
The Bow of Destiny Featured on Speculative Cantina