You woke up in the middle of the night with a brilliant idea for a novel. The characters are running commentary in your head – giving you grief. So now what do you do? Let’s focus on the characters for this part.
How do you get your character to stand out, yet be relatable? Think about your character as you would a person. They will have emotions, they will have mannerisms, they will have quirks/kinks, they are imaginary people. Now it’s your job as an author to make them feel human. To make them come alive!
Let’s get down to the basics of your character. We need a little background on them.
- Full Name – First Middle & Last
- Meaning behind the name – named after a famous family member? Greek goddess? etc
- What does the character look like?
- hair color
- eye color
- mannerisms – this is important.
- distinguishing feature – copper hair, large nose, freckles, extremely tall.
- looks like which actor/actress?
- Type of music do they like?
- Type of food do they like?
- Favorite Sayings
- Favorite color?
- Favorite flower/car?
- Family members?
- Type of relationship with family? Close knit? Adrift?
- Grow up in a small town or big city or suburbs?
- A memory of childhood that affected them – good or bad.
- Darkest secret?
- Biggest dream?
- An obstacle to overcome?
- Habits? Good & bad.
- BFF/Role Model
- How does your character feel about sex?
- low self-esteem? Healthy self-esteem?
- Polite or rude?
- Mentally healthy?
Of course, there are other questions and descriptions you can add, but this is a start. Make sure you stay true to your character. If you see they are veering off course, refresh yourself with the list. Nothing chaps my ass more than a character who is out of character.
Make sure to do a list for each important character. That way you know what the character should be saying or doing and if they have jumped out of line, get them back into it.
Good luck. Don’t forget to hit me up for a book review when your book is all nice and polished and ready to go.