Writing Mini-Lessons: Considerations in Creating a Character
Now that you have seen a demonstration about character development and how to complete a main character questionnaire, review these components, which are essential elements for creating a fictional character.
- Create a meaningful, interesting problem for the character, one that holds possibilities for you as a writer and one you can imagine.
- Decide what your character wants, and decide why he or she is having trouble getting it.
- Choose a name that fits the family background and setting and doesn’t take over or distract from the story.
- Choose an age you can imagine.
- Choose a family background you can imagine, plus one that will support the development of the problem.
- Choose a setting you know well enough to describe in accurate, believable detail.
- Choose favorite things for the character to do that reveal what he or she is like and that fit with each other and the character.
- Choose a cast of supporting characters who will reveal the main character and his or her problem but won’t distract from the main character.
- Let the plot grow from the tensions created by the character’s problems.
- Make the change in the character plausible and consistent with his or her personality.
- Make the resolution believable and consistent with who the character is and with the personalities of the supporting characters, especially those with whom the main character is in conflict.
- Keep the main character true to himself or herself: consider, at every step, would this person act this way?
A graphic organizer may help bring your character to life. Design your own or use this character map.