Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Designing a Character

Designing characters is like designing a dress. There is a pattern you start with but you are free add lace, replace buttons with a zipper, and use a different type of fabric than what the pattern calls for in the directions. Feel free to subtract inches and in-seams if necessary. Use elastic instead of string. It's your dress! Follow the pattern, but improvise!

Have you created a character? Have you given him or her a problem?

Okay, the next thing in designing a character is to make sure your character has a very gripping and compelling need. The kind of need you give your character may change before the story ends, but without a need that drives your character forward, the will be no need to have a story. And the need may be different than the problem he or she must work through. Or it may be the same.

Shae has a compelling need. She has several, really, but from the beginning, her need is to find out where she is and more importantly, remember who she is. I have decided that once she remembers who she is and where she is, about half way through the book, that her needs and problems will completely change. They will no longer be focused on her, but on others. And before the book is finished, her needs will change again and the compelling force that drives her forward, and the plot, will be centered on both her and others.

What need or needs can you give your character? Put him or her in the middle of problem and drive them into the plot with a need that must be satisfied.

The next lesson will be about the characters work place and what he or she may do just for fun.

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