T is for Tailor Made Characters. Talk to them.
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! Tailor made characters are the best of the best because you created them to be different than the rest.
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.
When I read a book with riveting characters and the sequel finally hits
the market, reading book two often feels like I am meeting a group of
old friends again after a long interlude.
Here is a tip I use: When developing my characters, I write about them
like I know them. In other words, I imagine the people in my book have
been long time friends, or enemies, and I know them well enough to help
my readers know them.
can you write about a character if you have never met them? It's time
for you to meet your characters! Interview them. Talk to them. Ask them
questions. Talk to their friends and family. Ask their co-workers and
boss questions. Get to know your character so your readers can know them
This is the best and easiest way to Tailor your characters into perfection. What have you talked to your character about today?
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