Okay. We have finished your character’s creation. during the preceding What’s in Character blog posts. You’ve been following this blog and building a character along the way. I can here you now. “Great Dennis. I have twenty-two pages of information on each of my characters. My character notebook is a novel unto itself. I know more about them than I do about my own family. What do I do with all of it?” My standard response to all questions is, “That depends.”
1) If you don’t have a plot in mind for your story, dive into your character’s lives and find something that would come into great conflict with your protagonist. Hopefully, you can also find something about you protagonist that would pose a great conflict for your antagonist. Ta Da, you have an initial plot conflict.
2) What if you have a plot in mind? Look for new potential character arcs. Ways in which your characters can change based on the plot line. Trust me that the information you have generated during the previous posts is full of potential.
3) I have a plot. I have character arcs. I have all the conflicts the reader could hope to want in a story. What else can I use this tome for? COLOR! The whole point of this exercise was to create characters that are real to the reader. Use this material to add realism. Have you character twirl her hair while she talks to the police detective. The officer doesn’t know this is a tell that she is lying bu,t you can let the reader know it is with a few well-chosen words of description embedded in the dialogue. Add bits and sprinkles of your character’s likes and dislikes or tags and traits into dialogue to break it up and make it grab the reader. After a critical scene, your character may need to reflect on the situation. Have them grab their favorite drink, find their favorite comfortable spot and reflect away. The added details can be found in you Tome of Characters. Have fun with it but, don’t over do it. The information about your character that you relate to thee reader should be there for a reason.
It was my intention to give you details as to how my “Yursi” character was created. However, my character file is at 23 pages and growing. that’s too much for this blog. You will just have to read my short story, Good Night’s Sleep, and the novel to follow to find out more about the raven-haired witch with twin magical daggers that is searching for a lost relative and her own identity while being hunted down by her own family. 🙂 That project is slated for 2014.
Let me know how your characters turn out.