How to Create Vivid Characters for Your Novel or Screenplay
Creating characters for your novel or screenplay can be a daunting task. You want your characters to be believable and engaging, and to drive the story forward. Here are some tips to help you create vivid characters for your story.
Start with a Character Archetype
When creating a character, it can be helpful to start with a character archetype. An archetype is a type of character that has certain characteristics that make them recognizable and relatable. Examples of archetypes include the hero, the villain, the mentor, the trickster, and the sidekick. By starting with an archetype, you can create a character that readers will easily recognize and connect with.
Add Specific Characteristics
Once you have chosen an archetype, you can add specific characteristics to make your character unique. Consider their physical characteristics, such as their age, height, weight, and hair color. Think about their personality traits, such as whether they are outgoing or introverted, and their likes and dislikes. Also consider their occupation, education level, and any hobbies or interests they may have.
Build the Backstory
Your character’s backstory is an important part of their identity. It helps to explain why they are the way they are and why they make the decisions they do. Consider their family background, any major life events that have shaped them, and their goals and motivations.
Give Them Quirks, Faults, and Flaws
Your character should have quirks, faults, and flaws that make them interesting and relatable. Quirks are small details that make your character unique, such as a habit of tapping their foot when they are nervous. Faults are negative traits that your character has, such as being too quick to judge others. Flaws are weaknesses that your character has, such as a fear of failure.
Give Your Character an Arc
Your character should have an arc, or a journey of personal growth. This arc should be clear and believable, and should be driven by your character’s goals and motivations. Consider how your character changes throughout the story, and how they are different at the end than they were at the beginning.
Add Visual References
Adding visual references can help you to create a vivid character. Consider what your character looks like, what they wear, and how they carry themselves. You can also consider what kind of music they like, what books they read, and what kind of food they eat.
Organize & Refine
Once you have created your character, it is important to organize and refine your ideas. Make sure that all of your character’s traits and backstory fit together logically. Consider how your character interacts with other characters in the story, and how they fit into the overall plot.
Create the Rest of Your Characters
Once you have created your main character, you can create the rest of your characters. Consider how each character fits into the story, and how they interact with the main character. Make sure that each character is unique and has their own arc.
Creating vivid characters for your novel or screenplay can be a challenging but rewarding task. By following these tips, you can create characters that are believable, engaging, and memorable.