How to Create Vivid Characters for Your Novel or Screenplay
Creating vivid characters for your novel or screenplay can be a daunting task. You want your characters to be unique and interesting, but also believable and relatable. Here are some tips to help you create characters that will capture the attention of your readers or viewers.
Start with a Character Archetype
A character archetype is a type of character that is commonly found in literature, film, and other forms of storytelling. Examples of character archetypes include the hero, the villain, the mentor, the sidekick, and the love interest. Starting with an archetype can help you to quickly create a character that is familiar to your audience.
Add Specific Characteristics
Once you have chosen an archetype, you can start to add specific characteristics to make your character unique. Consider their physical appearance, their personality traits, their interests, and their motivations. Think about how these characteristics will affect their interactions with other characters and how they will shape the story.
Build the Backstory
A character’s backstory is an important part of their development. It can help to explain why they are the way they are and why they make the decisions they do. Think about their family, their upbringing, their education, and any significant events that have shaped their life.
Give Them Quirks, Faults, and Flaws
Your characters should not be perfect. Give them quirks, faults, and flaws that make them more interesting and relatable. These can be physical, such as a limp or a birthmark, or psychological, such as a fear of heights or a short temper.
Give Your Character an Arc
Your character should have an arc that takes them from the beginning of the story to the end. Think about how they will change and grow over the course of the story and how their relationships with other characters will evolve.
Add Visual References
Visual references can help to bring your characters to life. Think about how they dress, how they move, and how they speak. You can also use photographs or drawings to help you visualise your characters.
Organise & Refine
Once you have created your characters, take some time to organise and refine your ideas. Make sure that each character is distinct and that their characteristics are consistent throughout the story.
Create the Rest of Your Characters
Once you have created your main characters, you can start to create the other characters in your story. Consider how they will interact with your main characters and how they will affect the story.
Creating vivid characters for your novel or screenplay can be a challenging but rewarding task. By following these tips, you can create characters that will capture the attention of your readers or viewers and bring your story to life.