Dig Deeper into your Characters


Creating characters for your story is no easy task.Writers need to think about all the little details, including hair color, eye color, how tall they are, how they dress, and what they like to do. But all of those details are just touching on the surface of your character. For your character to come to life, you must dig deeper.


There are many ways to get to know your character on a deep, complex level. One way is to simply interview them. Think about Interviewing them for a cover feature in a celebrity magazine. Or, if you are writing a mystery, interview them as a police officer would for an investigation. Have fun with it, but get the information.


Some authors like to have a photograph of someone who looks like their character in front of them while they are writing. There are plenty of images online where you can easily grab a photograph that looks like your character. Try Pinterest. I have a Character Inspiration board that might help you get started. The key is if it helps you write better, do it.


But all authors, no matter what genre they are writing in, research their characters thoroughly before ever writing a word. Spend time listening to them talk. Watch them as they go through their day. Discover their moods. Ask them about their deepest passions. Don't start your story until you know all of this.

WRITING PROMPT: Prepare for your character interview like you would any other interview. Think about what you want to know about your character. Write down the questions you will ask. Then take time to sit down with your character and ask your questions one question at a time. Write down their answers. If they don't respond, walk away and watch them for awhile. They might be hiding something interesting that you haven't thought about.



Photo credit: Joshua Ness at Unsplash


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CAROLYN BENNET FRAISER is a published writer and creative writing instructor in Brevard, North Carolina, where she enjoys helping youth find their passion for writing. 

Carolyn is available to speak to children and youth about creative writing at your school or special event. 

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@ 2019 CAROLYN BENNETT FRAISER. All Rights Reserved.