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Creating Compelling Characters

Crafting Compelling Characters

Creating compelling characters may seem like an arduous task for any one new to writing, and, in fact, even the more experienced writer will often struggle to craft believable characters. Utilising characteristics and behaviours that are common, will enable a reader to believe in your character.

Some, are naturally gifted and can craft a character easily; they are people-watchers, who use any opportunity to connect with others and can isolate those subtle, often undisclosed, signals as to mood. They can detect body language and incorporate that within their writing. But there are others who struggle to make characters three-dimensional. Therefore, it’s important to consider the basics of good characterisation.

Creating a character profile

Your character profile should contain the basics:

  • Character name

  • Age

  • Status

  • Height

  • Build

  • Hair colour and length

  • Eye colour

  • Distinguishing features

  • Occupation or school

  • Family – siblings, parents.

  • Goals

  • Hobbies

  • Regrets

  • Pets

As you create your profile, add to it and fill in any gaps:

  • Allergies

  • Scars

  • Accidents

  • Fears

  • Annoying habits

  • Behavioural issues

  • Achievements

If you struggle to craft characters from imagination, use someone you already know and make a profile about them. Make a second profile about a friend or family member and then, compare the two; noting the characteristics between them, even if there are some similarities.

Consider that your character has a past, present and future, and for each decision that character makes, a ripple effect spreads out affecting others too – then you start to understand how important it is to create compelling characters and how to link those characters who play an important role in your story by cause and effect.

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These links give examples of the written assessments that I've completed. I shall update this post and add further links. htt

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