Creating Memorable Characters

This is the bit where I say something obvious like, ‘characters are central to your story’. Yes, such pearls of wisdom. You’ve travelled far and this is what you get? Instead I’m going to assume that you know characters are important. That’s why you’re here. So let’s just get down to the bit where I try to help you create someone who feels like they have a life outside the framework of your story, because we love characters who seem to continue to live, even after we’ve closed the book.

To crack out another cliche, you need to get to know your characters. You could do an interview with them, but I find that a bit cold and never know what to ask, so I’m going to take a more contemporary approach I was given on a recent writing retreat. Most of us create characters, every day, on social media. If you have a Facebook, Twitter or similar account, then you’ve created a character. You’ve taken the best bits of yourself, unless you always speak in pithy 150 character phrases, and presented them to the world. So take these skills and apply them to your fiction.

Your writing prompt: If you have a WIP (work in progress) or you’re starting something new, take your protagonist and fill out an online dating application for them. Include the following: name, age, Looking For, About Me, Perfect First Date and crucially, four adjectives to describe your character. Next week, we’ll do something interesting with those four words in Creating Memorable Characters Part 2.

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow


3 thoughts on “Creating Memorable Characters

  1. Pingback: Writing Characters | Writers Anon - Taunton's Writing Group

  2. Pingback: Creating Memorable Characters: Part 2 | Writers Anon - Taunton's Writing Group

  3. Pingback: The Breakfast Club – a Lesson in Ensemble Casts | Writers Anon - Taunton's Writing Group

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