First and foremost, as I’ve stated in numerous other posts these process do not work for everyone. This is one way out of many and this probably doesn’t even count as one since I just kind of made it up as I went along. Again, this is all based off of what I was doing when I created my Storm Trilogy. And it was a very bizarre process since most of it just snowballed in my head.
When you began to develop characters you start with a basic personality. Is this character outgoing? Funny? Shy? Because I have to be somehow connected to my characters so I can relate to them, my main protagonist is a huge part of who I am. That doesn’t mean she is me or I am her, it just means that she is the most like me. I couldn’t imagine writing a book about someone who I couldn’t connect to. The story would just be dry and impersonal. I personally wouldn’t be able to be as passionate about the story if I didn’t feel for my characters. (Which always reminds me of acting)
Kaden’s (my main protagonist) appearance popped into my head one day when I was thinking about her personality and who she was. There’s an underlying theme of Light vs Dark in my story and since her family has darker appearances I decided to make Kaden have lighter features. It just illustrated the separation between her and the people around her.
Once I had her down, the harder part was coming up with a character that could balance her out. I knew she would be going on a huge journey of not only discovering herself, but trying to rescue her best friend. Obviously this is a very heavy story line, so it made sense to have her partner in crime have a HUGE personality. And Finley was born. The interesting thing about Finley is that I feel like in a way, he found me. I don’t know anyone like Finley in my real life. He’s charming and witty with this very blunt attitude that separates him from pretty much everyone else. If I could meet any one of my characters it would probably be him. Finley is easier to write because he really doesn’t have much of a filter which is why when I’m writing his scenes I text my friends the craziest shit. This personality brings a whole different feel to the story. If it weren’t for him, Kaden’s journey would extremely depressing.
So now we have two very key roles in the story. What I find helpful is creating images for these characters, like I’ve posted. It just helps you see them as people rather than just characters you created. Create playlists of songs you think of when you think about them. Write little drabbles if you can so you can really get to know them. As soon as you feel more confident in who they are, you will write them 100% better, trust me.
As far as side characters go, I like to keep a mix of personalities. They have to be strong enough to remember, but not to strong where they over shadow the main protagonists. Both Kaden and Finley’s best friends reflect their personalities while being their own character. They have similar morals and standards, but you have to give them some trait that separates them.
Although Finley is charming and witty he also has this warrior type side which is much like his friend Keeley. That’s where they connect. Keeley isn’t interested in being charming or witty, she’s straight forward and serious.
Writing this all out, really all you need to understand is balance. Create characters that work well together. As I suggested above, get to know your characters really well. Fall in love with them and it will show when you’re writing.
(Note: this is the first image I ever made of my characters. I literally cut clips out of magazines for it. Also note that I have since upgraded to images from the internet)
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