Every time I had to do something I didn't want, or complained that life wasn't fair, or I don't even remember what, my dad told me the same thing.
"It builds character."
Well, by the time I sat down to write, you'd think I'd have a whole slew of experience at building characters, what with all that practice I had growing up.
We all love characters who are characters. Quirky, flawed, and recognizably human heroes and villains that live on in our memories after the last page has been turned.
Those are the men I want to create in the pages of my stories.
Men to make readers sigh, and chuckle, and blush, and say "Oh my god, he didn't...he did."
The other day I received an email that I admit I still haven't completely read- mostly because many parts of it needed to be mulled over.
So far these are my favorites:
Even if you find the bad guy generally repulsive, you need to be able to put yourself so thoroughly into his shoes while you’re writing him that, just for those moments, you almost believe his slant yourself.— K.M. Weiland, quote from Maybe Your Bad Guy Is RIGHT!
Great fiction is fueled by bad decisions and human weakness.— Kristen Lamb, quote from Great Characters–The Beating Heart of Great Fiction
Don’t just use visual details, but also include kinesthetic details, or how the character moves. Graceful, limping, stutter-step, lumbers, waddles, stomps.—Darcy Pattison, quote from 5 Tips on Character Descriptions
What about you? Do you have any favorite advice for creating great characters?
I'm going to keep reading the article, but I just wanted to pause and share - and I admit, I'm making notes for how I can improve my characters in my current WIP.