Most people think of creating a character as either something easy or hard. Easy, because all you have to do is come up with some quirks and make them likable; hard because you have to create a realistic and three-dimensional person with a complex backstory.
The truth is that it’s neither easy nor hard, but instead, it’s something that requires dedication and effort if you want to create someone who audiences will love and remember.
So if you’re looking to create characters that resonate with your audience, here are five essentials you should keep in mind.
Five Essentials for Building a Character
As any writer knows, creating a well-rounded and believable character is essential to tell a good story. However, crafting a complex and three-dimensional character is often easier said than done. How can you ensure that your characters are more than just one-dimensional flat figures? Here are five essentials for building a character that will engage and attract your readers:
- Give Your Character a Unique Voice
One of the essential things for building a believable and engaging character is to give them a unique voice. This can be done in several ways, from ensuring they have their own distinct way of speaking, to how they think and react to situations.
By giving your character a strong and distinctive voice, you will help them stand out from the crowd and ensure that readers will remember them long after turning the last page.
So if you’re looking for one essential ingredient for creating an unforgettable character, be sure to give them a voice that is distinctly their own.
- Make Your Character Relatable
How can you expect your readers to invest in a character they can’t relate to? Your character must have relatable qualities. Otherwise, your reader will have no connection to the story. One way to make your character relatable is to give them flaws.
Nobody is perfect, and by giving your character flaws, you’re making them more human. Another way to make your character relatable is to provide an interesting backstory.
Why are they the way they are? What motivates them? If you can answer these questions, you’re on your way to creating a relatable character that your readers will love.
- Create Conflict for Your Character
One essential thing for building a character is creating conflict for your character. Conflict drives the plot and helps to create an interesting and dynamic character. Without conflict, characters can quickly become boring and one-dimensional.
When creating conflict for your character, it is essential to consider what they are fighting for and what is at stake. The conflict should be meaningful and have a personal investment in the character.
Additionally, the conflict should challenge the character to help them grow and develop as a person.
By creating conflict for your character, you can give them depth and dimension, making them more relatable and likable to readers.
- Allow Your Character to Grow and Change over Time
Too often, people think of character as something static. However, one essential thing for building a successful character is to allow them to grow and change over time. No one is the same person they were 10 years ago, and neither should your characters be.
This can be done in several ways. For example, you can give your character a goal they slowly work towards over the story.
As they strive to reach their goal, they will learn and grow as a person. You can also put your character in new and challenging situations that force them to step outside their comfort zone and confront their fears.
By allowing your character to grow and change, you will create a more complex and exciting person in which readers will be invested.
- Give Your Character Some Flaws
Nobody’s perfect. In order to make your character seem more relatable (and, therefore, likable), giving them some flaws is essential. But don’t just give them any old flaws – make sure they’re interesting and unique.
Maybe your character is a bit of a perfectionist, or they’re terrible at keeping secrets. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that will add depth to your character and make them more three-dimensional.
Flaws can be frustrating, but they make us human – and interesting to read about!
What Else Can You Take Care of While Building a Character?
Here are some additional tips you can focus on while building a character that people will remember for ages.
- Give Your Character a History
To create a truly believable character, you must give them a history. By fleshing out their backstory, you’ll be able to make them feel more natural to your readers.
What kind of childhood did they have? What kind of things shaped their early years? What are their hopes and fears?
Answering these questions will help you to build a three-dimensional character that your readers can invest in.
- Draw Their Physical Appearance
When creating a character, one of the essential things you need to do is figure out what they look like. What kind of hair do they have? What color are their eyes? What is their body type?
Draw a picture of your character or find a reference image that you can use to help you visualize them. Once you clearly know their physical appearance, you can flesh out their personality and backstory.
A believable, lifelike character is the cornerstone of any good story. As you can see, many elements go into building a character. By following these five essentials when crafting your own characters, you can create compelling individuals to keep readers engaged from beginning to end.
So what are you waiting for? Start writing!