Wanna character that is a hit with your readers? So do I. Apparently, us writers tend to mess this process up. Good to know after I have published two books and am close to finishing number three. Yeah. Anyway, Mr. Trudy has some steps for us to follow to ensure we don’t totally blow it when creating and carrying a character throughout an entire story.
These are the steps:
First: Do NOT focus solely on the Main Character. Look at your entire cast together and look at their interlocking web. What is their function in the story? What is their archetype?
THE WORD OF THE DAY IS: Archetype- noun
- the original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based; a model or first form; prototype.
- (in Jungian psychology) a collectively inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., universally present in individual psyches.
Cool- we have learned something today. I do recommend that you look up Jungian theory for writing. Interesting and helpful information when creating a strong character.
We are one step in and my cuppa is already empty. Well, in my defense, I have been reading and preparing to write this blog. It’s hard work, people. It doesn’t just magically happen. Cut me some slack. Grrrr…
Yup, I need more coffee. Lots more. Come on, we can go worship by the coffee pot and make a fresh one. Yes, a whole pot. Don’t judge me today. My fuse is short. Grab a cuppa and find a nibble while I roll out the reading rug. I’ll meet you out there with my copy of The Anatomy of Story by John Trudy. We are on Chapter 4, page 56. Remember, we are skipping around this book and only covering things we haven’t focused on before. Once again, if you feel like I am shortchanging you– get a copy and read through it yourself. OR– go back through the archives of this blog and find what you need…or find interesting and amusing. I have been known to be funny. You can also ask me questions.
Wow, that was a mouthful of nearly useless information. On to step two.
Second: Individualize each character based on the theme and their opposition.
Third: The hero- build him/her/them in a step-by-step fashion. We want a multilayered, complex person that we, as readers, can connect with.
Forth: Create the opponent in as much detail as your MC. They need to be as well rounded as your hero, so you understand why they are the opponent.
Fifth: We will work through the character techniques for building conflict that will carry throughout the entire story.
How many characters do you have in your story? My current WIP has four main characters. Now, the biggest mistake some writers make is we keep each character separate. Like, you have your hero functioning all alone in the world you have created. If this is the case, why have other characters? Because the hero can’t do it all alone.
Having other characters for your hero to interact with and lean on makes them a stronger character in the end.
Key Point: The most important step in creating your hero, as well as all your other characters, is to connect and compare each to the other.
Every time you compare your hero to another character, it brings out new information about your hero and makes them a stronger person. You also see your secondary characters as important to the over all story. All your characters define each other in four major ways: story function, archetype, theme, and opposition.
We will look more into Character Web by Function in the Story next time.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
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