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Character analysis

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Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:31 am
gloriana says...

How can I make my characters less two dimensional?

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Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:33 pm
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Rosendorn says...

Write them.

To be more specific:

- Figure out how they approach problems and what their default emotional state is. Do they get afraid of everything? Curious? Do they solve problems by thinking every option through first or just dive right in?

- Figure out how they cope with their own insecurities/stress. Do they try to control everything? Franticly go through to make sure everyone is okay? Isolate?

- Go through key background events that shaped them. Do they mistrust certain situations because they've turned out bad in the past? Certain people give them bad vibes?

- Give them a spectrum of how they come across. Every character should see them slightly differently, and don't fall into the trap that good people like them and bad people don't. The character can believe that, but the prose shouldn't reinforce it. Good characters should come across wrong and have misunderstandings with other good characters, and bad characters should do some good things and be liked by certain people.

- Give them a basic set of speaking patterns and a body language vocabulary that is, in some way, unique. How do they ask hard questions? How do they respond when challenged? Put yourself in their body and really try to get into their head.

In the end, you can figure out a lot of this stuff at first, but unless you go through a whole draft while applying these principles, chances are you won't get a super solid character that feels like themselves until the second or even third draft.

It's okay, it takes time to really flesh characters out. Just keep trying to think of the above points (also think of how they change over the course of the novel), and keep writing them. You'll only learn who they are by writing them.
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

Ink is blood. Paper is bandages. The wounded press books to their heart to know they're not alone.

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Gender: Female
Points: 260
Reviews: 4
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:27 am
gloriana says...


Thank you! I couldn't have asked for a better response. Your point on how the author should make it clear in their writing how each character views the world and sees his/her self was valuable advice to say the least. Thank you again.

Memento homo, quia pulvis es et in pulverem reverteris (Remember, man, that you are dust, and you will return to dust)
— Genesis 3:19