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Thursday, January 27, 2011

How to Write Great Characters

By David

There are several techniques you can use to write beautiful characters. For now, here are three.

1. Make them Imperfect.

Image of Ron Weasley from Wikipedia

Think of Ron Weasley. Think of Christian Bale’s character in The Fighter. Think of Kanye West.

They all have issues and imperfections. Flaws link us together; flaws make characters memorable.

2. Create a Contrast.

Image of the Joker from Wikipedia

There’s Batman and the Joker. There’s the dull narrator, and there’s the Great Gatsby. There’s the guy in the wheelchair, and then there’s his Avatar

Good and evil. Serious character and dorky best friend. Tight arse and wild child. Contrasts make your characters glow that little bit brighter. 

3. Give them a Problem to Solve (or a Problem that they can Never Solve).

Image of Juno from Wikipedia

Juno. Obama. Frankenstein. They all have some kind of problem to overcome. 

Some characters start with the problem, some gain their problems along the way. A lot of the time, it’s the problem that creates the story, and a lot of the time, it’s solving the problem that finally ends it. Sometimes, if you’re emo enough, you may even decide that the problem will never be solved.

These are just a few rules and techniques that have been proven to work in the past - but don't follow every rule by the book. Once rules are overdone and what was once creative becomes a norm, you may find that breaking these rules may lead you to better places. Our world is filled with annoying grey areas.

I’m done. Bye!


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  1. Not bad advice. Especially about the character not being perfect. Who wants to read about, or watch some movie about, a perfect guy with no problems?

    I think I would hate that jerk.

  2. Heya Doug,

    I completely agree with you.

    - David