Writing Class 102: Creating an Interesting Character 2

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As stated on Writing Class 101, I am going to continue on the techniques of creating an interesting character.

1. Give your characters a memorable name, something catchy and sweet to the mouth and ears. When we hear names like Clark Kent, or Jack Buar, or Michael Scofield, we know already who the character is, and the work he is associated with. Learn the mastery of giving your characters, especially your lead character a catchy name so it could stick to the audience and leave your work evergreen. One of the best way to have this is to have an Eponymous character- a character whose name is also the title of the book.

2. Don’t ever forget to show the backstory of your character, his past and things that shaped him into the person he currently is. This backstory reveals to some extent a pitiful part of his life, thereby drawing emotions from the audience to him.

3. Let your characters struggle be relatable to the audience. I stumbled upon the show Hustle on African Magic Family and because of the struggles of the main character, Kunle, who is trying to get a job and make a living in Lagos after relocating from Jos is so applicable to me, and most people that I know, I got attached to the show.
Now I feel everything he feels because I have been there.

4. Aside the fact that your character has to face a villain and destroy him, create also an internal conflict for him. Let him have a clash of decisions, a broken and distorted resolutions. Give him an inside thorn that he would have to struggle to overcome just as much he would struggle to overcome the external conflict- the villain.

5. The best character is a sweet yet wicked character. These are villains with soft and loving nature. Evil doers with a righteous intentions and justified actions.
How do you achieve this? By making him sympathetic through his backstory. A villain, seeking to destroy the government could be seen just as worst until his backstory surfaces and you get to learn that the very government assassinated his parents who served them for 30 years because they refused to do one wrong thing.

A typical audience, especially one with same or similar experience would support this character’s quest and even pray he succeeds. He would cry when he cries and laugh when he laughs even when it’s obvious he is destroying something. Arya Stark of Game of Thrones is killing people here and there but her backstory makes her lovable.

6. Finally, in whatever your character do, let him connect with other characters and to a certain extent the audience, unless his personality warrants a solitude which his backstory will have to justify because no one wakes up one morning and decides to live in solitude, even Monks get words from God before doing that.
This will give him the total knowledge of his fictional world and how to go about it.

You can as well find other variable ways which a character can be made more interesting and loving by reading many writing materials online or attending writing seminars. In the meantime, make do with these ones as we progress to another important part of writing.

Thank you.

©E C MICHAELS.

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