The more detail you use, the more believable your characters become.
Every element of a book is important since all elements that are being used need to come together in a way that makes the audience believe that the story is worth more than just reading, it’s worth believing in. The setting, the tone, the look and feel of the different areas that come together to make the story what it is, all of it makes a difference since all of it has to do with pushing the story forward and creating something that people will want to know more about.
But the characters are what will really drive your story, since the setting and the tone won’t deliver the tale on their own.
So, how do you create a character?
It’s exceedingly simple, but the details that will go into it can make things so much harder than they need to be. Some people try to flesh their characters out too quickly, and in doing so they rush things and their character isn’t given the proper time and space to develop. It sounds a bit silly to some folks, especially since these are fictional characters we’re talking about. But if your character doesn’t sound real enough for the story they belong to, then you won’t find yourself with a clear and detailed individual that people can see, hear, and understand. That last part might not need to come for a while, since twists and turns in your story might change your mind as to the nature of your character. But having a grounding point from which to work is important since as the author, you should know everything there is to know about your character.
The basics of creating a character need to be addressed. Without the basics you have a ghost with a few vague descriptions to go on.
Most authors already know this, but there a few very basic pieces of information that need to go into your characters to get the ball rolling, such as:
- Appearance: Are they short, tall, medium height? What’s their hair color, their skin color? Do they have a noticeable characteristic that sets them apart? Do they wear one type of clothing or many different types?
- Personality: Are they serious, snarky, or timid? Do they get along with others, or are they social outcasts? There are a lot of different personality types out there, but assigning or or two to your character is a wise move.
- Lifestyle/Culture: Are they cisgender, or are they part of the LGBTQ+ community? Are they immigrants? Are they native to their homeland? These are tidbits that go deeper into a character’s past and identity, and might even be called controversial, but it’s worth taking the time to develop.
Oh, don’t worry, there’s much more to come, but for now, think about these things and how you want to apply them.