A character is what makes a story, and without good characters, nothing else matters. If you’re someone who likes to read, write, or watch movies, then you know that good characters are pretty important. These days, we’re seeing a trend where video games are leading the way in terms of character development – with companies like BioWare, Bethesda, and Riot Games setting the standard for creating unique, three-dimensional personalities.
However, in order to write unique and creative characters, you need to understand the basics of characterization first. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to teach characterization to creative writing students so they can bring to life believable characters with whom you’ll be able to form deep connections. Let’s get started.
When we talk about characterization, we’re generally referring to the way a character *acts* rather than the way they *look*. A writer can create a three-dimensional character even if they only have two dimensions (height and width) in real life. This is a concept known as ‘alignment of characters.’ Because our brain is wired to remember faces, we tend to focus more on a character’s appearance than their actions. However, actions speak louder than words, and all of this can be attributed to the way our brain is wired.
For example, if you’re writing a romance novel, you might want your protagonist to be a little on the quiet side but you know deep down he/she is a loud and obnoxious person. You want the reader to see them as three-dimensional humans with whom you can form meaningful connections but you have no basis for in real life. This is where alignment of characters comes in – when you make a character match the way you see yourself, you’re automatically creating an unforgettable bond.
The Importance Of Good Characterization
This point cannot be emphasised enough: A well-written character is what makes or breaks a book. When we say ‘book’, we’re usually referring to an entire novel or, in the case of a movie or game, to the product that is being offered for sale. However, even a short story needs good characterization in order to retain the reader’s attention. This might seem obvious, but for some reason this point is often overlooked by budding writers who think that just making something ‘believable’ will suffice.
If you’ve ever read a John Grisham novel, you’d know what we mean. The main character of each of his stories is memorable primarily because they’re well-written and realistic. Even though the stories are about legal subjects, you still feel like you’re in the middle of a real-life courtroom battle thanks to Grisham’s masterful portrayal of the lawyers and judges involved. If you’ve read any of his work, you’ll recognize the way he brings alive the personalities of his characters.
Learning To Write Creative Characters
There are numerous books on writing, and if you’re looking for guidance on how to write more original and creative stories, then try exploring titles such as:
- How to Write Creative Characters
- 20 Tips for Writing Fiction
- The Art of Creative Writing
These books will teach you the craft of writing in a way that will inspire you to be creative and original. Above all else, these books will teach you what makes a good character. They will teach you about making a three-dimensional character out of your two-dimensional one. They will also teach you how to write a character that others will want to learn more about.
If you’re looking for advice on creative writing, then browse through our blog or explore our Amazon store to find the book that suits your needs. If you have questions about creative writing, be sure to tweet us @WritersIncorporated or @TheBluePillory.