How to Create Believable Characters Part Two

 

So did you create a character sketch for all of your characters . . . or at least a couple of them?

Good.

Let’s expand on the character sketch a bit.

Idiosyncrasy.

Each and every one of us has our own mannerism and habits that signify our individuality. I say cool a lot, I narrate the things I’m planning on doing, I eat dinner every night between 5 and 6, I do my grocery shopping and errands on Saturday mornings, I play with my thumb ring.

Do you see where I’m getting at?

Our characters need to have their own mannerisms to make them more believable. Remember though, you have to be consistent throughout your manuscript. If you have a character who hates black coffee, and then goes to a friend’s house and drinks it, your reader will get annoyed, unless there’s a reason why all of a sudden he loves the plain java.

Gestures.

Giving your character a signature gesture is another great way to make him realistic. Nathan in my Beyond the Eyes trilogy, runs his fingers or hand through his hair when he’s irritated. His ears also turns red when he’s angry.

Not all of your characters has to have a signature gesture; however, they do need to possess a unique quality or qualities of their own. You want your readers to identify each individual character, so each one needs to be set apart from the rest.

Remember that always: You want your readers to identify each individual character—even if they’re only part of a setting, like a waitress.

Sure Rebekkah, but how do I accomplish that if their role is short lived, like an extra in a movie?

Easy, by their appearance, gestures, and speech.

Here’s an example in Beyond the Eyes. My characters are at a coffee house one night, where there’s live poetry readings. The character, who is a hippy chick reading a poem, is part of the setting to help move the story along. This is what I wrote to set her apart from the rest of patrons:

 

“Hello, everybody,” a hippy looking girl said. “My name is Bree, and my poem is called, ‘I’m Just a Used Piece of Gum.’”

Carrie and I shared a look and snickered. Nathan, on the other hand, was glaring at Matt. I squeezed his knee and whispered to forget about it. He glanced at me and sighed, then turned his attention on the hippy chick. She was wearing a long, flowing gypsy skirt, and her mousey brown hair was in small tangled braids that hung down her back.

 

BAM! That’s all you need to know about her. Noticed that I didn’t go overboard with the description? Also, what follows in the scene that I didn’t share is Bree displaying her own mannerisms, which shows the reader she’s a jaded chick. From what I wrote about Bree, the reader will conjure up her own mental picture and judgments.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m crazy busy and don’t have the time to read a long ass post. I also don’t care for a bunch of information thrown at me all at once. With the being said, I’ll end part two here.

Stay tuned for part three next week.

Have a fabulous weekend. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Create Believable Characters Part One

June 12, 2015

Creating Believable Characters Part Three

June 12, 2015

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