Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

The taste of characters (revised) 1

there are two main components in writing a story, especially fiction.
A. Plot.
B. Characters.

while plot, those moments of sheer terror or romantic peace, is usually the first thing to come to mind, what would those moments be without the characters?
Everything can be like a character. A dog, a snowflake, a tree. It's all up to you.
Just do us a favor....don't be clech'e. There's nothing more boring that reading a book in which the characters are so predictable that we can even tell what kind of pajamas they wear (except possibly having to read a 60+ page book on 'symbolism in children's art' for school). So here's a few hints for those of you who are struggling up character development (THE CLIFFS OF INSANITY!!!).

Heroes/Heroines:
ah, yes. The heroes. Jean Valjean, Luke Skywalker, Link and Zelda, Frodo and Aragorn, Lizzy Bennett, and Tintin. As you can see (if you know even a few of these examples) heroes and heroines come in many shapes, sizes, classes and genres. The key to success is making your hero enjoyable, entertaining, and easy to sympathize with. Plus, it's better if they're not hyped and ready to go when adventure comes along.

Think of Gru in Despicable me. He is labeled as the bad guy, but really he grows into the hero role. He Freeze-rays costumers in a coffee shop, and tips the cashier. He asks his minions how they're doing. He wants to impress his mother by being the best super-villain in the history of the world. And when all's done, he only wants the best for three orphaned girls.

So, while your hero doesn't need to start out as a 'good guy', they should be interesting enough to keep the reader's attention to the end, where their good qualities are revealed. But as the trailer for Return of the King tells us: "No victory without sacrifice". In order to save these girls from another super-villian, Gru must give up his dream of stealing the moon, thus killing his child-hood dream of being an astronaut. See how it works?

Any Comments or suggestions or questions can go into this, lovely comment box....
I'd really like to know what you think.



Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback