The making of a Story

This book contains all you need to know about writing the perfect book. Whether you are new to writing, or just want to improve your skills, this is the book for you! I have written this to inspired writers and help them into creating their own unique story world.

Feel free to used the process that I took, but don't steal ideas without asking! I hope it helps you if you are having trouble with your own writing!

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4. Character ideas

he characters in a story make it come to life, so its important you make sure they are as brilliant as you have always imagined them to be. There are certain questions you have to ask yourself when creating a character, and here are a couple of them. 

Male or female?

Does it make a difference? Yes, actually. There are more stereotypes and more pressure on the female character than male. When it comes to personality, its doesn't matter as much, except certain personalities are viewed in different ways on different genders. A girly flirty personality on a male makes people assume he's gay, but that same personality on a female would make her seem like a girly-girl, a get-around, or a whore, depending on the degree of personality. Its basically the same with a butch, tom-boy personality on a girl compared to a boy. Think about how your readers with view your character, but its also incredibly refreshing to have a character break free from a stereotype. You could incorporate that as part of the plot or as part of the character development.

Where do I start? 

Start with the heart. What drives your character towards his goals? Is it love? Friendship? Money? What does his heart look like? Is it broken and in need of repair? Despite the polished look on main characters, not all of them have to be good. Yes, they have to be likeable, but they don't have to be on the good guys team. You don't need to start with the back story, you need to start with the personality of the character. A good way to start you off is by using one of my favourite character-creating tools - the 49 personality archetypes. Following the link below and click on the picture of the graph to download a big, high quality picture of the graph for future reference (all free, virus free, I got it from this same link) . This is the exact graph I use with my own stories.

http://www.howtofascinate.com/the-fascinate-system/The-49-personality-archetypes/

How do I use this chart to help me?

I use the chart to create the basic personality of my characters I can then edit later to suit my needs. The way that you use this is, you can see along the side and top of the graph is says 'primary fascination advantage' and 'secondary fascination advantage'. The primary fascination advantage is the trait of your character that stands out most, and the secondary fascination advantage is the trait that comes second to that. Starting from your primary, go across the graph until you reach your secondary, and that will give you your personality archetype for that character and underneath it, it will give you some traits for that character. 

How I like to use this is by picking out three of the traits for my character, and then I pair them up so  each of them go with another trait once. I then decide out of the two traits which is the strongest and use the chart to find out some personality traits for my character. 

For the example, I'm going to use the main character from the story about the girl being experimented  on by scientists that I have mentioned on the previous two sections.

I have decided the main characters main traits are innovation, trust and alert. I will now sort them into their pairs:

innovation + trust

innovation + alert

trust + alert

Because I think her trust trait is more prominent than her innovation trait, I will go up the side of the graph until I find 'trust', and then go across the graph to innovation. I get this:

The evolutionary: curious, adaptable and open-minded.

Thats already three traits for the main character. I then repeat this for the other two combinations.

The Evolutionary: curious, adaptable and open-minded.

The Composer: Strategic, fine-tuned and judicious.

The Good Citizen: Principled, prepared and conscientious.

I now have 9 positive traits for my main character. 

This is the way that I do it, but its completely up to you how you figure out the personality for you character. I just find this is the easiest method and can lead to a bigger variety of traits in a shorter amount of time. You could also base a character off of someone you know.

Some traits may need to be removed because the may contradict each other, such as open-minded and fine-tuned. After you've done this, you may already have a good idea of who your character is turning out to be. but the next part is just as important, if not more important, than picking out the positive traits. Picking out the negative traits.

Balancing out a character

With 8 positive traits, its important to balance out your character with some negative traits. The main character needs to be the most balanced out, the supporting characters can be a little off-centered. You don't have to give your character 8 negative traits, as it might be over whelming, but a couple of small flaws and a bigger flaw or two can go a long way. What you would call a 'big' flaw and a 'small' flaw is defiantly in the eye of the beholder, and this can also be effected by the plot as well. In a normal story, having a fear of spiders would seem small as it is extremely common for people to have this fear, but in a story set in a world of giant spiders, that flaw is escalated a fair amount and would be seen as a 'big' flaw.

For my character, she's going to have problem with her anger and has frequent violent outbursts of anger and can hurt others and herself by accident.

I'm also going to give her the flaw of slight social anxiety, which is a side effect of the anger problem.

She also is only close to her mother and doesn't let herself get too close to others.

The amount of positive and negative traits you end up keeping with the final product is all up to you, you have to realise what feels right. Trust your gut feeling, because this is your character and you will defiantly know what feels right and what doesn't. 

Name and Looks

Although looks aren't as important as personality and should be looked at last once you have a good visual idea in your head, the name is important and should be thought about if you don't have an idea already. Some authors like to chose names which mean something to do with their character, whether you choose to do so is completely up to you. As you spend time creating your character, you may suddenly start calling him or her by a name before you have even officially decided. Usually, this name sticks, and may always feel right. Some names may speak to you more than others, and some may not suit you character, because again, names are associated with certain stereotypes.

My characters name is going to be Alice Winters, because she is sweet, but she is also a bit of a cold character. I also think the two names work well together.

 

With the picture finally coming together for this character and hopefully your own, hopefully you can move onto the next section with confidence that you can take your character at add a bit of spice and interest they need.

We'll be moving on to talk about back story's and character quirks, as well as the dreaded Mary Sue character who is hiding around every corner! 

If you have any concerns about your character, feel free to drop me a personal message and I will do my best to help you!

~Thank you for reading this part! Stay tuned for more!~

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