Thursday, June 21, 2012

Books & Writing: Creating Characters

Lets take a look at another quality we need to consider when creating characters that jump off the page and become real to us and to our readers.

Create a Creed
Every one of us has a creed, a system of belief. Think about what you feel passionate about, what pushes your buttons or makes you stand up and speak up or what motivates you to action.

Some examples:

• Is your character a Conservative or Liberal? In today's world that makes a big difference in what they believe and how they react to the world around them. Make sure to keep the time period in mind when considering this--it can make a big difference.

• Is the character religious or not? Do they hate even a hint of religion or do they embrace it to the point of being irritating? What is their religious background--that will make a difference in how they view religion and Christianity.

• Is family important to them? If not, why not? 

• Are they a go-for-the-gusto type person? Do they have a bucket list? And are they actively persung that list? Consider what motivates them to live this way. Or are they the opposite--afraid to live? Again, you've got to ask yourself, why.

• Do they believe in getting the other guy before the other guy gets them? What happened in their past to make them so cynical? Or maybe it's just a way of life they've learned from someone they grew up with. 

• Do they trust no one, or do they trust everyone?

 • Do they believe all life has to offer is what you make of it or what you take from it? Or maybe they are a Mother Theresa, who sacrificed everything for service.

There are a lot of different creeds. Look around at the people you know and you'll see the variety. Or you might try watching a movie and write down one's that appeal to you.

REMEMBER . . . when you bring these people into your story they should blend in with the tale, become part of it. Don't just drop them in because they're interesting. They must contribute.

I'd love to hear from you. Are you creating a character or group of characters for a new story? Have the past three topics about creating a character been helpful? I'd love to hear your descriptions thus far. And creeds are so much fun. What kind of person have you come up with?


Grace and peace to you from God,



  1. Bonnie,
    My protagonist is a young woman working through grief due to the death of her mother. She believes that she needs riches and power in order to find happiness. At the same time, she resents the wealthy and the powerful because they did not do enough to save her mother.

    Mark W McIntire

  2. Hi Mark. I so want to get into your plot, but we'll talk more about plotting in the weeks to come.

    I do have a question -- Why does your character feel she needs riches and power to find happiness? And when you speak about the people she resents -- who are those folks?

    I can't wait to learn more, like how she goes about trying to accumulate that wealth and power she needs. If you're going to tag along, save it until we get to plotting--if not, I'd love to hear.

    Thank you so much for stopping by.

    Bless you.