Lesson Creating Characters For Your Novel Or Short Story

“Tell me about me. I want to be more alive. Give me me.” William Sloan

I’ve devised a lesson on creating characters. I had planned on adding a few PDF’s however it seems I can not do this with a mac. I managed to plow forward and find some articles and even a couple of videos to help teach. I shall impart some of my own wisdom as well.

Avoid being a bigot. Your main characters should be round, as opposed to flat, it will give more life to your story. If you use stereo types to create your main character/s not only will your characters come off as flat but you the writer come off as bigot. Many minor characters will appear in your novel or short stories. It will seem easy to use stereo types to create such  characters. I, however, advise that you avoid that whenever possible.

As writers it is not our place to judge people but rather to tell their story. Don’t judge a book by its cover maybe a cliche` but its one that every writer should live by. Every person has a story behind who they are. So here it is, I challenge you the next time your in the store and your first impression is a judgement, this man is an alcoholic or perhaps druggie or several hundred others, stop yourself. Stop right were you are and begin weaving a story of how the person before you came to be, avoid your initial judgement of this person. This will be good practice for avoiding bigotry in your writing.

Now grab a piece of paper and begin to mold a character make sure that this character is round. Here are some examples: a strict mean hearted teacher who worries to much about the well being of his students, a habitual flirt that avoids relationships, or perhaps a medical student whose true dream is to be a musician. Whatever you come up with is great. Mold the appearance, personality, temperament, history, religious beliefs, intelligence, flaws, and etc. Once your done with this set it aside and move on to the articles and videos below.


Namedropping: Finding Solid Names for Your Unique Characters

Creating Emotional Frustration in Your Characters.

Questions to Ask (& Strengthen) Your Minor Characters

What is a Minor Character: Understanding the Minor Characters’ Role

How to Write Effective Supporting Characters

How to Avoid Parenting Your Characters

How to Raise Your Characters Above the Status Quo

How to “Up the Stakes” for Your Main Character

How to Find The Moment of Truth For Your Main Character

Writing Strong Female Characters: Defining a Bitch

Now that you’ve read and watched the above, pick up the character you worked on earlier. Revise this character if necessary. Once your done use this character to write a short story of any length you desire.

“Out of character, plot easily grows, but out of plot, a character does not necessarily follow” Peter Lasalle. Hold on just a second I have one more for you, F. Scott Fitzgerald, writer of The Great Gatsby, said “Character is plot, plot is character.”


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