Constructing Souls: How To Develop Stimulating Characters by Rosalind

The idea of character construction is as old as the human race, and people have been making up other people for numerous reasons whether it be for religion, for protection, for entertainment, or for companionship for centuries on top of centuries. Children make up characters with friends when they run from imaginary monsters or create personalities for their stuffed toys and dolls. Writer’s do so to create a portal, into the mind of a person that only they truly know. It becomes a writers job to introduce strangers to strangers, and create a love or a connection by the end of a few hundred pages.
How can one do so so well though? Conjuring up another person surly cannot be an easy task, and it really isn’t if you ask a writer. It takes time, a great deal of work. The mind toils long and hard through labor only to give birth to a complex entity resembling the idea of what a person may be, how they may think, straight down to the way they may walk. Course it isn’t easy. However it is possible and full of correct ways. Things a writer can do right in order to create someone that a real person may find relationship too, feeling’s towards, understanding with. There is a magic and an art in constructing souls, and although it’s hard, it’s awfully fun.
The important thing to remember when you begin creating your character(s) is that the audience you are appealing to is human, and even if your character is not, establishing some relatable traits can cause readers to become far more invested in your character, and further, your story as a whole. People are flawed, we are insecure, we are tormented, we are petty at times. Our emotions are either simple or complex, our heads do not stop at one path of thought. Make sure your reader can lean on what your character is saying, and feel not just a literary connection, but a real world one.
Study people in your life. Reactions and situations. Take inspiration from other authors and movies at times, but also take it from the people that truly are good examples. Take it from your mother, your father, your siblings, your friends. Look in the mirror and take it from yourself. Ask yourself questions and answer them honestly, then place those answers and feelings and thoughts into your character. You may find it therapeutic at times.
Establish simple things like favorite colors and clothing preferences, because ordinary people focus on those things sometimes. You are making a person, not theoretically, but realistically. Don’t sell short the little things. Even things you’ll never talk about in your actual story, make it happen in your planning stages so that YOU know these things. What you know will translate, if not directly then indirectly, to your readers, and make an even more engaging and relatable person on the pages.
It can be a long process, painful and tiering, as bringing a new person into the world often times is. Reward however is always expected, and it will come in one form or another. You are embarking on a nurturing and life giving journey, and you’ll feel all the bests and worsts of such. Enjoy it, savor it, take it in. It is a hell of a project that demands to be enjoyed.


Posted on March 1, 2017, in Editorial Board Essay. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. This is very useful to know, Rosalind!!

  2. These are all fantastic tips, and I definitely will be keeping them all in mind as I create these new characters.

  3. You explained how to develop a character so well that I want to go and develop one right now just cause! The hard ships, rewards, and details that you explained are all so true, thank you for writing this 🙂

  4. I love this post, Rosalind! Especially the part of establishing little details about your character that will bleed into your work, making them more realistic, even if you don’t directly tell your reader what they are. I can’t wait to apply these tips to my writing!

  5. Good to know! 🙂

  6. I love this!

  7. Jessica Harrison

    Thanks for posing this. It will definitely be helpful in the near future when I am stuck on developing charcters.

  8. This was really useful. I’d been feeling like my characters were kinda one dimensional lately.

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