|What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
Characters that have a distinct voice and dialog that truly sounds unique to them. Probably the hardest thing to do, I think.
I don't create my characters, I am the character(s)
*as she laughs out loud...
In order for a character to be believable he/she must be flawed. Nobody likes a perfect person. I develop my characters before I start a story. I use questions like, "what does this woman have in her purse," or "what does this man have in his glove compartment," to help me hone in on who the characters really are. Also, does each one have some kind of secret, and if so, how does that effect their behavior.
They need a past that informs who they are and what they care about. They must have passion. Often I "see" or "hear" my characters interacting with others and I listen to them and watch them to try and figure out what they're about.
A character has to behave normally, sometimes in abnormal situations to be believable. You need to make your readers feel like they could sit down with the character over a drink and have a conversation.
I create my characters by watching people. Some of my characters ideosynchrocies have come from the behaviors of people in restaurants, airplanes, hospitals, and let's not forget members of my family, who shall not be named to protect the guilty.
My characters were mainly based on my life. I think for a character to be believable, the character must stay in character.
i.e. You can't have a blind character the says he is enjoying a beautiful sun set.
Depth and honesty, I believe are the two most important pieces. I usually takes bits and pieces from people I know. I find it interesting when someone asks me if I've based a particular character on them.
He or she or even "it" must be ACTIVE.
A character can come from a situation or a dilemma. A character exists in relation to other things or other characters.
He or she has to have an intense ongoing dialogue within himself moving at all times it gives the reader the interest and desire to care and feel for all their inner conflicts. without that you are sunk.
They need to have depth, and they need to enjoy to cook and eat good food.
Research and the ability to make your characters to come to life on the paper.
They create themselves in my mind. Sometimes I feel like a stenographer recording scenes and dialogue from the movie in my mind.
A voice must be believable. If you have a great character, the story could be about anything and the readers will trust you.
For a character to be believable they need to be realistic and someone the reader can connect with on some level. I recently received a review from an author on Amazon and he wrote about two things that he liked most about my book. He said, "The main character was a masterpiece. Unlike with so many books these days, she was neither overdone, nor stereotyped. We saw enough inner dialogue to really understand her, but not enough to weigh down the book." This is exactly what I was going for when I wrote it. I wanted everyone to get to know her but not all at once, so as the story progressed I offered little bits and pieces about her life here and there. I was pleased with the way it turned out.
Holes. No one is all bad or all good. People are conflicted. I look for their inner conflicts, and the holes in their personality.
Characters of any elemental place in a piece MUST be three-dimensional; I want to know their physical likes/dislikes/quirks as much as their mental and emotional likes/dislikes/quirks; I must either fall in love with them altogether, or hate them with every ounce of my soul. My creation of them relies heavily upon these definitions.
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