to be accepted, they have to touch something in each reader... some place that allows you to go along with what this person is doing, or to want to know what happens next to them. to care, in some way, good or bad.
how do i create them?
i have no clue. they just appear.
Characters have to have flaws as well as strengths just as real people. Many of my characters are real historical people, and I research everything I get my hands on about them to portray them accurately. I have fun creating the fictional characters in my stories, letting my imagination run wild.
Someone that the reader can relate too, maybe even envy or respect, certainly someone who the reader empathizes with.
Characters should be regular people with the same types of idiosyncrasies and flaws. Of course we love reading about a handsome man or a gorgeous woman, but I like to give my characters real human qualities. Most times they are not always right or perfect. It’s no fun to read about perfect people. I want them to grow through-out the story. By the end of the book I want my characters to emerge stronger and more confident. In turn, the reader will also grow.
Creating believable characters is all about being a good watcher of people...
I create mine by just watching people. Once a character takes shape on a page, conflict reveals the drives that pulse within a character.
Believable characters: good attention to details, honest reaction and motives...
They need something unique from the other characters and they need to be human - something they are passionate or emotional about - that makes the real and someone the reader can relate to.
History -- you just have to know what made a person who he/she is. It's not enough to say, "Jack's a criminal, but he loves his cat." That's BS. You better dang well know how he became a criminal after his parents died and he bounced through the foster-care system, and he loves his cat because the nicest foster family he ever had kept cats and taught him to appreciate them, blahblahblah. And that's just the beginning.
Characters come to me from within -- I find myself looking at the world through someone else's eyes all of a sudden. Mannerisms and emotions follow. Then I start to see the person from the outside, as though looking in a mirror. That'll lead to some information about who this person is. And I begin to learn his/her backstory -- what he/she wants out of life, what's standing in the way, etc.
Side characters, however, are often little more than names/faces/wardrobes/dialog. I have to be careful -- if I get to know them too well, they'll start to demand their own story!
They have to be motivated. They have to have inner conflicts.
This is also hard. I was always taught in writing classes and when I was an actress and when I was studying acting, that an evil character never thinks they are evil. I don't necessarily think that's true. I was also taught that in acting and in fiction, that if a character is only evil or only good, they become cartoonish. So, my dilemma in writing my memoir is large, because one of the main characters is evil and I really cannot find one redeeming feature of this person. There may be one, but I don't know of it. So, in memoir, if I never saw a good feature in that person, how could I honestly write it? The bigger dilemma becomes: does this person become cartoonish? I guess I could say this person had nice teeth or something like that, but come on! - what do I really do??
For a character to be believable they have to have desire, motive, needs, and a wide array of emotions and characteristics. In fiction, which I haven't written much of, I try to start with the exercise of writing down physical, emotional, verbal, mental characteristics. Then I figure out what means the most to them and what is "blocking' them from getting what they want.
I feel a believeable character is one you love and, perhaps, love to hate. Characters who are flawed and, yet, retain a nobility of spirit and perserverance throughout. I try to give my characters realistic personalities and problems. I generally start with a personality profile for my characters and add elements I think will make them interesting to my readers.
I study the character, I get into his or her head and try to see what he is thinking, I become my character, good, bad or ugly, that is the way I approach each character.
I don't have to create any characters -- mine are all real.
Flaws, depth. Struggles with money and a sense of self. If I can fairly easily find myself, or someone I know intimately, in a character, and his actions match who he is, I'm there.
Often my characters are composites. A nose from this old friend, an eyebrow from this guy I once worked with, a hunger like the one that killed my Uncle Bob, and I fear like every fear I've ever know--I throw them into my creative pot, and so a charcter is born. Really.
My characters have to show feelings for one another. I try to make sure they show tenderness, caring and love. These three ingredients usually create a character.