Ever finished reading a
book and wonder how the author came up with the main characters? Most of authors plan their characters and
storyline, along with the theme of the story before they even put pen to paper
(or fingers to keyboards).

I’ve put together five
steps for you to follow to help you create your own characters. You might not be considering world domination
in the book world but you might need a few to add to your short story for
school, college or that competition you’ve been dying to enter.

1.
Before you start thinking about your
characters, you will need to decide which genre your character will be in;
action, fantasy, romance, comedy, horror or sci-fi. You can’t create a time travelling dwarf if
you’re thinking of writing a romantic story can you?

2.
Next you need to ask yourself why is the
character you are about to create needed in the story and what are their
purpose in the story? Will they be the
lifelong enemy or a long lost lover? Do
they have a main role or just a small supporting part? These questions need to be answered before
you can really begin to piece together your character.

3.
Give your character some basics; age,
appearance, family background, likes, dislikes.
If you can draw why not summon up an image. If you can’t, there are many simulation games
(The Sims) to help you build your character.
Knowing your character a little bit better will help when it comes to
actually putting them into your story.

4.
Delve into your character’s past. Are they hiding a dark secret? Did something good/bad happen to them in
their childhood. Is there something about
them that only a few know about? It
helps to know a little background information when you start writing, as your
character may act a certain way because of something in their past. For instance, when they were six they nearly
drowned, so anything relating to water makes your character freak out.

5.
All your character to grow as the story
progresses. They cannot stay the same
throughout the story. Events that will
occur as you continue to write will have an effect on your character’s life and
thoughts. Make sure you are able to show
this change.

Here are a few tips you
might find useful too.

·
Make your stories and characters believable
– no one is perfect or really evil.

·
Drawing your characters, whichever way
you can, will help.

·
Always date your stories.

·
Never throw away any stories even if you
don’t manage to complete them.

·
Pay particular attention to the conversations
between your characters.

·
People watch to get ideas.

·
Watch films for dialogue.

·
Research; jobs, places, food, the
weather.

·
Always make writing an enjoyable
experience.