Creating memorable fictional characters, that remain alive in the reader’s mind long after they have finished your book, is the dream of every writer. Characters are all around us and the best way to conjure them up is by noticing the people around you. The next time that you are in a cafe, or the beach, or even in the lift, put your phone away, look up and notice the people around you. Most probably, their heads are bent over their smartphones! 🙂
While there aren’t any books that can help you create interesting fictional characters, one book that I own and have read through has been ’45 Master Characters’ by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. Victoria basically uses mythological characters like Apollo and Ares and draws out parallels in the contemporary world.
Victoria’s 45 master characters are basically stereotypes (simplified, but not boring!) that you find in novels and movies. In my opinion, you cannot create a character using this book but it gives you some idea about
- what can be expected from your character if he is a person like Apollo
- who (stereotypes) can be friends with your character
- who would your character dislike
- who would your character be in a relationship with
Of course, creating characters cannot be simplified into formulae like this! Using this book wisely can help to understand the kind of characters that you encounter in fiction so that you can go on and create some intriguing fictional characters.
So, have you ever used any books (or worksheets) for characterisation? Please mention them in the comments below. I would love to check them out.