Have you ever read a book and noticed the main character or one of the characters having similar characteristics with the author?
I know I have!
And I’ve created characters who have similar characteristics to mine.
This can be a super useful form of inspiration when creating characters. Look into yourself. There is a ton of information in there.
In this blog post, you’ll learn about creating characters from your unique characteristics, likes, dislikes, and more.
First off, let’s do an exercise.
Step #1. List Your Characteristics, Annoyances, And Likes
- What characteristics are unique to you?
- What annoys you?
- What kind of things do you like?
- What are some rants of yours?
Write out your answers to all of the questions from above. You might even think of your own questions, as well.
Here is my list:
- Dislike for people with certain names because I’m always disappointed with how they turn out to treat me. It’s like a name curse. As soon as I meet them and they say “Hi, my name is….” and I am secretly thinking “Great… here goes another ruined friendship or failed opportunity.”
- Dislike it when people don’t reason and think about things before they speak.
- Hate how negative and full of lies social media is.
- Hate the US vs THEM mentality of today’s society.
Step #2. Now Pick One Of The Characteristics
Use that one characteristic to inspire you to write a paragraph in first person, from a person who is fully focused on that specific topic.
I’m picking the first one.
It really bothers me that certain names are just a mismatch for me. It’s like the universe keeps handing me bad apples in the form of people. People with these same names never seem to fail — they disappoint me.
Step #3. Answer These Questions About Your Character
When I was little, my dad told me about these 5 magic words you can insert in front of any sentence to get people talking and answering questions. Which are “Who, what, where, when, and how.”
Here are the questions to ask of your characters:
- Who are they?
- Why are they so annoyed with this?
- What do they love?
- What is their job?
Step #4. Now Write A Paragraph Creating Your Character
Here is mine:
It’s my first day as an intern at a my dream job. The lady who is going to train me, steps out and offers her hand. “Hi, my name is Shelia (Name is not name I hate… I am not sharing that here.) My stomach lurches and does somersaults as soon as her name leaves her lips. The last time I met a Shelia, which carved this hatred for the name, was when Shelia was convicted of murdering my aunt.”
So, see what I did there? I took something I hated “that name curse” I mentioned above, and then spun it into a story about a character starting as an intern at a company she wants to work at. Then you find out why she hates the name.
*Note: I don’t dislike the names that I mentioned above, for a matter such as my character’s above. I made that all up.
Please share the character you created below in the comments section.