Creative Writing Skills: Creating Memorable Characters | Linda Smith | Skillshare

Creative Writing Skills: Creating Memorable Characters

Linda Smith, Writer and Avid Crafter

Creative Writing Skills: Creating Memorable Characters

Linda Smith, Writer and Avid Crafter

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6 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Creating Your Characters

    • 3. Naming Your Characters

    • 4. Developing Your Characters

    • 5. Show and Tell

    • 6. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

In this class you will learn how to create memorable characters for your stories.  A memorable character is a character that is believable, real and human that your readers can relate to and enjoy reading about.

We will discuss how to create and name your characters, how to develop your characters and how to use Show and Tell to get your readers involved in your story and allow them to visualize your characters and his actions

You will learn how to create memorable characters that will capture your readers' interest and hold their attention throughout the story.

Meet Your Teacher

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Linda Smith

Writer and Avid Crafter


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1. Introduction: My name is under Smith, and I'm a writer. When I was a little girl, I spent all of my spare time reading my favorite books back in for the Nancy Drew mysteries . Nancy Drew was a teenage amateur detective but spent her time solving mysteries. She used her brains and determination to solve these mysteries, and there was nothing that she couldn't do. And to do this what we call a memorable character is easy to relate to and easy to idolize . In this class, you'll learn how to create characters that a riel, believable and human. Your characters are the basis of your story. Your readers must be able to connect with them or the sun lose interest in your characters and in your story. Today we'll discuss how to create and name your characters, how to develop your characters. And how do you show until you get your readers involved in your stories and allow them to visualize you can't hurt and his actions. This class is suitable for all skill levels and requires no previous experience. After finishing this class, you'll be able to create memorable characters that will capture your radar, Gentner's and hold their attention throughout the story. You will create a class project and posted to your project gallery. Your project will be to write a short story using the tips you've learned to create memorable characters at your readers can relate to and enjoy reading about. So let's get started with learning how to create these memorable characters. 2. Creating Your Characters: you have a favorite book, short story, our movie. Can you picture the characters from the story? Creating memorable characters is one of the most important jobs a writer hands to be memorable character must be believable, riel and human. When your character say Meriel, your readers will be able to relate to them and care about them. Readers want to see characters that have flowers, make mistakes and sometimes make bad decisions. This is all part of making the character human. The reader wants to see how the character deals with his flowers and overcomes his mistakes . Predictable cardboard characters, stereotypes and perfect characters will easily bore the reader and 1000 lose interest in your story. Another thing you should do is my gate character distinct on different. Give them tags that will make a memorable to the reader. A tag can be many different things, such as physical traits, clothing, hairstyles, mannerisms, social expressions, speak habits, noises he makes or anything else that will help create an image of your character. When you think of Harry Potter, what comes to mind? Is it his glasses and his hair, his cloak or a scar? How about Ron Weasley? Do you see is red here, freckles and long nose. What do you see when you think of Scarlett O'Hara and gone with the wind? Do you see the beautiful Southern girl in an antebellum dress and hat? When you think a little red riding hood, do you see a little girl wearing a red hooded cloak? These are all examples of good tags that immediately identify the character. Visualize you character. Picture the complete person in your mind. What does he look black is, he told George or every size. What are his fears and goals? What makes him as he is? Did he have a bad experience early in his life that left him scarred? Your readers need to be able to see the complete character and be able to relate to him. They may love, hate or laughed at him, but he must be memorable to them. But I like to do. When I began to create my characters is to make a fact cheap for each one of the nine characters. This gives me an idea of who my character is and provides me with a list of details to refer to as I create the character on this fact sheet. I include things such as the character's name, this physical appearance to include his hair and eye color. This stature is he tall, shorter every time, and any distinguishing marks, scars, modes or detectives his age where he was born, his marital status, his Children, his siblings, his occupation, his income, his educational background, his personality, his friends, gold talents, any triggers that set him off or affected water. His likes and dislikes, his fears and worries and any secrets that he wants to keep hidden passions or motivations that drive him. And any mannerisms are flaws that make him stand out. Jot down anything else that will bring your character toe laugh so that you can get it clear. True picture of your character. Review the information on your fat sheet and see if you can visualize your character as a really believable and complete person. You probably won't use everything from your list and your writings, but the goal is to make the character real to you so you can make him, really to your readers. Draw from your own experiences to define your characters. Have you met someone that stands out in your mind as a great person to base your character on. I have a neighbor down the street. Maybe he's a military bedroom that has shared his wartime experiences with you. Could you base your character on someone like this? Or maybe your mother or grandmother has told you stories off her life as she grew up in the South. What a wealth of information she's probably shared with you. Think of all the interesting people you've met over the years. Could you possibly mixed details from several of these people to create an entirely different person as a places for your character? Ideas to help you form? Your characters can come from anywhere in your daily life. Whether you're watching TV, taking the subway, getting in a restaurant or even spending time in the park, People are all around you. Just keep your eyes and ears open. Be aware of what's going on in your world. The ideas will come 3. Naming Your Characters: There are a lot of things to consider when trying to come up with the perfect name for your character. And Amy Choose must suit that person, his role in your story and his personality. A strong character should have a strong name. When creating a strong character. Choose the name that will have the reader visualize him is being strong and bold rather than weak. And in it they condemn Hercules. For example, What comes to mind when you think of Hercules? You automatically picture a huge strongman that's larger than life or frail, timid person that has problems relating to others. Heritage and ethnicity are also important facts to consider. It would be better to name a proud Italian female character on Italian name, such as Jana Isabelle, up or AM rather than Suzy or Cindy. The German character names would be Hans Werner or auto. My mistake that's easy to make is with Asian character. Japanese, Chinese and Korean surnames are very different. Common Japanese surnames or Tanaka. You go and knock him over. Chinese characters might be named Wang Dan or woo. If a Korean character strike Juan Kimberly, be sure to check any foreign names that you plan to use It was not, I said, any of your readers that might be offended by your George of names. If your story is set in Mexico and you have Mexican characters, your characters would be more accurately named Jose rather than Joseph Carlos rather than Charles. But Juan rather than John beaters, are very quick to spot these types of ever. So be very careful with names you choose. Character name should also be historically and geographically correct. Elizabethan era women were commonly called Victoria Mary Isabelle on Elizabeth Common names for males during this period. Where Andrew Deadman George it is important to keep your character to to to the time period of your story. It's always a good idea to research any names that you plan to use. I gotta go as them according to heritage, ethnicity, historical and geographical importance. This will give you a ready list to choose your character names. Wrong name should also be easy to pronounce. You can't expect a reader to remember character whose names I can't even pronounce if they have to stumble over the name every time they read it, they might become irritated with the character or possibly lose interest in him out again. Name should be easy to read and not alter that flow of your story. So give your readers a bike and use names that are easy to pronounce and relate To. Be sure to keep your character's name is consistent. If your name your hero Bob, then use Bob throughout the story, switching back and forth from Bob to Robert. Bobby well, only confused the Raider. The readers must remain interested in your care records in order to remain interested in your story. Most all of your stories will have both major and minor characters. Sometimes is not necessary to give the monarch air is a name. The cab driver, the waitress in a restaurant or secretary in an office don't necessarily need to be named. If they're only, there is background characters. You could simply say something like Mr Jones Secretary dropped off the fouls or the waitress returned marriage purse that had been left in the restaurant. If it serves no purpose to give them a name, then don't. If you're having trouble coming up with good names to be a character's, there are a few things that you can do for inspiration. Think about the street names in your city. Maybe you have a page avenue or on Emerson Street, your character could become Paige, Emerson and Wilcox. Dr. Johnson Street and Harrison Circle could be transformed into John Harris and Wilco. I'm making a list of first and last names of family and friends. You could mix and match these names to come up with. A new name for your curtain can also use phone books, obituaries and name generators or even Google popular names for different years. The Social Security Administration also has a database of popular names, searchable by decade. A good rule of thumb would big always Google the names of your characters and see what pops up you wouldn't wanna find later on. That your gangster characters name was also shared by local politician or a well known personality. This could prove embarrassing. If your story makes it to the best seller list. Naming your characters is one of the most important steps and joining the Raiders an interest. It can seem like a difficult test, so take your time and do it right. Let's recap some of the things to remember when naming your character. The name must suit the character, his role in the story and his personality. A strong character should have a strong name. Stay true to the character Teret, Ege and Ethnicity characters. Names should be geographically and historically correct. Name should be easy to pronounce. Kate names consistent. Such is Bob, Robert and Bobby Google. Your character names Take your time and choose the right name for your character. 4. Developing Your Characters: Now let's talk about developing your characters. Your characters must grow and develop over time. When meeting someone for the first time. You don't learn everything about them overnight. It takes time to get to know a person. And that's a sign with your characters. Introduce your characters and let the reader get to know them Over time. Everybody has a history, and you're history affects your present. A character also has a history. A character may have goals and motivations that were brought about by something that happened in this past. Maybe he became a social worker because he was raised by foster parents and knows firsthand what Children in the foster system go through. Maybe he had good foster parents, maybe did. But his experience left him with a desire to help Children in the foster system. Maybe he became a lawyer because his father was falsely accused and convicted of murder. Do 10 incompetent attorney. He vowed to spend his life having individuals that he felt we're in the same situation. Whatever his motivations are, the Raiders will understand the character better if they are aware of this past history characters have two sides. They're not all good or all bad, so their faults, as well as their good deeds and making human bring them to life for your readers. In order to do this, you'll have to get to know your character quite well. Put yourself in his skin and become like it's hard to identify with the character that has betrayed his perfect. Even the most popular heroes had weaknesses For Indiana Jones. It was snakes, the Superman, It was script and I Maybe your character has a bad temper or has no patience with others. Whatever his faults are, show the good and the bad and order for the reader to relate to your character. He must be believable, human and vulnerable. When developing her character. You need to know how he will react in different situations. Imagine yourself in a situation that he's in basted dilemma and ask yourself what you would did. Have you ever been home alone and heard footsteps in the next room? Has your child ever gone missing in the store? How did you feel? What did you do? How would you character react in the same situations? What are his feelings? What's he thinking? What's he doing when you have developed a certain type of character. Your readers will expect his actions to remain true to that characterization. A fable character with limited mobility would not suddenly jump up and beat somebody up. A sweet, lovable grandma would not start spouting swear words and profanity. Be aware of how you portrayed your character to your readers and keep the character true to this betrayal. You must know how your character would react in any given situation and keep these actions consistent throughout your story. You're Raider nature to be empathetic dwarves. You character. It doesn't necessarily have to lacking, but he needs to understand while the character acts like he does. If your character gets angry very easily. So what causes in to be this way that you read or see what the characters failing? The reader should be able to relate to the character and have empathy for him. Thank you character. Come alive to the reader. You'll need to create problems, conflicts and obstacles for him to overcome. This could be in the form of another person, an actor, difficulties of disaster, of some kind or anything else that causes a stumbling block for your character. the readers will enjoy your store more and continue reading because I can relate to the character and they want to see how you manages to resolve the conflict or overcome the obstacle. 5. Show and Tell: Is it better to show rather than tell on providing information about characters in your story? First, we need to understand the difference between showing and telling. Feeling means that the rotter states something as a fact, such as he had red hair or the boy was clumsy and the reader is forced to accept this rather than being able to form his own opinion to show Mr provided details in such a way that the reader is able to create a mental image of what the writer is telling. When the reader has a clear picture of what's going on, he'll be more engaged in your story. There's several ways to show details to you, reader. One way is with dialogue. Dialogue can be out of dialogue. Foreigner dollar out of dialogue is a conversation between two or more people. Inner dialogue is when thoughts and feelings are shown by a conversation that character has with himself. Here's an example of the writer using dialogue to show a little boys love for dogs. Please, Mom, all I want for my birthday is a dull No, his mother said. You know, we aren't allowed to have dogs in the apartment just a little dog. Please, Mom, I could keep a little dog and nobody would know. No, Johnny, you can't hide a dog and we can't afford to lose our home over this. And she said the bags of groceries down and phone aboard Sister's door and rang the doorbell. The door opened, and Greg's brown and white spotted bagel made a beeline for Johnny. Hey boy! Charlie jumped up on Johnny and they both fell to the ground. Johnny was laughing and planning pisses on Charlie's nose. Charlie let Johnny's face as they both rolled over and over in the grass. You'll come on now, yelled Angie. We've got a lot of work to do, and this example the reader is able to picture the same of the little boy and his interaction with his cousin's dog. It's very obvious that Johnny loves his dog. Had the writer merely stated, Donnie loves Alves, the reader would have been deprived of the ability to visualize the action and draw his own conclusions about Donny's feelings for the dog. Information about the character can also be shown about how he act. If the character is a bully, you can let the reader to say this, but showing how he treats others and how they reacted with. Can you see Alan as a bully in this next example and on race down the way to the blood room , he had to be first in line. After all, it was a Covington, and Covington's were always first. It was his right. The other kids could wait. This is he got to the lunchroom. He saw jury able trying to balance his lunch tray and maneuvers crutches at the same time. Again, Alan chatted. Getting out of my way. I'm going first. There is face turned white was there is lunch tray tray fell to the floor. Alan kicked his coaches out from under him. It's easy to see that Alan is truly a bully who thinks he's entitled to privilege. It's because of its family status in the community simply stating that Allen was ability. But wasa bully would not a vote the same feelings from the reader. As a writer, you should bring your reader into the story that, in being part of the action by showing the reader, how did create an image in his own mind as to what is going on in the story. Use of the five senses can serve to make the reader a part of the story show what your character sees years feels, touches and taste. This allows the reader to understand the character better and become more involved with what's happening. Allow the reader to really care about the character and be able to put himself in the character scan. Let him feel the same emotions that the character feels if you want to impress your reader that your character is a that could create a same showing him cooking and serving a meal to his guests. So the guests reactions as they taste the food and realize how bad it ISS do. They walk the mouse impolitely, deposit the food in the napkin. We'll make another face and eat it anyway. What does it could do when he takes the thing? Maybe he left out the sugar or use mail instead of flour. Use details that would create a vivid picture for the reader feeling until both have their place in the riding world. Feeling involves the reader in the action or saying allows the reader to create a mental picture of what's going on and helps to retain their attention. Telling allows you to cover by on Fashir and advance the plot without having to go into so much detail. I believe it's better to strike a happy balance between showing until feeling is not easy to master. It takes time. Just keep at it and practice, practice practice. 6. Final Thoughts: Congratulations. You've completed this class on creating memorable characters. I hope you enjoy the class and are ready to start your project for your class project. You'll create a short story using the things you've learned in this class. The Maki characters memorable for your readers. When your stories finished, be sure to share it to the Project gallery. Can't wait to read your story and see what you've learned. Good luck.