Design Your Novel: Create Memorable Characters | Jami McDonald-Brumfield | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Design Your Novel: Create Memorable Characters

teacher avatar Jami McDonald-Brumfield, Design Your Desired Future

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (15m)
    • 1. Hero Creation Introduction

    • 2. Hero Creation Class Project

    • 3. Hero Creation ~ who is telling your story

    • 4. Hero Creation ~ Audience and Genre

    • 5. Hero Creation ~ Differences

    • 6. Hero Creation ~ Motivation or Hook

    • 7. Hero Creation ~ Desires

    • 8. Hero Creation ~ Empathy

    • 9. Hero Creation ~ Description

    • 10. Hero Creation ~ Backstory and Ideal Future

    • 11. Hero Creation ~ Project Time

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

In this training I will give you a step by step process to creating memorable lead characters to use in your novels. You'll learn how to create more than just the surface description of the character and tips on how to make to design characters that have readers empathizing and connecting with them.

If you've read a story and said, "I just love those characters" and want to learn how to make your own awesome characters this class is for you. If you'd like to learn to flesh out characters in the books you're working on this class is for you. If you are an aspiring author and would like more insigt into creating memorable characters that bring the story to life, this class is for you.

Click enroll and lets get started.

Check out some other great courses I offer that you might be interested in as well below:

There will be a few more Design Your Epic Novel trainings as well so be sure to follow me here on Skillshare and if you'd like, subscribe to my newsletter here.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jami McDonald-Brumfield

Design Your Desired Future


Hello, I am Jami McDonald-Brumfield. I'm a certified Transpersonal Hypnotherapist, Master NLP Practictioner, Reiki Master, Life, Career and Relationship Coach. I like to jumble everything together under the title of Transformation Coach because that is what I focus on when working with clients.

I am also a published and self-published author in multiple fiction genres with over 20 current titles.

My training videos will include real life exercises you can use from multiple modalities because everyone is a little different. You're going to find tools to help you work through whatever the class objective is and learn techniques you can use in multiple areas of your life.

I look forward to seeing your projects and feedback from the trainings. Pick a class and lets g... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Hero Creation Introduction: Hello and welcome to a branch of my design. Your desire. Future Goal in action Planning. Siri's title design Your epic novel I'm Paranormal author Jamie Brumfield. I published over 20 books using either the traditional small press route or independent publishing. You can check out some of my titles on the screen. I've been successful in many facets of writing and publishing when he multiple awards, receiving high raking reviews and making multiple bestsellers list, including The New York Times, with my contribution to the wicked after dark anthology remote paranoia from the PB I case file. Siri's and I've learned through trial and error, networking and self study what works best for me and through the designer desired future design. Your epic novel Siri's. I'd like to share some of those secrets with you. I'm going to start the series out with character creation. This training is particularly on creating phenomenal heroes because, well, let's face it without amazing heroes, the story has little to build on and readers are unlikely to enjoy it. This is a key component to creating your novel. Many people will tell me they love characters long before the gush about the plot or the world, all of which will be covered in future video trainings. For now, let's focus on the more important things. Making your characters endearing and being able to project that into your writing. If you're writing about these characters lives, they're probably very precious to you. But are you able to translate that to the story so the reader can see what you see? It all stems to character development. If you're an aspiring author wanting to learn more about character development, if you want to create characters that jump off the page and pull the reader into the story in this class is definitely for you. In this class, you're going to learn how to develop an amazing hero. If that is something that catches your attention than click and role in, Let's get Started. 2. Hero Creation Class Project: Let's talk a little bit about the class project in this class. You're going to be asked to create a Polish phenomenal character from scratch. The class project will be to write out an interview with the character where you make this character's attributes shine. Showcase your individuality. What makes him special? Be original. Consider plugging the genre's well. If you're writing in a fantasy, John Rob. Incorporate elements of that genre into the actual interview, and this is also the opportunity that you have to allow readers Teoh, connect and empathize with your character. This is a great way to showcase your writing skills and also market the character. You can also post this on your blogger or uses as a guest block post when you're looking to promote your story. And this can also just be used to increase your skills and learn the lesson however you choose to use This interview is completely up to you. I'm looking forward to you posting the interviews in the Project Gallery. I'm looking forward to reading your original work and getting to know some of your characters. For now, let's get started with E nitty gritty of character creation. Click on the next video so we can get right into the project material 3. Hero Creation ~ who is telling your story: Let's start with. Figure out how you're going to tell your story. There are a couple of questions you want to answer about your lead character here first male or female. Second, will you be writing 1st 2nd or third person? You might be wondering why these elements are important in character creation. The answer is simple. If you're writing in first person, most of your character broke well beyond the main character. The story we told from that character's perspective in information, we relate to the reader. From that viewpoint, the main characters trade will affect the success of the story on so many levels. If you're writing in third person, then the other characters will need to be flushed out more. At least the two main characters and the outstanding supporting cast as well as your villain. Knowing how you're going to be writing the story is just a Zim Porton as who the characters are. It all works together. Once you have the answer to these questions, joined me in the next video 4. Hero Creation ~ Audience and Genre: knowing your audience and genre has a big impact on character creation. The lead character in a young adult fantasy fiction novel is going to be completely different from a lead in a new adult, paranormal or adult romance novel. Likewise, a male or female detective or P I and a mystery is going to have different characteristics than a bear in a kids book. Knowing who you intend to write the book for your audience and the genre you'll be writing in will greatly impact many areas of the characters development. Once you have the answer to these questions, come on over to the next video. 5. Hero Creation ~ Differences: The next thing to consider is how does your character stand out from the crowd now that you've decided genre audience? Who will be telling the story and how will you be telling the story? Let's start with the more difficult questions and work backwards. What is different about your character? How does he or she stand out from the crowd? What makes him or her unique? Is it a physical or personality difference? A character that makes an impact on readers is someone who stands out in the crowd. One of my favorite characters from another paranormal author has always stood out to me because this character walked with a limp and had an oversized lower lip, which made her physical appearance stand out. She was also fierce and a strong woman who was, Ah, person. You wanted to know someone you love to be friends with. When she won the vampire's heart, my heart cheered for her. She was different in that made her memorable, and reading her story was more than escaping reality. For a while I was connected to the character. The author did an amazing job, and I must say this was about 10 years ago when I read this book, so it's still stuck with me. Even now, you can have a character who stands out with personality trades, physical trades, even traits that are displayed internally, like a negative in her voice that constantly gets in the way. For example, in my winter saga, Siri's, though Wolf in the human host carry on conversations in their mind it as an additional layer of attention, especially since they don't really appreciate each other. It has always been a point many readers have mentioned they love about the werewolf characters in that series. The more unique, the more impactful they stand out in, the more memorable they become. So pick a personality, trade or physical trade, maybe even in your voice, something that is causing tension but really makes the character stand out and something that makes them different. When you completed this, come and join me in the next video 6. Hero Creation ~ Motivation or Hook: in great stories. There is almost always a great hook in the plot that keeps readers continuing to read the story. It is the same for a character. What is your characters hook? What is their motivation? How will they impact the readers so much that will keep them turning the pages to find out what happens next in the story? This can also be a character's motivation. There has to be something motivating the characters to complete the story that's motivating the reader to complete the story. This is sometimes referred to as the hook. It is a major character or plot point in the story. For example, in the Witches vampire, I create a character who is really firmer mothers, lost battle to cancer. She is focused on going back to college and becoming a scientist to study cancer, um, and create cures for the disease that took her mother. Unfortunately, now she is expected to step up and become in town. Which doctor? Oh, and by the way, she didn't even know she was which, because she was spellbound when she was a child. Hook and motivation. It gives the readers a deeper understanding as to why she does what she does and makes an impact. Understanding this about your character before you begin writing gives you a deeper understanding of them as the writer as well. What is the hook and or motivation of your character that your character will be facing in the story? Once you decide on that, come and join me in the next video. 7. Hero Creation ~ Desires: knowing what your character wants and how far they're willing to go to achieve this goal is important when creating a character for your novel. Here's why. Because unless you're going to start with characters birth and continue through their entire life, plotting the desired goal for how far they will go to achieve this is important and discovering where they are now in life in relation to the story that you're writing and what challenges you can put in front of them to find success. This also relates a little bit to the motivation that we talked about earlier. It can also help you. It can also tell you how far you should push the character in your book now. This is especially important for Siri's because character growth is expected in Siris. This also will help you when you get to the plotting stage of your story line of your book . And, like I mentioned before, motivation of the character and the character development. Take a moment now and decide what your character's desires are. You may have already decided this in the motivation section, but now tell us how are write down how far that character is willing to go to get there 8. Hero Creation ~ Empathy: I sure do hope you're having fun creating phenomenal characters. Now we're gonna talk to you about how readers connect to your hero, make them enduring. Readers really want to empathize with the characters. It's given what they want. Generally, readers are looking for a temporary escape. Give them characters that keep them invested in seeing the story to the end. What about your character? Will make readers want to keep reading and root for the character to find success This usually relates to but is not limited to, ah, personality trade, a challenge they need overcome a backstory assumption that the character needs to break the cycle from, or something dramatic that happened to them like a death of a loved one. In one of my books, for example, vampire Princess Rising the lead, Savannah was turned into a vampire. Her friends and family were partially responsible for this change because of bad choices they had made, and now she is dealing with the aftermath to make matters worse. Prior to becoming the vampire, she was the lighthearted sunshine character of the group, and now she has flipped the pendulum to the opposite direction, and she has to learn how to deal with her darker side. Okay, in this example, even though there are paranormal elements in the story, there are also realistic elements that other people can relate to. Trauma happened that resulted in a life change that made her question our core values backing. Create empathy. Think about the things in your life that you've had to overcome, how empathetic we're your friends and family was there even for a moment, a deeper connection made with you and others going through similar situations. That is how this translates into the character building world. Even if you're writing science fiction fantasy or in the case that I just explained paranormal, your character could make an empathetic connection with the reader. This is what you want to strive for. One. Building your character. Make them enduring to your readers. Now it's your turn. Decide on one thing that you can add to your character building process to make this character something or someone that people can empathize with. 9. Hero Creation ~ Description: Now let's talk about your characters description. I saves us close to the end because you might find the appearance has changed as you went through this process. But this is just a Zim Porton as all the steps before, because this will give your reader their first impression of the character and also add layers of description As you're writing the book. Little hint should be given as you write the story as to what they look like after their initial introduction. This really helps the reader to relate to the character and keep the general idea of what the character looks like as they read along. Some of the factors that you'd be looking at is what color are the eyes. Hair is the character. Specific nationality is the character athletic, overweight, petite? How does the character dress? What is his or her favorite outfit? Does he wear different clothes for work and home? Does he or she have tattoos? A scar? Is there any I defining characteristics about their looks? But there is more to a character than what they look like by now. You've probably noticed a trend throughout this video training readers like to see something that makes them connected to the characters. They also like to read things that make them empathize with the characters, and they like to see the character stand out. Remember these components when you're creating the looks of your characters, so now is your turn. Take some time to write out a character description that matches everything you've done so far in the character creation process. When that is done, I'll talk to you in the next video. 10. Hero Creation ~ Backstory and Ideal Future: created a character back story is extremely important and character creation and development. I wrote this training in a way that you may have started to develop backstory already as you work through the process. When I read a backstory, I take the character from birth to the point of the story beginning. And then I create an ideal future to show where the character will be Once the story is over, this is a good general guideline to use. When you do this, you'll want to write out specific points in the character's life that made them who they are. Now. Thes can even be used as material for flashback memories. When you're writing the book, take some time now and write out the character's back story and the ideal future story. And when you're done, I'll chat with you in the next video. 11. Hero Creation ~ Project Time: congratulations. You should now have Ah, really fleshed out character description. Now that you have your character description, create an interview where components for each of the areas are discussed in the interview with the character. This is you, the writer interviewing the character. Or maybe it could be a scene where you write your character is being interviewed by a reporter, either where it is your opportunity to make your character interesting and can be used as a tool to help you flush out the character even more. The great thing about this class project is that you can use the interview as a marketing tool when you finish your story. It gives readers another way to get to know your character. I'm really looking forward to seeing your class projects. The enter the character interviews uploaded into the Project gallery. If you prefer not to share your character, interview the gallery. You can just leave a project post telling me and future students what your biggest take away from this class waas. Either way, either option will show completion of the class. I want to really thank you for taking this class. I hope you enjoyed the information I hope the class helped you flush out your hero. On a deeper level, please review the class and share with others. Have a few more video trainings coming for the design. Your epic novel? Siri's If you haven't already, please check out my other trainings on skill share. I look forward to checking out your projects in the gallery. Have a wonderfully successful day.