Novel Writing: Creating Loveable Characters in 5 Easy Steps | Anna Kay | Skillshare

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Novel Writing: Creating Loveable Characters in 5 Easy Steps

teacher avatar Anna Kay, Spiritual mentor and healer

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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      Make Your Character Human


    • 4.

      Give Your Character a Goal


    • 5.

      Give Your Character Conflict


    • 6.

      Allow Your Character to Develop


    • 7.

      Let Your Character Wander


    • 8.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Would you love to write a novel but don't really know where to start?

Do you have an idea but need a bit of help getting it off the ground?

Or maybe you just want to brush up on your writing skills to get your reader more involved?

Creating really loveable characters is vital when it comes to writing a great novel or story.  You want your reader to get hooked so they keep reading until the end, and if they feel a connection with your characters they're far more likely to do this.

In this class I'll show you 5 easy steps to creating really loveable characters that your readers will be able to empathise with so that they find themselves willing your characters on to succeed in whatever quest you have set for them.

So enrol now and start creating loveable characters today!

(Introduction Music From Bensound)

Meet Your Teacher

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Anna Kay

Spiritual mentor and healer


Hi, I'm Anna.

I’m a spiritual mentor, intuitive, healer and educator.

I’m super passionate about sharing my extensive knowledge and experience to help you feel empowered to love yourself, to have a strong voice in the world, to feel confident about showing your true self and sharing your amazing creations, and to feel great about getting paid for your hard work and bringing in all of the abundance you deserve.

I have a MFA in Fine Art, life coaching, energy healing and hypnotherapy qualifications and over twelve years’ experience running my own creative businesses, which all puts me in a perfect position to help you with your creativity, self-care and creative business.

Join my Skillshare classes to help you build a life full of freedom, lov... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Anna. Welcome to my skill share Class novel writing. Creating lovable characters in five easy Steps creating well rounded, lovable and convincing characters is one of the most important things when it comes to writing a novel successfully. It's also surprisingly tricky to do in this class. I'll show you five easy steps that will really help you when it comes to creating successful characters. By the end of this class, you should be starting to know your characters inside out their favorite food, the best memory, how they'd react of the house burned down and you'll be able to use all of this information when it comes to actually writing your novel. You'll find it makes it a lot easier when you just know exactly how your characters would react. In any situation, you might throw upon them without even having to think too hard about it. This class is for anyone who would like to write another. Whether you're a complete beginner or a seasoned writer, it's easy to follow and broken down into small, manageable lessons that you can fit into your everyday life and work through it. Your own pace. You don't need any special equipment to take this class. Just a notebook, a pen or a laptop, depending on how you prefer to what I've added, a Pdf worksheet that will help you delve deeply into characters, personalities and a class project that will reinforce what you learn. I look forward to seeing you in class and to reading about your characters very soon. 2. Class Project: the portrait for this class is in full parts. You can either complete it as you go along After watching the relevant lesson. Well, you may prefer to watch the whole class and then do the project. It's up to you. Firstly, fill in the PdF worksheet that you'll find in the class project section underneath this video. When you've done this, please upload three interesting facts about your character to the Project gallery. Think about traits that work well together, and remember the negative ones as well as the positives. Secondly, think about what your character's gold might be and upload that to the gallery. Next, look at your pdf and consider what might be potential conflicts that you could put in your characters way to stop them reaching their goal and upload to to the gallery. For this, you might want to look at things such as phase. They have people they don't get on with, or anything that might have stopped them getting something they wanted in the past. And finally, think carefully about how you'd like your character to develop as the novel goes on and upload this to to help you with this. Consider their situation on mind set at the beginning of the novel, and what sort of growth might help them reach their goal and satisfy your reader? 3. Make Your Character Human: Welcome to a first class in this class. We're going to talk about how to make your characters likeable, well rounded and believable. If you want your readers to get behind your characters and have an emotional investment in them, then it's really important that you spend time carefully considering everything about them , such as their personality, traits, background and lights and dislikes. To create realistic characters, you'll need to make them as human as possible. That means not being afraid to show both the positive and negative sides of the personality . Think about yourself and the people you know. No, really. Life human has only good characteristics. Everyone has something that has the potential to turn them into a monster occasionally, even if most of the time they're a good person, your characters must be the same. This is what creates conflict for them, which is essentially the basis for your story. But we'll come to that in a later lesson when giving your character personality traits. There were a number of things to consider. To start with where they have come from, will have a huge impact on whose they are now, so it's vital to think about not only their current situation, but what has happened to them in the past. For example, things like where they grew up, who their family are, what kind of house they lived in and even how popular they were at school. Then you need to consider that present day traits and experiences. Where do they live? Who were they dating? Do they have any pets? What kind of music do they like? You also need to get more abstract and figure out how they'd react in hypothetical situations, such as if the house burned out or if the mother died. Basically anything you know about yourself, you need to know about your character. I know that's a lot to figure out, but I promise it will help in the long run to help you think about about everything you need to know about. Your characters have included a Pdf worksheet, which you'll find underneath the class project. If you click on the tab below this video, it gives you a long list of things that you should think about. I'd advise you to fill this in for every single character in your novel. Even the minor ones who only play a tiny part. The reason I advised learning so much about your characters right from the start is that it will allow you to write your novel more easily. If you know exactly how any character will react to any situation you might put them in, then you won't have to stop constantly to figure out what they would do. It'll allow your novel to be more coherent and well consistent. It will also allow you to plot your novel more easily. For example, you might have decided that you want your main character to steal a wallet out of someone's bag. Knowing how they would feel about doing this will help you figure out what will happen next in the novel once they've stolen the wallet. If you know that your character is a bit of a goody goody who would never usually consider stealing, then you may find that their wrecked with guilt and end up giving themselves up and admitting to the crime. Then again, if your character is someone who does things like this often you may find them being thrown in jail because they already have multiple offenses on their record. Either way, this is obviously going to have a huge bearing on your plot, so spend a bit of time working through the character, pdf and really thinking hard about who your characters are and where they've come from, and I'll see you in the next class. 4. Give Your Character a Goal: welcome. But hopefully now you know everything you possibly could about your characters and are ready to start thinking about what might be their aim in your novel. So the next step on your journey to creating lovable characters is to give them a gold. The goal of your main character is the one that matters most as it's essentially what's going to provide the block for your novel. What this goal is, what it is that's currently stopping the character from reaching it, and how they react to any obstacles in their way of the things that will create conflict for your character and intrigue your reader. So they want to keep going to find out what happens without a goal. Your character has no reason for being. Well, they might, but it'll make for a very dull and uneventful novel. The goal needs to be something that they really, really want, but that is currently out of reach, and it needs to be something pretty big to make the journey to reach it worthwhile like, for example, to stop a bomb going off so the character can save the lives of hundreds of innocent people or to find a way to finally get the man or woman of their dreams and therefore live a life full of endless happiness. Obviously, the type of book you're writing will have a bearing on your characters goal and what they have to do to reach it. Once you've given your character ago, you then need to throw obstacles in their way to prevent them reaching the gold too easily . Every time they have become one obstacle only to find another in their way, there will be a bit more tired and a bit less motivated, so you need to gradually raise the stakes so it becomes even more essential to reach the goal. Perhaps the person trying to defuse the bomb will find out. Just a zit feels as though they can't go on with the mission any longer that their own brother is inside the building that's going to explode. If they allowed the bomb to detonate, that's going to give them a new burst of energy that will help them make a final push to achieve the goal once and for all. This is the pivotal moment when everything changes for good. Your character can never be the same again, everything becomes clear for them. They know exactly what they need to do, and they conjure up the strength and determination to do it, even if they thought they had none left. If you already have an idea for your novel in mind, you may find it helpful to plot it out before you decide on your characters. And the personality traits as thes will have a bearing on how the block pans out. Then again, you may prefer to work The way I do that is to know my characters well before plotting, because I write novels that are very much character base, so the characters always leave the plot rather than the other way around. If I need to alter my plot because I know a character would never act the way I'm asking them to, I will. Otherwise, it becomes a lot harder to write convincingly. I usually find that the characters lead me themselves so it doesn't cause too many problems to help you come up with a goal fuel character. Go back to your character sheet and look at all the information about them. See if you can deduce what it is that your character really wants in life and what they'd find particularly challenging if it was in their path, then use this to set them a goal. 5. Give Your Character Conflict: welcome back to class. It's all very well, your character having a goal. But if that goal is too easy to reach than your novel isn't going to be very gripping. So in order to write a novel that your reader will really care about and want to finish, you need to give your character something that makes it harder for them to succeed in their quest. This is where conflict comes in. I mentioned in the last lesson that you need to put obstacles in your characters way well. This is conflict. Let's take a closer look. Conflict could be either internal or external. Internal conflict is conflict that's in the character's mind. It's a struggle within themselves, the type of thing we all have on a regular basis. Self doubt, fear, moral dilemmas, all of those things that can help us talk ourselves out of doing something. If we're not mentally strong enough to fight them down, seeing your characters struggling with these very human emotions will help people relate to them and emphasize empathize with them. This bond with the character will keep them reading so they can find out whether or not the character is going to defeat that in the demons and finally reached their goal. External conflict, on the other hand, means obstacles outside of your character that stand in the way of them reaching their ultimate goal, such as another person on ocean, a law or a social norm or a supernatural force. Conflict gives the novel depth, and it creates tension to keep your reader hooked, the reader will be able to tell a lot about your character from the way they deal with each conflict they come up against. Do they quit when things get tough, or did they keep going until they've got what ever it is that they set out to get? Perhaps the conflict makes them even more determined. If you know your character well enough, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out exactly how they'll react to any conflict you create . For them, one of the most common mistakes amongst new writers is not adding enough conflict, so make sure that when you plot your novel, you throw plenty in the way of your character to make them really struggle to reach their end goal 6. Allow Your Character to Develop: welcome back to step full of this novel writing class, you're now getting closer to creating really lovable characters. Feel novel. In this step, we're going to talk about allowing your character to develop one of the things that will really draw your reader in it, seeing how your character grows as a person throughout your novel. So your character should go through changes that make them a different person by the end of the novel than they were at the beginning. If you think about riel life, everything we go through, every challenge we meet has an effect on us. We learned something new about ourselves that we can then apply to other things in our lives. From then on, each experience we have adds to us as a human being and helps us grow. This should be the same for the main character of the novel. Think about how each conflict you put in front of them will impact on them as a person. You might find that their self doubt starts to lessen as there have become more and more obstacles. Perhaps they realize they have a still there, unaware off until they're in a desperate situation where they need to use it. Well, maybe they learn something about their past. That explains how they are now. These are things that will be useful to them going forward into the future. Sometimes the character may not even be conscious of the fact that they're going through a process of change and may only realize it when they reach that pivotal moment when nothing can ever be the same again. Their outlook on life and often their understanding of themselves, is going to be very different from then. Or think about the impact that this will have on them and everything in their life. By making your character go through this process of development, you'll help you re to get more involved in the story. When they see the changes that are taking place in your character, they'll start to wonder how these are going to continue and where your character is going to end up. They'll start to empathize with the character and might well be able to relate the characters experiences to things in their own lives. He'll be willing your character on to succeed, and this will make for a far more satisfying read personally I find it much more satisfying and uplifting as a reader. When the character I've invested hours of my life following makes a realization about themselves. That means they'll finally get the happy ending. As I said before, though, ah, happy ending isn't obligatory. Even if you decide to go for a less than happy ending, it can still be satisfying for your reader, so long as they've seen some sort of development take place in your character. You could even write a character who realizes by the end of the novel that their original state was the right one. But at least they'll have learned a few things on their journey that they'll then be able to use in the future. Ever think about possible ways in which your character could develop and I'll see you soon for a final step to creating lovable characters 7. Let Your Character Wander: welcome back to the final step. This step is about letting your characters wonder if you've got to know your characters well, both before you start writing and while you're going along, you may well find that they start to come alive and take control of your novel. I regularly find, as I know other writers do, that my main character in particular could start objecting to what I'm asking them to do. I don't even have to think about it. They just start wandering off in their own direction. This might sound quite strange, but believe me, you'll know it if it happens to you. Of course, it's not really the characters that are coming alive. It's just your imagination, subconsciously telling you that the plot you planned doesn't suit the character anymore. If this happens, I'd advise just going with it. Be brave and trust your instincts and your character. You may have 20 post it notes telling you to go one way, but in my opinion, being flexible as you work through your novel is sometimes more important than sticking to your well crafted plan. It's actually a really exciting feeling, and you'll probably find that your novel turns out better for it. Enjoy the fact that your character is well formed enough to have its own opinions, its own personality and its own desires and ambitions for its life. After all, this is easier than going right back to the beginning and writing a new modified character who will fit the plot you originally had in mind. Although this is an option if you feel strongly that this is what you'd rather do, as far as I'm concerned characters, having a mind of their own is one of the most satisfying and special things about writing a novel, and it makes you really sad to leave them behind when you come to the end. 8. Final Thoughts: Welcome back to the final video in this class here, I'm going to recap what we've learned and go through some final thoughts to get you started writing your novel. The main things I would say you need to keep in mind when creating your characters are, firstly, to get to know them as much as possible. Use the character pdf that I've added to the glass Project section below this video and spend as much time as you need to getting to know your characters and do this for all of your characters, not just your main one. Secondly, make your characters human. Give them floors, give them something that the reader can relate to and don't just make them perfect. After all, imperfection could be beautiful to, and it'll end up being how they improve on those imperfections that really matters by the end of your novel. Next, give you character a goal, something they're going to have to struggle to achieve. Let's face it, if your character doesn't have a struggle, then you pretty much don't have a novel following on from that at plenty of conflict into the mix to make it harder for your hero or heroine to reach their goal and raised states to keep the challenge going until they're exhausted and dejected. But in your opinion, ready for one final huge obstacle. When your character encounters all of these challenges, they should change and grow until they reach a point where they can no longer but go back to being how they were in the beginning. And the final thing is to let your character wonder, even if you have different plans for them, go with them and see where they end up. You might be pleasantly surprised. Completing the class project will really help to reinforce what you've learned. I'll be checking in regularly to offer feedback, and it would be great if you could leave comments on other students projects, too. Feedback is a vital part of the learning process, and commenting on other people's work will help you think about your own more critically. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to leave them in the class discussion, and I'll track and regularly to answer them. So before you go off and start creating lovable characters just like to say thanks very much for watching my class I really hope you've enjoyed it and that you'll find it useful when you come to craft your novel. I'd be really grateful for any feedbacks that you feel you'd like to leave, either under the discussions tab or in a review. Also, please click on the sums up above this video if you found it useful so I can reach out to more students like you who are keen to learn about novel writing, happy writing, and I look forward to reading about your characters very soon.