Friday, April 19, 2013
As I work on improving my own writing, one tool that has really helped me get a better idea about my characters are biographies. I have only recently started doing this type of thing, but I've found it so much easier to choose the words a given character might use in conversation or describe the clothes they wear. I can more easily see the mannerisms my main character has that makes his love interest laugh. For example, the way his clothes always look like an unmade bed even though his hair has to be combed just so. These little imperfections help describe the personality that makes these people unique.
One other factor is how personality might change over the life of the story. Writers talk about character growth, and changes in personality are an example of this. Where there was once a completely insecure young man might later be a more confident hero everyone is cheering for. That shy personality just won't work later in the story because everyone expects this change. And the hero hopefully comes to an understanding about themselves, figuring out that this improvement isn't a bad thing.
How do you capture the personality of your characters on the written page?