Creating Characters– the Good and the Bad

My current main character was created from a college assignment I wasn’t too excited to complete. Seriously. It wasn’t this: “I’ve got an idea!” kind of experience– it was an assignment requiring a character sketch. I was working on another story. I didn’t per se want to create a new character. So I looked around the room and saw a DVD that had a character named Mallory on it (that’s how my protagonist got her name and appearance), and the rest slowly came. As I went along, being required to include “sensory details”– touch, sight, taste, smell, etc.– formed a character that was a little like me, a little like Mallory Keaton from the 1980s sitcom “Family Ties” (one of my favorite 1980’s sitcoms!), and the rest like someone I didn’t know at all. That’s how the good character was born. 🙂

To be honest, I don’t write many bad characters. However, I did write about a controlling boyfriend for a short story and used experiences I knew about– and enhanced them. One tip– if you are writing and have an experience you think is too minute for others to relate to, chances are they’re more significant than you think. I submitted a short story with that controlling character for a college assignment and I thought others wouldn’t think it was as significant as I wanted it to be. Turns out, I got responses that showed it WAS important to others. ALL these experiences happen for a reason and they ARE shared by so many people, and by writing them down we can help someone else get through them. I would encourage you to reply to this post with a real experience you would take some time to write about this week– whether you write it in a journal, turn it into a short story, or eventually turn it into a manuscript for your own book. When you write about your hard times, they can make a difference in somebody else’s life– and who knows, maybe one day they will read what you wrote and it’ll help him/her too. 🙂 . No experience is too small! Have a great day, readers! 😀

— Tia ;-D

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