Your character’s personality

Filed in Characters, personalityTags: ,

Consider what's going on inside your character's brain

How a character looks can be important (To me, it usually isn’t, however, unless there’s some defining characteristic used to identify them, or I’m reading a romance, though why would I, in particular, be reading a romance, I don’t know), but how they think and act (along with how their acts are presented) can make or break them in the eyes of your reader. After all, when was the last time you heard that Wesley Crusher, of Star Trek The Next Generation, was as entertaining character to watch (though his personality was only a small part of his overall problems. The big one was that he kept being shoved into the spotlight to the detriment of all the other, more established characters) or that Winston Smith of Nineteen Eighty Four was a boring character to read about?

That’s why making a good character that audiences can associate with starts by giving him or her a good solid personality, with a fitting attitude and motivation, well-defined relationships and a general idea of sociability, along with well understood, yet implicitly defined strengths and flaws These are people, after all, and people are not one-dimensional automatons.

This is a complex enough concept that I want to divide this into multiple posts with each one focused on one part of a character’s personality (attitude, motivation, relationships, sociability, mental illness, introversion and extraversion come to mind right away, though I’ll probably skip over mental illness for October, at least, as I’m coming off the death of a family member from Alzheimer’s and that strikes a bit too close to home right now) simply so I can get all the important nuances without crushing you under a wall of text. Personality is an extremely complex topic after all, which is why I think this will be the longest series I will ever have on this site.

Tomorrow, I think we’ll start with the attitudes and motivations of characters. They’re similar enough that they can go together.

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