character-forever

Building Characters

For a while, I have been wondering how to bring my characters to life. I want them to react the way each one of us does. Make them more believable, livable. Tonight is strange. I woke up about an hour back, when it was still 3 am and kept thinking of certain issues at hand. Just can’t go back to sleep. Whether it is the issue at hand or the double doze of antibiotics I am on, difficult to identify.
What’s interesting is the learning from the past hour, when I let my mind toy with various thoughts that crossed my mind. I am sure, this learning can be quite natural to a few of you, or maybe, well learnt as a part of some writing course, by few others out there, but for me, it was a lightening.
I realised that the characters behave out of their own experience. We need to create that experence around them for them to behave the way we want them to. If I want my character to take everything casually, I need to have his/her childhood experience or maybe some close people around them that would condition their thinking in that direction.
It is imperetive that we have a background that is a perfect match to our charater’s reactions. I cannot have a character who is happy-go-lucky when I am showing that the entire childhood of my charater was spent in turmoil and amidst violent parents.
These character traits are obvious, for some, but then, once we learn from our own experience, we know how valid they are. If I have a character who is timid, I need to have a reason for her to be that way.
Also, some of this backround can be withheld and revealed as the story unfolds, at a point where the antagonist realises the motive of the protagonist, or at a self-actualizing state.
It’s amazing, how sometimes, we get ideas at the most unexpected times of the day. I had to get up and write this and now I am off to bed again….
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