Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Characters Make The Story or Movie or ...

As writers, we watch people. We look at them physically, but we also try to understand what makes them tick.

Why? Because they become the integral part of our stories.

Have you ever read a book without a hero, heroine, bad guys or good guys? No - at least not a fiction book where someone has written a story for entertainment.

Have you ever seen a movie without a hero, heroine, good guy or bad guy? No, again if its one for entertainment. I doubt you ever will.

Even children's books have them. They might be in the form of a hippo, a pig, horse or rabbit, but it's the characters who pull us in and make us keep reading a book or watching a movie.

So, what types of things do we as writers need to develop our characters? Everything!

We have to give them a name. Does it matter what name we give them? No, but hopefully we won't name an English lord Takamoto or a Japanese girl Mary. Do you see a name can give you the first hint about the character?

We have to give them a heritage. Where did they come from? Are they close to parents and family? Did they have a religious background? What job do they hold? Education they have, age, etc. All of these things make up who we are and in turn as a writer, we need to create the same for our characters.

Then we need to know what they look like. How old they are. Height, weight, hair color, eyes and the list goes on and on. Sounds like a lot of work right? Not really, but in order to make them real people that readers want to relate to, we have to make our characters seem real, and this is the way an author or writer does it.

Oh no, we're not finished yet. We need to make them unique. Give them character traits like being scared of spiders, loving to drink tea, etc. They need to have to have likes, dislikes, skills, etc.

I never realized what was involved just to write a story until I started writing one. You can see why so many authors feel like they lost a good friend when they write "The End" and have to move on to another story. We've spent so much time getting to know our characters that sometimes it's hard to say goodbye and move on. But moving on is what we do. We create new heroes and new heroines and give them new issues to deal with.

We're each individual. Think about it when you read your next story or watch that new movie. The characters you meet will be individual. No two will be exactly the same. That's why we like them.

Happy Reading!

K. R. Bailey