Thursday, March 26, 2015

Put Yourself into Your Characters

So, I kind of liked the short post about the quote I did last Thursday. So much, actually, that I decided to do it again. Who knows? Maybe it'll become a regular thing.
I absolutely adore this quote. I pinned it a while back and found it again when I was scrolling through my "Writing Nerdess" board. These words are so true, and I think writers can learn a lot from them.
Characters are essential elements to a story. Boring characters will give you a boring story, and exciting characters will give you an exciting story. Sometimes you may even have a plan for a certain character, and they completely change things up on you at the last second and totally become an entirely different person! (That has happened to me way too many times to count.)
Characters are important, and making them seem real is important, too. And the best part about characters, I think, is incorporating little parts of yourself into each one.
When I'm reading a book, I'm taken to faraway kingdoms and worlds and get to go on all sorts of adventures with the characters. I can do this in writing, too--but the difference? In writing, I'm not just side-by-side with the characters, I also am the characters.
I'm the princess in my fantasy book. I'm the funny character in the dark dystopic world who is there for comic relief. I'm the strong and protective older brother of the main character. I'm the protagonist, antagonist, and supporting characters, all at once!
When you put yourself into your characters--whether it be through looks, speech patterns, mannerisms, etc.--you add a sort of flare to your story that can't be created any other way. It's magical to read a story and feel a sense of realness in the characters, and it's especially magical to be able to live so many different lives all at once.
I named the princess in my fantasy story Lily because that's my favorite name. In Unperfected, Avalon uses the phrase "thank everything" because I use the phrase "thank everything" a lot. My characters are unique and individual, and each one has a piece of me incorporated into them in some way--whether I put that piece in intentionally or not.
So when you sit down to plot, or write, or develop your characters, think about how you can add yourself into your story. Sometimes you may do it purposefully, other times you may not. Sometimes you may love that a character is "you," while other times you may hate that a character is "you," just like the quote said. Either way, putting little bits of yourself into your characters is an awesome way to bring them to life, as well as make your story something special.

"And we have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator." - Colossians 3:10

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