Your character is what you make of him. He is not a self-made man. He is a “made-by-you” man. Breathe some life into him.

Start by creating a bio.  Begin with a name that matches the character. Picture your character and help your reader see him as you do. What are your character’s strengths and weaknesses? What is he afraid of? Does he have special talents or hobbies? Consider his family. What are they like, and what is his relationship to them? Know your character’s age and birthdate at the time of your story. For example, if he was born in 1845, his actions and ideas should be appropriate to the time period.

thought-2123970_1920

As you write, consider what has brought your character to the start of the story. What does your character want and what must he overcome? Something to keep in mind is that your character is constructed of only a finite number of words. Unlike a real person, he is not the product of a lifetime of experiences, yet you, as a writer, must make him seem real.

Write out your character’s bio. One way to do this is to have the character write a letter to you. Use words that your character would use, keeping in mind his age and abilities. Remember, if you don’t have an understanding of your character, neither will your reader.

write-593333__340

WordWrites Guild’s next meeting is April 25th 6-8 p.m. in the Eubank Room of the Lawrenceburg Public Library. The writing prompt for the meeting is particularly challenging. (Feel free to use a dictionary.) The prompt involves three phrases:

foment resuscitation

perennially coagulated

excruciatingly hypercritical

Use these however you like . . . and good luck.