Today on our Revision 101 Workshop: Characters, Building Them and Their Arc
So, today, another HUGE topic. So here’s what I’m going to do. This post is broken down into parts.
First, here are some great resources on building and naming characters. Check them out:
- Character Bio Sheet
- 12 Questions to Ask About Your Characters
- Mary Sue Litmus Test
- Name Generators
- A great list of other articles/websites for character-building
- Seven Common Character Types
Second, Save the Cat: Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet. This isn’t just for character building, but more so for plot pacing. Still, this will help you plan your character’s arc, and honestly, it’s probably one of the best writing resources I’ve ever seen. So please, if you look at nothing else from this post, READ THIS. Your characters need a story arc. Their character arcs must drive the plot. The plot is a direct result of the choices your characters make.
Third, when making characters, it’s important to make them multi-dimensional. You’ve heard the cliche: a villain is only so a terrible person because he’s trying to please his mom. It may be cliche, but it gives us a reason to root for even the worst of villains. Give me a reason to love the worst of villains and hate the greatest of heroes. No one is 100% likeable or hateable, so that has to translate with your characters and writing.
The last thing I will leave you with is a short list of memorable characters. Their stories and arcs should show you exactly what I mean by all of this 🙂
- Buffy // Xander
- Damon Salvatore
- Harry Potter
- The Doctor // The Master
- The Joker
- Sue Sylvester
- James Bond
- Darth Vader
- Captain Jack Sparrow
The list could go on and on… I just made it off the top of my head. What’s your most memorable character? Who’s your favorite character of all time?