I’ve amped my characters to the max utilising individual Character Profiles to create characters that are memorable, believable, with a strong sensory impression.
Last year, I trialed JOSH AND THE IT with a target audience of children at schools and libraries, and kids identified with Josh and the Super Space Kids straight away.
Where did my characters start?
Main Character … First I picked my protagonist and their name. And made sure he’s likeable, and bestowed him with several strong traits and added one major glaring weakness. This glaring weakness formed the underlying tension that drove his behaviour. My protagonist survived a series of struggles and ‘brick walls’.
Each unforgettable character in the story must have a distinct visual and auditory image and motivation. I made the character attributes or TAGS very obvious so the reader would remember them.
- Visual Tags … strong memorable appearance, tangible trinkets
- Movement Tags … how their hands behave and how they walk
- Auditory Tags … type of voice, what they say. Dialogue that’s spoken in Buzzwords or Cliché phrases.
- Motivation … dreams and goals and FEARS.
How did I check my characters are consistent throughout the story?
Before I started, I printed off character profile sheets for each of my main characters for JOSH AND THE IT and filled in the details as I went.
When I finished the final draft, I typed in each character’s name using the FIND feature and searched throughout the story for consistency.
Writing a book series?
Next I wrote JOSH VS LORD TERRA, Book 2 of the Super Space Kids series. I cross-matched the characters against their profiles for uniformity from one book to another.
For a Book Series, it’s more important than ever to keep track of your characters.
I’m brainstorming new plot ideas and planning Book 3 of the Super Space Kids Series … with my character profile sheets right in front of me.
What type of Character does a Reader want?
Strong, believable, fully developed characters are the key to making your fiction truly memorable. The Reader must care about what is happening to the main character and identify with him. The character’s struggle must resonate within the Reader.
** If you’d like a FREE copy of my Character Profile sheet, please leave a comment here and I’ll email it to you.**
** Profile items include … tag analysis, ‘defining moment’ and time line. The character profile sheet is a practical reference resource.