Don’t Get it Right, Get it Written! More Character Building

Welcome back to, Don’t Get it Right, Get it Written! By Stuart White

Stuart White

Stuart White

 More on Stuart HERE

Stuart continues his tips on how to build your characters



Questions to ask yourself:


  1. What are your character’s political views? (This may never come out on the book itself, but it might show up in conversation and general attitude) Are they conservative, radical, Right/Left, liberal; tough on crime or liberal on crime; pro-choice or anti?
  2. What is her/his favourite color; favourite food.
  3. Do they drink alcohol, a lot, a bit or not at all? If so what favourite drink; bourbon, champagne, red burgundy, tequila?


Be true to your character:

When doing this list don’t just pick out attributes like food from a buffet. Remember WHO your hero or heroine is. So, make the attributes believable.


It’s not set in stone:

And also remember that they can change slightly along the route. In fact the best books is where the character grows and changes from empirical experience.


An example:

Click HERE to See earlier post on example character, “Gretchen Sunflower”

Gretchen Sunflower aka Molly Perkins from Philly might be a Prohibition Pin Up at eighteen, but by the time she gets to Hollywood she might be downing pina coladas as an early breakfast. All is change nothing is stasis; that goes for your characters as it does for you and me.


Be Consistent!

Characters though are usually consistent. So a conservative character, especially a female, is likely to be extremely anti-abortion; a radical or liberal female character more likely to be pro-choice. So keep her real and believable. But a nice little inconsistent idiosyncrasy doesn’t hurt either.


Ok, don’t ALWAYS be consistent. Idiosyncrasy is interesting, just don’t over-do it:

 Real life example: Gun-toting liberal

 I had a friend in Arizona who was about as Left-wing as it was possible to get in America, and especially in Arizona. But she was absolutely AGAINST gun control, loved firearms and packed enough firepower in her home to see off al Qaeda. She made it clear that any intruder in her home was leaving in a body bag if he didn’t flee when she told him to at gunpoint.

OK…complete your dossier with anything and everything you can lay your hands on that will help you flesh out your character. And don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying close your eyes and go, “Let me see…Gretchen’s Jewish…no, no…she’s a Mormon!” THINK about your character, you’re creating her/him after all.



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I'm a stay-at-home mom writer and blogger. Writing my novel!

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