Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Shannon Pearce – How to Make Your Characters Believable

How to Make Your Characters Believable

by Shannon Pearce

Making a believable character is as much about the characters personality as it is how the author presents them. Characters have to be complex and have more layers than what you can immediately see on the surface. It’s all about making the reader care about the character, by making them relatable to the normal person. Even the most unlikable personality can be believable if presented in the right light. I know when creating my characters I try not to think of them as characters, but as people. Basing them on someone you know can be a big help in making a character believable. Even using traits of your own personality, played up can help you write a character that people want to care about. Another good thing to consider is the supporting character and how the character interacts with other people. Having realistic reaction and conversations can really help a scene and the smallest of things can really make a big difference. The trick is to make a character you believe in, one that you care about.

Writing at times can be a lot like acting, sometimes to helps just to let yourself be the character and really think hard if she/he would do that. I know that when I get into the mind set of my character my inner voice changes and I’ve even been known to adopt an accent or two while talking, much to the amusement of my friends.

Planning out what you want them to be like can help but really a good character grows as the author discovers them and sometimes it’s this change that makes them relatable.

Characters also have to have balance, they need to be imperfect, they need to have chinks in their armour. Whether they embrace or rebel against their bad traits can help to build the character as a person. In my book Into the Night, one of the character’s Damien isn’t exactly what you could call a likable person, in fact he prides himself on not being liked. He has many bad habits and though on the outside he’s all womanizer and smooth talker, every now and then, you catch a glimpse of something more that makes you think that he really wants to be better. Getting this balance right can be difficult but in the end it’s worth the extra work it takes to create them.  Most of all, a character is their own person, they will not act like the other character will act, they might not even act how you would act but when you write something and it just feels right then it probably is, like wise with the opposite. Something doesn’t feel right sit down and think it through, play it out in your head, change it until you get something you are happy with.

The most important thing is to invest time into this person, make up a back story even if you don’t plan on including it. If you know the character as well as you know yourself, care for them, invest time into them then the character will be believable. Because if you don’t care about them, no one else will either.   

Into the Night

Vampires, she can handle. Werewolves…No problem! Demons? Nothing a little holy water can’t fix. Damien and his hunting partner? Well that’s a whole other story! Misty West knows the rules, and has been taught them her whole life. When given a chance to escape, she takes it, knowing better than anyone that her past won’t stay buried forever. After years of a so-called normal life, Misty is confronted by the news that her brother, Damien, is missing and that it’s up to her to find him.

With the aid of Xavier Connor, her brother’s tall, dark, and handsome hunting partner, Misty is thrown deep into the supernatural underworld, fighting vampires, other hunters, and her desire for Xavier, all the while discovering things about her family that even she finds hard to believe. Outgoing Damien West is a hunter born and bred with a knack for killing things. Emotionally scarred after a bad break up, Damien lives a life of big guns, loose women, and hard liquor.

Equipped with the knowledge of generations, an arsenal of weapons, and his beloved Mustang, he spends his life on the road helping those who need it. When a hunt goes bad, Damien finds himself captured, tortured and injected with a virus that threatens to turn him into the very thing he hunts. He must find a cure and stop the bad guy before all hell breaks loose. See what happens when this trio goes Into the Night.

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Genre - Young Adult

Rating – PG13

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