Photo by Favim.
My pastor has this saying that he uses to illustrate how we build our character, and I couldn't help but think how it would also be useful in building literary characters. This is how it goes:
- Sew a thought, reap an action.
- Sew an action, reap a habit.
- Sew a habit, reap a character.
- Sew a character, reap a destiny.
- What does he/she looks like? Does he/she have distinguishing features?
- Name at least three flaws and strengths of this person?
- Any unusual habits? phrases? opinions? that make him/her different from the norm?
- What is unique about he/she's background/family?
- Is he/she optimistic/pessimistic by nature?
- What is he/she's view of life? (faithful, undecided, or otherwise)
- How will the totality of their character mold their destiny?
In order to have realistic characters, they must have strengths, flaws, opinions on life, habits, differences, and some type of background. (I'm sure there are things I've missed, but you get the picture.) Next time your creating a character, I hope that you will find the phrase useful in building a rounded character. For more information about building characters, see my other posts How to Create the Greatest Character You've Always Known and Character Development: Let's Play 20 Questions.
Write on! :)