How to create characters 101

Join me on Nov. 17 to learn more on developing awesome characters. I’ll be teaching a lesson LIVE on the site at 10 a.m. CST Saturday Nov. 17. 

What’s more interesting than a global Frosty shortage? Well, lots of things but to your character that maybe the only thing they think about.

Just in time for National Novel Writing Month, I put together a 10 minute video lesson on how to sketch out your character. It’s my first one so please be kind!

Since I’ll be in Houston this week attend the Latinos in Social Media Conference (#Latism) I thought I’d do something special for you guys and for those who are taking the NaNoWriMo plunge next month by writing their novels. I have yet to decide if I’ll join you.

So, this tip I talk about to sketch out your characters is one I’ve written about before but I wanted you guys to see it in action. The goal, motivation, conflict chart was taught to me by my creative writing teacher, Sally Hammer, many moons ago. She in turn read it from Debra Dixon’s book. This chart is extremely helpful because not only does it start giving you the the bones of your character but also helps you create layered characters. Also, if you notice, it’s starting to give you some plot at the same time.

Whenever I draw one, I like to use a sketch pad because it’s just big enough to draw the chart and small enough to plan on your desk. Some folks like to use butcher paper or a poster board. It’s up to you how you do it.

I like this technique because it clears some things for me. I love creating characters and I often create them on the page. However, sometimes the character gets all jumbled in my head and I don’t know what the character will do next. That’s when I use this chart. It sets the character (and me) straight and I learn exactly who they are so I can proceed accordingly.

I suggest using this chart for at least two of your characters–your protagonist and antagonist. Remember one person’s goal is another person’s conflict. They are linked and because they do, they can drive the narrative of your story.

This chart is one of several tips and exercises I have on creating characters. I’ll be teaching them on an online lesson Nov. 17th. Through the magic of a hangout, we’ll be able to do some work on your characters! No need to go to Google+, I’ll stream the lesson right here on this blog. I’ll let you know on a time soon.

Write on! Let me know how this works for you!

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