Creating Characters – part 15

by juliusmsanz

I’m back after a busy couple of days, more or less, to continue this series. I’m also going to try something new. By this I mean I’ll try to start up a new series, still trying to figure some stuff out, and will be alternating both series, meaning tuesday I’ll write about creating characters and wednesday I’ll write about the new series. Note that this is just an example, the new series is still a few days in the making.

After describing my character creation process and giving out an example in Emilia, the carpenter spy, I feel it’s time to go a little bit darker and describe how personalities can affect our behaviour and generate some interesting plot developments.

Truth be told we never know exactly what others are thinking, and we never know how the slightest action can affect the course of things. Let’s go back to my previous posts and take a closer look at Emilia. She dislikes introspection and can be prone to some panic due to that. Now I’ve written as a pretty tough woman and with a rather strong personality. She should not be prone to panic, but the fact that she is a very active person is that she uses that to hide herself and to stop thinking about herself. This means she can see herself in a negative light. If she really stops to think about things she might not like the places where she is going. We also know that she wants to avoid prison at all costs, this avoidance is in agreement with her coping mechanism. Traumatic experiences must have drawbacks.

So in truth, while she is more strong willed than most, she is also pretty vulnerable. While she rushes into action and improvises along the way, she is also using that to her advantage to, unconsciously, evade her problems and thinking about situations.

How I’ll use it to my advantage depends on how the story is going, but it is certainly something to consider. It’s character exploration at it’s finest. And can also be one of the points where you do a bit of character development and get to transform the character.

Now let’s continue for a bit with Emilia and her insecurities. Emilia is, by norm, reserved, but can get isolated easily. Why will this happen? It can happen for a variety of reasons, but one thing you know is simple: she had friends before and they betrayed her, even tried to kill her. Obviously this affects someone. How it affects her is simple: she tends to avoid others and prefers to be individualistic as much as possible. Since she also sees that she’s capable of performing most of her work alone, this also comes in handy, and refuses to ask for help.

Where am I going with this post? It’s all connected. It’s like history, nothing happens randomly, there’s also something that causes anothing thing to happen. This doesn’t mean she can’t break down completely, but now that you have all the cards on the table you can at least get a solid reason for that. Or at least explain how she’ll get out of that state of mind, if ever.

Hope this gives you something to think about when creating your characters or when you’re placing them in the story.

Have a nice day!