Creating Characters – part 17

by juliusmsanz

For this part of Creating Characters I’m probably getting a little close to home, and in the process I hope I won’t offend anyone.

I’ve been talking about personalities these last posts, and thought about giving out a little bit of perspective.

Let’s talk about idealists. Idealists can be idiots, naive and worse. And why can this happen? This can happen because idealists tend to idealize things, not seeing things as they truly are. If we take notice of everything that I’ve written before, then they can get disappointed very quickly. As I idealize I tend to put people on shrines and end up idolizing them. I tend to expect things that are not very realistic and will end up crushing me. Obviously I just expect a lot out of people, I know it’s unrealistic, but that’s who I am, no matter how much I try to fight it. I know it’s not healthy and I keep on trying to correct that flaw.

We only get disappointed because in the end we expect too much, there’s nothing wrong with other people, well that’s not completely true, there’s nothing wrong with things. By creating such huge expectations it’s normal to be disappointed when things don’t come out the way you plan them. Now this can lead to bigger issues, such as isolation, distrust, and several other issues. So if you create these situations in your story with idealists you can have a lot to write about, and most of it won’t be pretty.

On the other side of the coin, idealists are more prone to see the good in others, and are trusting and kind individuals.


What did Winston Churchill say?

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Pessimism and optimism are key factors in character development. A pessimist can go on a down roll spiral, and an optimist can keep on being somewhat level-headed and maintain a good, healthy lifestyle.

How will the character perceive others? Will the character realize that part of the problem lies within him/herself? Can the character mend his/her ways? If so, how? The tiniest snowflake can generate a huge avalanche. I’m all about chaos theory here and if you’re writing a psychological thriller or any other genre you’ll get plenty of mileage to explore your character. We never know how the smallest act can affect an individual, we never know what people are going through and we never know what people are fighting for. Personally I think it’s very interesting, it can lead to many paths and it’s up to you, the writer, to decide what path that character is going to take.

On the next post of my new series I’ll be talking a little bit more about this, as it gave me a really nice idea, especially considering the psychological aspect in genre writing. I know this is a short post, but it will have to do.

See you all tomorrow and have a nice day!