Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Character Development - What are you afraid of?

How do you make interesting characters? I blogged once about sitting in a coffee shop or on a bus and just watching people. (That was also the day I got arrested for stalking.) You could always design your characters after your friends. (Well, they won't be friends once they find out you think they're irritating and you used their real name. Although, it's a good way to get rid of irritating friends. Anyway, I digress, that's a whole other therapy session...)

What about giving your character a fear? Fears are often debilitating and defining. I found a great website that lists fears, probably all the ones known to mankind.

For instance, if you have a character with ablutophobia, the fear of washing or bathing, it will really define them. First of all, they'll stink like hell. They don't buy soap. They don't have many friends, although flies love them, and they probably rarely leave their house.

If your character has botanophobia, the fear of plants, they probably live in the city, in a highrise and all their friends know, when they're shot, not to bring them flowers in the hospital. Although, they may not mind flowers on the coffin. I wonder, would they even want to be buried? It's kinda plant-like...

Here are a few of my other favorites:

   So, don't dismay. There are a lot of interesting people out there from which to base your characters on.


Anonymous said...

Great post.

I never thought about adding fears.

I feel a little inept sometimes reading blogs where writers talk so specifically about how and why they create characters. Mine just spring up from the story? I usually sit down and start writing, and pretty soon the story is filled with people. I never feel I created them, and I don't put much time into plotting.

A certain weakness!

I don't write plot-driven books so much as character-driven? That might be part of the difference, but really I'm just exceedingly instinctual. I do - and then I think.

Anonymous said...

Oh, your blog is looking great, btw. I love the header. :)

Ann Elle Altman said...

Thanks, Corra, for both comments. I'm slowly making the blog the way I want it.


Dana Pittman said...

Hum...I've never considered a fear either. I usually keep asking myself "why"? Why do they behave a certain way. Why do they avoid particular people and situation, etc.

Thanks for the website.

Ann Elle Altman said...

Hello, Dana. Glad you like the website. I try to come up with ways to improve on my characters all the time.