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A toolbox to build character

Creating characters is challenging work. Our craft toolbox can build their personalities.

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JULIA POSTWhen characters are compelling and engaging, readers stay with you. Shaping multidimensional personalities is both challenging and crucial. Here’s a five-step toolbox to create complex characters who will stay with your reader long after the story ends.

  1. Find your own voice first. Before characters, it necessary to be conscious of your own style. Consider how poet Jaswinder Bolina discovered his voice through writing.
  2. Let characters unfold naturally. Don’t force it. Sometimes the character emerges through the process, not beforehand. Find out the steps Alexander Maksik takes to develop characters.
  3. Setting is your friend. Use your story’s setting as inspiration when building characters, just as author Oonya Kempadoo did for her novel All Decent Animals.
  4. Get inside heads. Dialogue, especially internal dialogue, is a valuable opportunity to introduce characters. Get inspiration from this article on how to use inner thoughts to reveal a character.
  5. Still stuck? Writing prompts such as this one and this one are a great place to start building your character’s dossier.

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