Keeping Characters Constant

girlMy father just retired last month and he’s finally gotten around to sorting through years of old paper work and tossing out what he no longer needs.  Today after he picked up my son from school for me, he brought over a folder which he said I might find interesting.  I was intrigued. Opening the folder, I discovered that he had saved every one of my old school reports, primary school straight through to high school. It was fun reading through what all my old teachers had said of me. But there was definitely a pattern in the comments which emerged.

Grade 1 :  Loretta enjoys reading and listening to stories.

Grade 2: Loretta has written some delightful stories.

Grade 3: Loretta is a prolific and creative writer and has “published” a large number of stories, plays and poems.

Grade 4: Loretta really enjoys writing. Great stories Loretta!

Grade 5: Loretta has produced some excellent and amusing stories.

Grade 6: There is a delightful element of humour and originality in Loretta’s creative writing.

And is goes on….

I always knew I loved to write, even as a kid. I didn’t realize anyone else knew about it or noticed enough to catalogue it.  It made me laugh and also got me thinking about the constancy of my own character.

I think when creating characters for fiction we also need to keep a constancy there. Have you ever gotten angry or frustrated with a book because the hero does something completely out of character or he makes a decision that doesn’t make sense for the kind of person he is.  It is always important to note that in a good story, the plot adapts to the behaviour of the character not the other way round.  And even if the character themselves is completely unaware of what kind of person they are, the reader must know. Good characterisation makes every scene and plot point that much stronger.

 

Well, best get back to my characters now… Wish me luck…

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5 thoughts on “Keeping Characters Constant

  1. I think this is one of the hardest things to do while still making your character well rounded and interesting. Great post!

  2. Well, good luck! How is your next book coming along? I know it’s early days but, any publishing date, yet?

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