Creating an interesting, believable, well-rounded character is a big deal when it comes to writing a novel. Among many other things, a writer must think about how the characters should look, how should they behave, where they’re from, and what motivates them or puts them down. Though there are different approaches to form and evolve a character, the best way to help bring your characters to life and to create a backstory for each one of them is to generate answers to a set of questions.  Read this article to learn how to form believable characters.

Draw the initial character sketch:

The more you know what kind of person/creature your character is, the more realistic and genuine your story will be. The characters age as the novel or the story grows; though most of the facts you develop about your characters are when you start, every character shows significant growth and development when the story ends. The information about the characters will not be shared directly to the reader, and the reader will understand and learn about a particular character through its mannerism, habits, priorities, and behavior. So, it will help you to understand the character better and more realistically portray how they will react to situations and other characters in your story.

Draw a detailed sketch of your character’s imaginary histories:

While I was in the submission process of my upcoming psycho-thriller “SECSUSYN” I faced rejection from a well-known publishing house of U.S. though the rejection was disturbing, what was encouraging was that the editor who had evaluated my submission wrote back to me, praising my lead character. “It was as if I have had met her, and yet I couldn’t find her in anyone.” Drawing the sketch of your character is a step extra but this extra step will help you produce believable characters. Character sketches are a form of outlining; Instead of outlining the entire plot of your novel or story, you outline each character’s personal trajectory. For each character, write down their: Your character’s name—A character should be called something. I plan to make a detailed post on how to name your characters later, but for now, learn that it is important to name your character the finest way possible. Age—here it does matter! Specify your character with a number of year he/she/it has spend on earth. In case you are writing fantasy and the age is irrelevant, employ other techniques to specify if the character is young, or old. Gender—if it is important to mentioned, mention about the gender of your story. Relation to the cast of characters—e.g.‘mother of the protagonist’, sister of the antagonist etc. Conceivable story resolution—this is where the real fun begins. You have to put purpose to each and every character in the story. Write clumsy plot and people will forgive you, form unimpressive title and you will be let off, but no one, in the history of novel writing has ever gotten away with making useless and insignificant profiles. If the Jack from the next house was coming every night to throw garbage, he must have a reasons behind his existence. Insignificant profiles will bog the reader down to a level where he’d feel disinterested. Example: confidant of the protagonist, helps him overcome primary challenge, provides the protagonist with resources to win the battle… Backstory—significant life events, behavior, likes and dislikes, fears, secrets, strengths and weaknesses, hopes and everything about himself. These are just some examples. The Character’s section of Now Novel’s idea finder (a series of guided prompts) gets into more detail than this. Get as detailed as you like as you sketch your characters for your novel. At the same time, set yourself a definite end date for completing your sketches so you can draft your novel.
Uroosa Kashif

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