Developing a new character can be tricky. Apart from asking questions to learn more about who a character is, I can’t say that I have a standard way in which I create one.
Sometimes, characters come to me with a look, personality, and name. All I have to do is insert them into a story. Other times, I’ll be writing a story and realize that I have a “role” that needs to be filled in order for the story to succeed. When this happens, I usually have the personality and maybe even the backstory of the character in mind. I just have to choose a name and look for the character.
Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to create a character based off of a random name.
- Go to an online name generator. (If you want, you may specify gender, but let the computer decide everything else.)
- Create a character for the name you are given: backstory, personality, home life, family relationships, profession, the culture in which he/she lives, his/her role in society, his/her beliefs (religious, political, etc.), and anything else you can think of.
When you’re done, ask yourself whether or not your new character could fit into a story you’re already writing or if he/she is the inspiration you needed for a new story.
*Special thanks to my friend, Taylor Bresslin, for having me do this character creating exercise at one of our writers’ group’s meetings.