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Building Characters

When you write you characters, what do you start with?

Character Trait

Sometimes, you can start to build a character based on their most powerful character trait. Courage, compassion, and loyalty are some good ones to start with. Those kinds of traits can help them to overcome some pretty difficult obstacles. However, you could also start with a character trait for you hero or heroine to overcome. How about vanity, greed, deceit, or cowardliness? Those are some traits for your protagonist that could cause some real problems for them during their journey.

Life Event

Characters are people. And, just like people they are shaped by the event in their lives. Perhaps your character has just graduated from college but is unable to find employment. Perhaps your protagonist has just won the lottery. Or, perhaps, your protagonist has lost a loved one and the grief is too much to bear alone. Just like you or I, the events in our lives and how we deal with them helps to mold who we are as a people.


Most characters are driven to do or accomplish something. A character might be doing all that they can to find a wife or a husband. Or, they might be trying to land their dream job. What about trying to unseat the evil wizard? Some characters might be trying to become heroes only to find out that being a hero isn't all that it is cracked up to be. What is it that your character has to do?

These are just some examples of what characters can be built on. Really, characters can be built upon hundreds of different ideas, traits, or desires. Take a long look at what you want your character to stand for and the answers will come. I hope this was helpful!!!


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