The Complexity of Writing Human Characters By Joseph A. Federico


Writing a very complex character is no easy feat. Think, won’t you? A human, with feelings, a heartbeat, sexual preference, limbs, a thought process...how do you break that down? Do you write what to know?

The answer? Maybe. You can write what you know, because at the very core, you’re human. However, you’re a writer and in this case, you’re the creator of life. The goal is to write a character that’s relatable, and not every writer can pull that off.

So, what kind of character will you be creating? A child? An adult? Somebody with a disability? You have to put in the research hours. First step is to buy a notebook and a serious pen.

Your research should consist of, yes, first heading to Google. Review who and where you may be able to visit in order to conduct said research. Writing an elderly character? Head to a nursing home, and while you’re at it, put in some community service.

Spend quality time with your subject. Explore their characteristics, their mannerisms, and how they speak. Do they speak fast or slowly? Why? How?

Writing a human character goes far beyond choosing a name and a sex. They have to breathe on the page, they must live a decent life.

Struggle. Seriously. Work through the process.

Now, what about setting your character in a scene? That's another aspect of the gruelling writing process. However, Christopher Rice, amazingly talented son of Anne Rice, once told me, “Put your character in a situation they can’t get out of. Shock them, then continue from there. Write out the process.”

How will your character evolve?



 
Author of Images of America: Galloway Township by Arcadia Publishing and Voudou Juice. Voudou Juice: Origins, Cody’s Story to be released May 2020. JosephAFederico.com

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