Create Fictional Character
8 Fictional Character Prompts
Looking to create fictional character? Here’s 8 prompts to get you started..
Appearance – If you look around you, you’ll know not everyone has a Hollywood smile or washboard abs. The characters in your book should represent that fact too. Not just to bring a sense of normality to your book, but to add another layer when you create fictional characters. For example, what if you’re hero/heroine has a scar from a childhood accident, how will that affect how they interact with the other characters. And what about the backstory that comes with that scar? Or what if your cop is a little overweight? Will he give chase on foot? Always rely on his car? Or pull his gun as a way of not having to chase a suspect?
Jargon – A cop won’t speak to his wife the same way he will with his partner. A surfer will have a different vocabulary than a doctor and will probably name common things in his life with those words in mind. The doctor on the other hand, when it work, will probably speak in medical terms and think in that way. Dropping in the odd word of jargon, and the confusion it can cause in your character, can open your story up in directions you mightn’t have thought of.
Religion – Wars and many arguments have started due to religion. So how does your character feel about religion. Are they devoted to their faith? See it as something that belongs back in the dark ages? And how does it affect how they act? Have they got a conscious about always doing the right thing because of their religion? Or does their lack of it, leave them wanting to do whatever they want to in this life, because they don’t believe in an afterlife.
Money – Like religion, money can provoke some strong opinions. How does your character feel about money? Is it always at the forefront of their mind? Does it drive them? Do they see it as a way of clawing back power they didn’t have when they were younger? And what about their upbringing? Did the lack of money and how there parents coped without it make them the person the way they are today? What if they got a windfall of money, what would they do with it?
Energy And Movement – Spend anytime watching people and you’ll see that no two carry themselves the same way. We’ve got people who carry themselves confidently, ones with slumped shoulders, and ones who hurry from place to place. Your character is no different. Is their laid back walk a sign of confidence, or does it show that they’ve given up on life. Does their quick movements mean that they’re eager to get things done, or because they know there days are numbered and they want to get the most done in that time?
Name – What’s the difference between a Bob and a Robert? How do they feel about being called the other version of their name? Does a Robert feel that being called Bob is demeaning to him? And what about Bob, does he feel that Robert is too stuffy or reminds him of the father he hated. Where did your character’s name come from? Does it have a meaning, that no one knows of? Is it handed down from grandparents? Is it name he feels he’ll never live up to? When you create fictional character a name isn’t just a name.
Occupation – What makes one character race into a fire as a fireman or woman, or a woman become a doctor when the family business is the family bar? Like your own life choices, which may have happened dues to events in childhood, your character didn’t just walk into the occupation they do. And if they did, why are they walking aimlessly through life? Looking deep into your character’s work choices and occupation can open up backstory that you mightn’t have considered before.
Descendants – While you might think your character just popped out of nowhere, to get under your characters skin you’ve got to look at their descendants. While the obvious place to look are the parents, don’t forget the grandparents and extended family. Even going further back in your character’s bloodline can bring up some juicy points to write about. What if all your character’s family have been successful surgeons, but they want to be a cop on the beat. Or maybe they come from a family that’s always had a bad reputation but they want to be the one that bucks that trend?
Create Fictional Character – Resources
Want to know more about fictional character building? Then pick up a copy of the A-Z of Character Building at FictionalCharacterBuilding.com