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How to Create Interesting Fictional Characters

Date published: | John BlackSmith

Spiderman is reading The Decision Book and the sun rises behind his back.

Posted in: Blog | Writers and Authors | Writing

How to Create Powerful Characters in Fiction

Recently we stumbled across very interesting tips from some of the literary agents. We always look for the ways to improve my writing skills so whatever useful information comes along, we tend to analyze it and help you to create more interesting essays.

We have found it useful, so will definitely try to incorporate valuable pieces of advice into the way our BuyEssayFriend team express thoughts in my writings.

Curtis Brown Creative is a leading literary agency that has shaped authors’ careers for more than 100 years. They have a lot of expertise to share so I decided to take a closer look at tips from CBC literary agent and joint CEO Jonny Geller as well as from tutors Simon Wroe and Christopher Wakling.

Tip from Simon Wroe

Consider how people reveal themselves through the everyday – their props and routines. We don’t need a character playing a grand piano or lapsing in gilded reveries: the use of well-chosen commonplace objects can really bring a character to life.

How I understand it:

Every character is unique and bluntly telling your reader that your protagonist is, for example, grumpy in the morning will not fully show his personality. Try to describe how the character behaves and what is around him. You can tell the reader how sullenly the person talks to his colleagues at work each morning or how he complains to everyone that his coffee is too hot and he has too much work to do. Describing tiny and seemingly unimportant details can tell a lot about your character.

Writing task from Simon:

Choose an object from your work bag or handbag & describe it in such a way as to show us something of your character – eg how you use it, what it means to you. Don’t use phone or keys – avoid the boring stuff.

Tip from Christopher Wakling

What’s not being said? In good dialogue, pretty much everything. There should be a discernible subtext beneath the surface conversation. Check your dialogue for statements of the obvious and kill them. Create that extra layer of meaning.

How I understand it:

Straightforwardness and clarity are great mainly in scientific works. If we talk about fiction, a little suspense and intrigue can spice up the plot and make the reader engaged. Adding a subtext into the dialogue is an effective way to make your storytelling interesting since it is always exciting to reveal more than what was actually said. It is always interesting to observe how the speaker and the person who is being spoken to showcase their true colors while saying seemingly obvious things.

Writing task from Chris:

Write a conversation between two characters. Do your best to make what’s NOT being said shine through. eg Who has the power in the scene? Does it shift? Can we glimpse what’s REALLY going on?

Tip from Jonny Geller

Every character you write is living a moment in time and it must be true and real in the moment. It must also hint at a past and to an unknown future that we care about.

How I understand it:  

In order to bring your character to life, he must seem real. A reader has to believe in what is said and he should not have any doubts that the phrase or action do belong to the particular character. The image should be whole, i.e. it should combine current thoughts, previous experiences and future expectations of the person. The character should have a context that will make him come alive in your writing.

Writing task from Jonny:

Write a character from your novel/story into one of these scenarios, and show us (rather than telling us) who they are: Locked out; haircut disaster; followed home; amazing discovery; scheming revenge. Bring your character fully & vividly to life.

We hope you enjoyed reading the above tips as much as we did. Our company sure that keeping in mind these simple pieces of advice while regularly practicing the tasks from CBC tutors can help you come up with a truly interesting, compelling and memorable story of your own.

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