Many times writers get so caught up in their main plot they forget the inner worlds of their stories. That’s a mistake. A character must be multi-dimensional, just like in real life, or the reader will find him boring and will discard him in the worst way possible … ignore him.
Action and plot are of course extremely important but it is your characters that will make the reader care about whether they truly loved the story or not.
So how do we build inner worlds? We do this by focusing on a number of points:
Does your character have internal dialogue? This internal thought has to show the inconsistencies, anxieties, challenges, joys and heartaches that are central to the character. Thoughts they probably would not voice aloud but are integral to them.
What distinguishes your character from the other people in the story? Is he a maniacal serial killer? Was he the victim of something tragic that makes him think and react the way he now does? Does he use humor as a buffer? What feelings set him apart?
Pull the reader into the character’s sensory world—the smell of frying bacon that brings him back to his childhood; a particular song that transports him to a different time. How does the physical world impact him. Don’t go for the obvious, delve into the character and let him show you his inner world. Then show the reader what it is.
The past—our memories, shape us in more ways than we can imagine. What happens to you in your childhood will forever be imprinted on your brain. It’s the same with your characters. You don’t need to have continuous flashbacks to show why the character is the way she is but knowing certain aspects will allow you to craft your lines to display this. So make sure your characters have pasts that shape their destiny and the way they look at life.
How do you create your character’s inner world?
2016 Summer Classes in Oakville
Creative Writing 101 – Tuesday afternoons Aug.2 – Sept. 13 (no class Aug. 9)
Crafting Your Novel – Wednesday afternoons Aug. 3 – Sept. 14 (no class Aug. 10)
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