The Story Magic of Creating Characters

November 27, 2020 by Tambra Nicole Kendall

Open book with magic sparkles coming out of the pages

Writing is an intense, personal experience. To create characters we draw on people we know or have known in the past, relatives, experiences from our youth and those more recent.

Sometimes I deliberately choose a mannerism or attitude from someone in my past in character creation. Other times, the process is subtle. People watching (before COVID) was interesting and fun. I’d listen to the conversation and take notes on how the people acted with each other physically, verbally, and non verbally. All is fodder for characterization and a major component of making story magic. Once a character begins to come alive it sparkles with energy! In your mind’s eye they are becoming more than a cardboard character on the page.

If you’re starting out on your writing journey, please understand that you can’t create a character that is exactly like someone you know. Hard feelings and more trouble than you’d care to have is the result. Instead, you create a character that is a blend of good and not-so-good traits. No one is perfect and readers can’t relate to perfection. Some notable characters that are easily recognised are Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, the Mad Scientist, the lone cowboy/drifter.

As a writer we can use these characters but put our own spin on them. If we don’t write what we love it will appear within the pages of our stories. The reader is cheated and as the creator, we are also cheating ourselves. Explore other genres and study the characters within the pages. What is it about them that catches your attention?

Three dimensional characters touch our hearts. The Harry Potter series, The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy, and Louise Rennison’s The Confessions of Georgia Nicholson are just a few characters who’ve taken teens (and adults) on adventures reaching beloved status through the years.

I’m always striving to hone my skills as a writer. I want to give the reader the best story I can. I want my story magic to shine. Years from now, I want readers to say, “I loved Tambra’s characters. I reread her books because it’s like visiting old friends.”

Let me know if you would be interested in a short series on writing topics such as characterization, plotting, or world building.

Hugs, love and blessings! Tambra Nicole

2 thoughts on “The Story Magic of Creating Characters

  1. Rae Longest says:

    I wouldn’t mind a “workshop”/ several posts on writing short stories. I have no desire to write them myself, but I’d like to be able to help my students who wanted to write them.
    I enjoyed this post, Hon (as always!).

    Like

  2. tambra nicole says:

    Hi Rae,
    I’m sure I can put together a few posts on writing short stories.
    Short stories and articles were my first published works.

    Writing short stories teaches you how to write tighter.

    I’ll see if I can have a post on the topic in December. Thank you so much for the suggestion!
    I want to give people the information they’re interested in.

    Hugs,
    Tambra

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.