Characters of your story can make or break your story. No matter if it’s a novel or screenplay, characters are the most critical aspect of your story. If you look at all the great stories that you love, or that holds great importance in history, you’ll find that the characters of those stories were memorable. A good character doesn’t necessarily need to be a great human being, who is without any flaws, but the character needs to be believable. A good character always has different dimensions to his personality. He has his good and bad days. The character of ‘Joker’ in the ‘The Dark Knight’ movie, got more appreciation from the audience despite being a negative character. That’s the power of a multidimensional character.
A character comes from the mind of a writer. Once you make a character, he should no longer be in your control. Let him break the barrier of your imagination and do what he wants to do. A character is not only made by physical appearance, psychological traits, and sociological behaviour. He needs space to come into his own. Without the freedom of doing what he is capable of doing, a character merely becomes a robot with precise specifications. A human character is tough to be bound in some written traits. Let’s take a look at the crucial factors of creating a long-lasting character for a story.
Physical appearance is the most fundamental aspect of a character. It’s not only about the numbers, but also the effect that the physical appearance has on the character’s day to day life. Two 20-year-olds can have a different appearance, and they can be treated differently in their surroundings. So, merely telling the age won’t serve the purpose, but the way people feel about her, and the way she thinks about herself also plays a significant part. Other than age, the dressing sense, health of the character, and race are the crucial part of the physical appearance of a character.
Psychological traits of a character consist of the feelings and emotions of the character. Fear, guilt, courage, shame, love, hate are all part of the psychology of a character. A character can come across as a very courageous warrior-like man, or a nervous, shy guy who’s afraid of facing people. All these traits make the soul of a character. Without these traits, a character is nothing but a robot. Psychological traits give the humanness to a character.
The way a character behaves with the people around him determines his sociological behaviour. The kind of family he lives with or his friend circle are all part of the sociological expression of the character. If a person comes from a family which is abusive and very poor, the audience can get the feel of the character’s mentality, and why he behaves the way he does.
Unleashing the character
Once you’ve given the life to a character, let him make his own path in different situations. The kind of life he’s living and the type of psychological traits he has should remain valid in the actions he does. Sometimes, as a writer, you should take a backseat and try to be the audience to the activities of the character you’ve created.