Finishing your First Draft - Day Five
Yesterday we covered the three most important elements of your characters, but that’s far from everything that you will want to come up with. For the sake of your eyes (and your sanity), I’m going to list out some of the other elements you’ll want to include in your characters and some awesome Dabble resources to bring them all together.
Ready? Let’s go.
Character archetypes are a set of recognizable traits and behaviors that readers recognize immediately, often regardless of culture or time period. These are not cookie-cutter templates, but foundations to build amazing, memorable characters your readers will love. Click here to learn all about the different archetypes.
Character goals are intrinsic to their arcs and stories. Without goals, why would your character put themselves through conflict and hardships? Need help establishing your characters’ goals? Click here to learn more about creating goals and see 101 different examples.
Motivation is equally important to a character worth reading. Why do they have their goals and values? What gets them out of bed in the morning? Why do they want to take over the world? Click here to learn about crafting strong motivation and here if you think motivation isn’t important (spoiler, it is!).
Flaws are necessary components of every good character. If your story is about someone who is perfect in every single way, you’ll quickly find readers who can’t engage with your character… or are just bored. Learn all about flaws and how to create a flawed character by clicking here.
That’s all the inner workings of your characters, though. To completely flesh out your characters, check out the three resources included in Let’s Write a Book:
Character Trait List
There is a lot of information to absorb. All of it can be put into those three resources to bring your character to life. The easiest way to do that? Let’s revisit our protagonist from yesterday.
In your Protagonist folder (or whatever you named it), add three Notes. Title them Protagonist Traits, Protagonist Interview, and Protagonist Profile. Feel free to put in your character’s name instead of “Protagonist” for those Notes. Then copy and paste the text of those three resources above into their respective Notes.
When you’re done, your folder should look something like this:
These resources are there for you to breathe some life into your characters. Use them as much as you’d like, but at least look through these resources and see what clicks with you.
By making use of Dabble’s Notes, all of your character info is just a single click away from your manuscript. Not sure what your main character would do in the situation you threw them in? Wondering what strange birthmark or childhood tragedy you gave them? It’s all right there for you in Dabble.
So take some time building out your characters. If you’re following along in Let’s Write a Book, your not-homework is to build out your main characters. Get started there, and take some time over the next few days to work on your secondary characters, too!
Then get ready, because tomorrow we talk about plot. Bye for now!
P.S. If you’re obsessed with villains like I am, click here for a secret recipe to brew up a good baddie.
TAKE A BREAK FROM WRITING...
Read. Learn. Create.
While the terms "story" and "plot" are often used interchangeably, they are actually two distinct elements of narrative, and understanding the difference can be a useful tool in your storytelling arsenal. You’re going to need some of both to create a compelling book that’ll have your readers coming back for more.
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We tend to give a lot of thought to our characters when we’re writing. Their likes and dislikes. Their appearance and disposition. Hopefully their wants, goals, motivations, flaws and all the things that make them feel like real people. But how much thought do you give to actually introducing them to your readers? A strong introduction to a character can help make or break that character and the way your reader perceives them. So what’s in an introduction, anyway?