marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Character Building

How to make your characters real. . . .

What do they want.  What do they really want. . . and what sort of backstory they have

And how they can come to life, and run off with the story.

One audience member had a problem that he kept inventing backstories to enliven his bit characters, and they kept growing until it seems that he needed a novel for all of them -- except that a new novel would have new bit characters.  One-dimensionality is not always your enemy.  I brought up my Greek pantheon technique:  pick a major Greek god, and assign a trait, such as he's like Ares and so bad-tempered, which does have the danger of bringing them to life.  Panelists ran with the notion of using real-life people like that.  (The secret to the Greek one is that you can assign the traits from different gods and so orchestrate them.)

Tags: arisia, backstory, characterization, minor characters

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