Character Style. What is it, and why should we care?
A character’s style is all about how they carry themselves in the world. How they dress, how they speak, and how they act.
Let’s start off with the easy stuff: What kinds of clothes do they wear? Are they minimalists, wearing the same t-shirt and jeans everyday, or do they like to get fancy, experiment with fashion, wear something new each day? Have their sneakers got holes in the sole from wear and tear, or are they brand-new? Do they have a specific uniform? Do they like to express themselves through their clothing and hairstyle (or color)? Paint us a picture of their typical style of dress, so we can get some ideas.
Next up are the harder questions: What kinds of things get these characters motivated, excited? What kinds of things totally turn them off? How do they respond to a crisis? Are they thinkers or doers? Do they stand around talking a lot, or just jump right into problem-solving and getting their hands dirty?
What is this character’s personality like – and would you be interested in following along on their journey?
Some people like to judge characters based on whether or not they would like to be friends with them. And that can be a useful exercise – to a point. But if your character is an antihero, an antagonist or a villain, then obviously you wouldn’t want to befriend such a jerk!
Instead, think about whether or not your characters are compelling. Are you interested in what they have to say, even if you don’t necessarily agree with it? Would you be willing to listen to their arguments, or see what kinds of sneaky things they’re planning? Have they got some kind of a spark that makes you think “Yes, I’ve got to know MORE!”?
Your characters don’t have to be NICE. They don’t have to be GOOD. In fact, it’s probably better if they’re NOT – because eventually you’re going to start torturing them. So let your characters express themselves in their own style, even if it’s not like yours. Especially if it’s not like yours! After all, why create fictional characters if they’re all just going to be your clones? This is a chance for you to live a dozen different lives! So think big and bold and give your characters unique style.
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Fill in the same info for one of YOUR main characters, post it on your blog, and be sure to use the hashtag #Preptober on social media so we can find each other.
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See you tomorrow with a new prompt!