How to create a character

To write a good story, play script or monologue, you have to have to create believable and interesting characters. Here are some tips on how to make a good character:

1. Think about the way they speak

The way your character speaks is probably going to be different to how you speak, especially if they have a different age, social class or accent. Think about, and do some research on, your character’s dialect (how they speak based on where they are from), sociolect (how they speak based on their age, gender or class) and idiolect (how they personally speak, which you can invent yourself with the other two in mind).

2. Their background, interests, and other aspects of their personality

Even if it isn’t part of the story you are telling, think about their backstory. Possible things to consider: their relationship with their parents or carers, did they enjoy school, what did they study, how many relationships have they had? What do they do in their spare time, what’s their biggest dream in life? Jot these things down in a diary entry by your character, or just as a list.

3. What’s their motive?

When they are speaking, what are they really trying to achieve? Are they telling the truth? What’s their relationship with other characters really like? As a writer, you need to know what is going through your characters’ head at all times (even if the audience doesn’t know).

4. Base your character off someone in real life

Of course, they shouldn’t be exactly the same, but using someone you know or even a celebrity or character from a TV show, film, play or book might help you picture your character and how they would speak, stand, move and even react to situations.

5. Avoid stereotypes

This is important to avoid offending anyone, but also to add depth to your character. Don’t be afraid to include characters which might seem a bit risky, but make sure you do your research! For example, including a person with a disability is great for representation, but it might be a good idea to talk to someone with a disability or to look at websites designed to give information about the disability, to make sure you are giving an accurate portrayal. Also remember never to make a character just about their disability (or race, religion, sexuality etc.). Remember to explore other sides of them too!

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