Writers Write is your one-stop writing resource. In this post, we share ways that will help you make your characters shockingly real.
Characters become shockingly real when they struggle with the same issues we do.
Warning: Disturbing Image
Why have I traumatised you in such a fashion? Why have I seared this image into your mind? The answer is simple. I want you to remember what I am about to tell you.
I find the Queen fascinating. I often wonder what she is really like when she at home, away from the public. When we write we create human beings. People who talk and walk and work and eat and make love and swear and drink too much (or too little). People who live. Now what does that have to do with the Queen on the loo?
This photo is the work of Alison Jackson, a British photographer who uses look-a-likes to create imagined images of celebrities, sports stars and the royals. She spoofs real life events and gives us a glimpse behind the scenes.
As a child, she says she found it fascinating that her parents behaved one way in public, but differently at home. She applied this observation to many famous people. It has allowed her to create many interesting scenes.
Some of her shots include Princess Di flipping “the Bird” at the camera, Prince William posing nude wearing only a royal cape with his crown on his head; she recently added a similar shot of Kate.
You don’t have to like the images, some of them are pretty way out, but think about how much further she has taken the character. She shows us what they could be like. She is showing us their wants, their desires, their secrets.
Making Characters Real
Often when we create characters we make them too perfect, so they come across as one dimensional. We don’t give them flaws. We want them all to be James Bond. I really like James Bond, by the way, but there can be only one.
Characters become real when they struggle with the same issues we do. A gimpy knee, a few too many drinks, hidden desires and ambitions. No one is all good or all bad. We all succumb to jealousy, lust, ambition and we all need a pee break. Your character should too.
So when you find yourself writing about a boring Mr Perfect who doesn’t feel hunger or anger or lust, remember even the Queen has to use the loo…
Source for Image: Alison Jackson
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by Mia Botha
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