The Beginner's Guide To Creating Memorable Characters

The Beginner’s Guide To Creating Memorable Characters


We all want to create memorable characters when we write. We want the reader to think about them for years after they’ve finished reading our books. We do this by creating nuanced, three-dimensional people.

These characters are essential, because without them, we would not have novels. We would have essays. Memorable characters allow us to imagine, to think, and to rationalise. They allow us to experience their lives vicariously.

Our main characters control our book. A novel, which consists of a plot, scenes, and settings, cannot move forward without characters. As Lajos Egri wrote in The Art of Dramatic Writing, a character is three-dimensional.

The three dimensions of characters are: 

  1. The Physiological
  2. The Sociological
  3. The Psychological

Before you start to write your book:

  1. Create a physiological biography for all of your main characters. This shows their basic features and functioning. Don’t leave anything out as you may have to cross-reference later. Include detailed physical descriptions.
  2. Create a sociological biography of your characters. This should show how they relate to their world. How have physical circumstances affected them? Were they born poor or rich? Were they well educated? Where did they grow up?
  3. Create a psychological biography for them. What happened in their past to define their psyches? Their feelings, moods, rationalisation and thought procedures are held here. Decide what the ruling passions of your main characters are and remember them. Life experiences shape and mould all of us. This provides motive and focus for your characters.

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by Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this article, read:

  1. 7 Secrets To Writing Happy Characters Without Boring Your Audience
  2. 10 Things To Consider When Naming Characters
  3. 94 Questions For The Characters We Create

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