Monday, February 17, 2014

Making Your Characters Belivable - #WriteTip from Joshua Silverman @jg_silverman #SciFi

How to Make Your Characters Believable 
Many people commend me on writing complex, three-dimensional, believable characters. It’s something I do work on, diligently. I think most writers want to place their characters into predetermined categories (i.e. this is the hero/heroine, this is the villain, this is the side-kick, and this is the extra girl/guy for a love triangle to give me some drama). I try my best to avoid all of these stereotypes.
When creating a character, the first thing I ask myself is: “What do they want?” or “What is their purpose?” For the most part, every character has a driving force, something pushing them towards something. Writing about someone who doesn’t know what they want and who constantly flip-flops back and forth on decisions (or the alternative, makes no decisions), really isn’t that interesting to read about.
Once you have the purpose of the character then you can build around that. I keep this rule in my head: No one is any one thing. Which is why typecasting your characters as the “hero” or “villain” can get you into a lot of trouble. Look at your real life as an example. We all have people we don’t like but who can surprise us with very thoughtful and sentimental gestures. And we all know someone who we thought was the nicest person in the world yet they say something completely rude or insensitive and it makes us pause. I try to write characters as people are. That’s what makes them relatable. So when you’re crafting your characters, whether they’re heroes or villains, side-kicks or lovers, remember that in real life people make mistakes. They regret their actions. They have triumphs and failures. They are hypocritical (do what I say not what I do?). Sometimes they’re fiercely loyal to the relationship. Other times they stab you in the back.
The old cliché is that art imitates life. So write characters as people are. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but never all one or the other.
The ancient powers lost to Potara have returned. The Brotherhood of the Black Rose rises to bring Thoth into disorder. And, while the Brotherhood reclaims their power, chaos reigns among the survivors. Six individuals have emerged from the aftermath struggling for control over their lives and a divided land. Kem and Shirin, who abolished the five thousand year reign of the Amun Priests, rule from the golden throne of the Oracle’s Chair in the Hall of the Nine. Dio and Axios struggle to piece together a resistance worthy to challenge the ancient magic which resides in the Great Temple of Amun, and Leoros and Atlantia try to remain true to their hearts and their cause despite tragedy.
But when the Book of Breathings is discovered, the path to immortality is revealed. Leoros and Kem race to capture the Soul of the World unaware of the challenges awaiting them. This time, the gods themselves will intervene.
In a tale where boys become men and girls become women, where treachery and deception are around every corner, and where primeval mysticism finds its way back from the grave, victory is reserved for neither the good nor the evil, but the powerful.
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Genre – Science fiction, Fantasy
Rating – PG-13+
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