Character Development: Step 2--What are your characters' Interests?
The perplexity of life arises from there being too many interesting things in it for us to be interested properly in any of them. ~Gilbert K. Chesterton
I would love to tell you that I have been busy doing very interesting things all week, but I refuse to lie to you all. I would love to be able to tell you I went rock climbing and found the largest diamond known to man on the side of a mountain as I was hanging onto a small branch 135 feet off the ground waiting to be rescued by helicopter. Although, that lie is so much more interesting than what I really did...i.e., carpooled my children to and from school, went through my proof copy of Ames Brisees, wrote a how to cover sheet for a journal series I'm writing and took a lot of naps. Maybe I should stick with the lie, lol.
This week I wanted to share the second step to creating believable and memorable characters in your writing. It really is simple: make your characters the most interesting characters by providing them with multiple interests. The first thing a writer must decide when writing an interesting character is how they define what interesting is. That is to say that everyone has a different opinion about what makes a person interesting and what makes them boring...the job of the writer is to figure out how to create a character that will appeal to multiple people's opinion of what an interesting person is.
So let's figure out how to make the character interesting by giving the character many interests.
Ready. Set. Go!
I have comprised a short list of different character types adapted from an article on bookriot, with some of the main characteristics associated with said character type. Using a comprehensive list from wikipedia, I have ascribed interest and hobbies broken down by categories to the character types based on their characteristics. Links to the two sources are beneath the tables...pretty interesting stuff :) No pun intended.
This chart is an example of how to create an interest inventory for your characters based on characteristics and typical character types that find their way into the stories that writers tell. Giving your characters varied interests allows you to create a character readers will connect with and relate to. I'll admit that creating this chart was a little time consuming and I wasn't even creating it for a specific character, but I'm confident in its usefulness.
I will provide a link to the template for this chart if you would like to use it to help create interest inventories for your characters that will have people talking about them as they are shopping for their weekly grocery. If you use it, please let me know how you like it in the comment section. I am also providing links to bookriot and the wikipedia page with the list of hobbies.
Now that we have done the research to provide a solid foundation upon which to build our characters and have given our characters a plethora of interests that will make them extremely interesting, we now have to make sure that our characters have a soul. I'm not talking about the get-down-with-your-bad-self kind of soul..I'm talking about a conscience... some type of compass that helps them make their decisions. Of the five steps to creating more believable and relatable characters, giving your characters soul is the most important one. See you next week.
Remember, writing is a journey and every so often, the universe provides stepping stones to make the journey easier. Enjoy the trip and remember to keep writing and stay enchanted.
Links to resources