For today’s post, I am not including an excerpt, but instead a character outline for some of the main characters. I wanted to show some of the elements to build the personalities, along with some of the contributions of the characters to the story. By designing an outline such as this, it helps me to maintain focus and order for the story line. I may not always use all of the characters I create for a story, and there is always the freedom to change things around as the writing progresses. But it is a good way to build up what I call a “character bank”, which can supply ideas and help create the chapters and fill in the details of the story.
Here are a few of the main characters:
- Jason: (Hero) – 15 years old; lives with his grandmother, Ellie (from Ireland); lost his parents in a tragic fire; Older sister, Janet, 18, addicted to meth, lives in CA; A student, almost black belt TKD; Suffers nightmares about demons/parents death; Moved to Snow Crest, Alaska 4 months ago.
- Lee: 16 years old; Lives with his parents, only child; Parents (Dave & Julie) are alcoholics, always fighting; B & C student, tries hard but thinks literally; Skinny and not athletic, prefers computers/videos; Grew up best friends with Amanda (lives close by); Has some trust issues because of parents drinking.
- Kirie: 15 years old; Lives with dad, Mason Allen; only child; Has a learning disorder due to brain injury from fatal car crash that killed her mom when she was 2 years old. She has difficulty reading & speaking; 2 years behind in school, has a private tutor. Mason is very protective of his daughter & tries to keep her isolated; Mason’s family were original founders of Snow Crest, owning the gold mine and striking it rich. He is a good man with misguided upbringing; Kirie has a way of seeing into people’s hearts, and knowing what they feel in spite of what they might say.
So how do you develop your characters? Do you create outlines for their roles, or free draft as you go along? Tell us in the comments below. You may share an excerpt or example of your work as well.
Back to writing time now. If you’d like to help with the writing or maybe doing some critiquing, make sure to use the “Join Story Project” button on the right.
Thanks for stopping by, and write on! – Amber Lea