Do You Know Who Your Characters Are?

By: Ebonye Gussine Wilkins

When we create characters, we know who we want them to be. In a way, it’s almost like having a newborn: you’ve been around a character so long, you think you know everything about him or her.

Well, do you?

Often times I see that an author creates a character, that behaves one way in the first half of a story, but behaves completely differently later in the story. This is not the same as a complex character who has lots of different quirks. This is not the same as a character who is transformed through adversity or trials and tribulations. I am talking about a character that suddenly does something that is inconsistent with their core personality.

If you’re going to do something that is inconsistent with your characters’ character, then there needs to be a reason: a catalyst for change. Without it, it’s just bad writing.

When you develop your characters and devise their motives, always take a step back to examine what you’ve created. Ask yourself, does this even make sense? If it doesn’t, then fix it. You can fix the character or the situation. It’s your decision after all.

Do your characters ever behave differently than you expect? How did you solve the inconsistency?

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