This is Flat Stanley, the hero of the Flat Stanley books since 1964. Did you hear that they are making a Flat Stanley movie? Well they are! Proof HERE.
It's all good and well that this Stanley is flat.
He needs to be flat.
It's important to ALL of the plots in his stories.
But what about when your characters get flat?
When they don't seem as three dimensional.
When you can't relate to their perfection
or their pure evil.
Well, we're in luck because I've asked Tara Tyler to talk with us today and the topic she chose is creating characters with personality.
Take it away, Tara!
Thank you, Shelly, my dear! Guest posting here is the cherry on my dare-you-to-eat-the-whole-sundae week! Consider me geeked!
My "Writing a book" posts are my journal entries of things I've learned to help my writing on my way to getting published. Here is my latest installment.
Do you ever have trouble choosing characteristics for your characters? The MCs can't just be good looking and intelligent and funny, they need flaws. And the villains can't always be nasty and evil, they need redeeming qualities. Characters need to be plausible and relatable. Think about your MC and protagonist and other supporting roles. What are they like? Are they believable or a little too perfect? Then look around you at the mall. Is your character a movie star, prima donna that would never set foot there? If that's what you're going for, great! But my MC would probably make fun of her behind her back, it's one of his faults =)
SO! On a seemingly unrelated topic, ever play Apples to Apples? I love playing games and Apples to Apples is one of my favorites. It's best with a big group, like with family at holidays and boy do we get carried away. Here's how you play: you are dealt cards with people, events, items, etc (various nouns) and a judge reveals an adjective. You offer a noun that you think the judge will choose to go with the adjective. It's funner in person...(funner?)
But one of the best parts of the game is when we've had enough and are ready to clean up. We added a twist of describing ourselves with the adjectives we've won. For example, I could be shy, miserable, explosive, unusual, cute, and insulting.
Now put all this together. These descriptors could be great inspiration for developing a character! Randomly choose an adjective card or two and there you go, instant personality!
Fun idea, Tara!
You know what's funny is that my family always reads their cards in their hand at the end, pretending like those are words that describe the holder, as well! Great minds think alike (or it's in the instructions- I dunno?)
Tara week has been a Tara-ific!
One last shout out to Tara