Friday, September 12, 2014

Write Your Novel Step by Step (19) "Additional Character Attributes"

In previous steps you've assigned ages, genders and vocations or roles to your characters.  Like real people, however, your characters will also have a wide range of other attributes, such as the religion to which they subscribe, special skills like horseback riding or a good singing voice, physical traits, such as being overweight, their race, abilities/disabilities or a nervous tick, mental attributes including IQ, savantism or autism, and hobbies or other interests like coin collecting or memorizing movie quotes.
Most of these attributes will amount to no more than window dressing in your story, but some of them may ultimately affect its course, and key events in your plot and/or message may hinge on a few of them.
There’s no absolute need at this point to add any of these to each character’s interview sheet – we’ll revisit this kind of material later in the development stage – so don’t go off into the woods on this one.
Still, if any additional attributes come to mind while interviewing your characters, jot them down as they will enrich your character and make them far more human and accessible to your readers.

This article is drawn from:

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