Nothing anyone has ever done..

by Shawnee
(Kentucky)

Question: I am trying to make up characters that no one else has ever done, because every time i start to write, the characters always sound like the ones in other books. I just don't know how to make them sound like new and a clean character. Any suggestions?


Answer: One nice thing about the human race is that we are all unique individuals. If you want your characters to be unique, make sure you base their external traits on your observations of real human beings rather than fictional characters you have read about or seen in film.

Watch people closely and take note of their quirks and qualities. You'll find plenty of people with traits unlike any characters you have come across in fiction. Then, when you create your characters, try to assign them combinations of traits drawn from real life examples. You should have no trouble creating people who are thus unlike any seen in fiction or life.

Of course, the same trick can be applied regarding the dramatic functions characters perform. Dramatica acknowledges 16 basic dramatic functions (plus another 48 we won't go into), which are typically bundled into 8 archetypal characters which you can find in a huge number of stories. However, you are free to rearrange these bundles to create characters that are non-archetypal yet still fulfil the dramatic requirements.

Combine a unique bundle of external and internal traits drawn from life with a unique grouping of dramatic functions and you will have characters unlike any that have come before.

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