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How to craft unforgettable characters (video)

How to craft unforgettable characters (video) How to craft unforgettable characters (video)
In this article:

    Characters are the heartbeat of stories, infusing them with emotion, depth, and resonance. In this exploration of character development, we dive into the art of creating unforgettable characters, drawing insights from Story School Season 2, Episode 4. Join us as Wattpad Content Expert Harry Hanson and Wattpad Creator and published author Fallon DeMornay (Stiletto Sisterhood) share their expertise. Learn how to craft characters that leap off the page and into readers’ hearts.

    Great characters make great stories

    At the core of every great character are their goals, motivation, conflict, and stakes. These elements form the backbone of the character, guiding their actions, decisions, and growth throughout the story.

    What makes a story great? It’s often the characters. Their struggles, triumphs, and transformations are what resonate with readers most. Whether it’s the underdog rising against oppression or the outcast seeking belonging, iconic characters captivate our imaginations because they speak to something deeper within us. They drive the narrative forward and leave a lasting impact on the reader.

    Crafting characters with depth

    Creating compelling characters requires more than just a list of traits. You need a deep understanding of the character’s motivations, fears, and desires. Consider what draws you into a character, and how that character feels about the world around them. How do their backstories, relationships, and inner conflicts contribute to who they are? What are their flaws? Flaws are what make characters relatable and human, and imperfect characters are more interesting because they have room to grow and change. With a strong understanding of who your characters are, you can make them feel authentic and multidimensional to your audience.

    Additionally, a clear set of goals, motivation, conflict, and stakes lie at the core of every great character. These elements provide the framework for the character’s journey, guiding their actions and decisions throughout the story. By understanding what drives your characters and what stands in their way, you can create narratives that are both compelling and emotionally resonant.

    Bringing characters to life

    For writers, the process of creating characters is often a deeply personal and intuitive one. Characters may be inspired by real-life experiences, observed behaviors, or built from your own ideas. Making your characters feel real to the reader can be accomplished by infusing them with specificity, empathy, and authenticity. 

    In the end, what happens in your story is intrinsically linked to who it happens to. Characters are not just passive observers of the plot; they are the active agents driving the story engine. Their choices, actions, and interactions shape the trajectory of the story, leading to moments of tension, conflict, and ultimately resolution. By focusing on character development and creating characters with depth and humanity, your story will resonate with readers.

    So, next time you sit down to write, remember the power of character development. Embrace the challenge of crafting characters that captivate and resonate, and watch as your story comes alive in the hearts and minds of your readers!

    Found this helpful but want to take it a step further? Learn more about creating character goals, motivation, conflict, and stakes.

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