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Characterization 101: How to Create Memorable Characters

The Fool The Clown Archetype

Photo by Sergio Piquer Costea

Good Characterization is why most people read fiction. Sure, you can draw your readers in with action, mystery, and romance, but thirty years from now, your readers will remember your characters the most.

Or not…

You will always remember Elizabeth Bennett, Katniss, Holden, Jean Valjean, and Harry the boy who lived. These characters will stick in your brain for years, maybe longer even than some of your friends. However, other characters you forgot as soon as you closed the book. What was the character’s name of that book you had to read in ninth grade? You know, the really boring one?

The question is, will your characters be remembered? Or will they be forgotten as easily as those in that ninth grade novel you forget the name of?

Seven Steps to Memorable Characters

This convenient tutorial will be delivered to your email inbox every week in manageable chunks. You’ll also get links to helpful resources and professional services. Here are the super-fun topics we’ll cover:

Character Archetypes

The author of Ecclesiastes said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” This is true for characters in literature as well. Certain characters appear over and over throughout history, whether in Shakespeare, Disney, or even Harry Potter. You will discover these archetypes and how you can use them to enhance your own characters.

Practical Characterization Advice

At The Write Practice, we’re all about putting to use what you’ve learned immediately. That’s why after each lesson you’ll get a chance to practice creating new characters and tweaking the ones you already have. Seven lessons means seven unique exercise to help you create characters that stick in your readers’ memories.

What NOT to Do When You Create a Character

As important as learning good characterization is, it’s just as important to learn how not to do characterization. For example, avoid backstory!

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5 Replies

  1. Oh, I might be guilty of backstory. Oh dear. I better see what I can do about that.