Creating Complex Characters
Most writers spend a great deal of time fleshing out the hero and heroine giving them flaws and virtues, conflicting likes and dislikes, turning them into real and complex people. But sometimes there is a tendency to spend less time on secondary characters making them one dimensional and maybe even stereotypical. Are Your Characters As Complex As You? If not, here’s some help with creating complex characters.
James Scott Bell in his article “The 5 Cs of Writing the Great Thriller Novel” written for The Writer’s Digest advises: “Look for ways friends can become enemies or betrayers.” This can create undercurrents and secondary themes.
Are Your Characters As Complex As You? Bell suggests using a character grid.
Susan Marcus Robert Carmel
Then fill in the blanks.
Susan: Likes Robert Is jealous of Marcus’ attention.
Robert: Knows Marcus has an Wants to make Carmel jealous
Many times creating characters who are opposites gives many opportunities for both humor and conflict. Think of Felix and Oscar on The Odd Couple or The female Salvation Army worker and the gambler in Guys and Dolls.
Katherine’s Best Promo Tip:
There are lots of facebook groups for authors and readers. Just google facebook groups for writers. Join some that specialize in your genre and meet lots of new authors and readers.
Best author tip: Keep a notebook in your purse and write whenever you have to wait, at the doctor’s office, the dentist, the DMV!
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Katherine McDermott grew up in beautiful South Carolina with sunny beaches and friendly people. She has a degree in English and a Masters in Counseling and worked in education for many years. She had always loved books and history (Charleston is full of buildings from the past.) She also likes to paint and draw. Her first two books were children’s books: The Underwear Tree based on childhood antics with her sister and Les Petits Gardes, a picture book about the fire hydrants of Charleston that were painted to look like British soldiers to celebrate the city’s 300th birthday. Her non-fiction book The South Carolina Lighthouses has been popular with tourists. But she is most excited about moving into romance writing with her first suspense novel Hiding debuting in 2015 and her first historical fiction novel Abbey’s Tale following in 2016. She is currently working on a sequel to Hiding and her books are available at www.thewildrosepress.com