Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Characterization -- After Astrology

You've selected the Sun, Moon, Rising sign for your characters but there's more to making a character live and breathe than this. Look at the traits you've discovered and think of the kind of story you want to write. Not all the wonderful traits listed should be used to develop a character the readers will love. After knowing what kind of story you want to write, look at the traits you've listed. Pick one from each of the three areas. Now look at them again and find one of the traits that can be a problem for your character.

Suppose you picked a sun in Libra and have decided to use the trait of being able to see issues from all sides. This can be both a plus and a minus. Now you've given your character a Sagittarius rising sigh and have picked a love of justice for their trait. Give the character a Cancer moon with an emotional need for a family and you have ways to build in conflict in your character. Perhaps you don't need to pick a negative trait but you could use one from the Sagittarius rising and have the hero or heroine suffer from "hoof in mouth" syndrome. Having them at times speak without thinking of the consequences can make for some interesting times for the character and for the reader.

This should be done for all the major characters in the story. Though minor characters often play an important part in a story the need to develop them as extensively as you do the major players isn't necessary.

This is only the beginning of developing the people you want to tell the stories you have to tell. Next time physical descriptions will be spotlighted.


Jennifer Probst said...

Janet, that is such a cool and fun way to develop a character. Will try this out on my new hero and heroine - thanks.

Janet Lane Walters said...

Jen, There's more to come here.